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Two opportunities for growers interested in wholesale markets

Are you a farmer who sells produce? Are you thinking of selling wholesale? Have you tried selling wholesale and think it might work for you? UMN Extension and our partners at MISA, Renewing the Countryside, and the UMN horticulture department have two opportunities to support growers: 

1. Wholesale Readiness Training program for produce farmers:

Sign up to join a regional farmer group with in-depth training, coaching, and one-on-one assistance to build skills and develop individual plans to launch or expand a wholesale produce enterprise. Regional farmer groups will form in January 2023 and the project will continue through June 2024. Farmers who complete the training and develop written enterprise plans will be eligible for $500 mini-grants to support their transition into or expansion of wholesale sales.

This training is for growers with at least one year experience growing produce for sale as a farm owner or manager. Participants should be interested in pursuing wholesale production and sales. The training will consist of one in-person meeting in your region on January 10, 2023, and six follow-up online sessions (3 hours each, 10am - 1pm) on January 24, Febuary 7, February 21, March 7, March 21, and April 4, 2023.

Participants will also be able to work with our team of coaches and advisors throughout 2023 and early 2024, to develop your specific plans around the following topics: Business planning and marketing mix, Licensing and regulations, Production for wholesale sales, On-farm food safety, Packing & Packaging, and Connections with buyers.

Learn more about this program by attending one of two introductory seminars:

2. Opportunity to participate in a study developing enterprise budgets for wholesale specialty crops

University of Minnesota horticulture faculty and Extension educators would like to work with local produce farmers who aim to sell to institutions to develop enterprise budgets and decision tools. The goal is to better understand which crops are most profitable for sales to institutions, and profitability at different scales of production.

During the summers of 2023 and 2024, we will survey farmers who grow tomatoes, delicata squash, cucumbers, melons, kale, or onions about their production costs. Farmers can participate in either one year, or both years. Each farmer will be paid a stipend of $300 per crop that they report. One farmer can choose to report the costs for multiple crops.

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