Friday, December 21, 2012

Marketing Sheep and Goat Products

Read this great publication about marketing sheep and goat products, courtesy of the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (NCAT). Get tips on marketing your sheep and goat products today, and ramp up your revenue! It is always helpful to expand your marketing knowledge!

CLICK HERE to read more!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Small Town Merchant Program

Small town retailers and restaurant businesses are the heart of our communities,therefore keeping them thriving is vital to our economy. Join the Bluegrass KSBDC and National Retail Specialist Marc Willson on January 7 to learn how your small business can grow and prosper!

What is Included?

*FREE training on how to stay relevant and improve your retail or restaurant
business with complimentary breakfast provided by Community Trust Bank.

*A limited number of businesses will be provided a FREE 90 minute business audit at their location by retail specialist Marc Willson. This audit will assess everything from curb side appeal, merchandising, pricing structure and much more. Business audits will be scheduled at the training on January 7.

*Continuing business assistance from your local SBDC consultant

January 7, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The Woodford Inn,140 Park Street, Versailles

Call (859) 257-7666 to register
*Registration deadline is 1/2/13*

Click here to learn more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kentucky Fruit & Vegetable Conference

Highlights of this year’s meeting will be a pre-conference Winemaking Techniques Workshop and a Fruit Round Table Discussion. During the conference there will be sessions on Farmers’ Markets, Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Production, Small Fruit Production, Organic Farming and Gardening, the Grape and Wine Short Course, Agritourism, Beginning Fruit and Vegetable Production, High Tunnels, and Wholesale Marketing. PLEASE make your room reservations directly with the hotel.

CLICK HERE fore all the details!
January 7th & 8th

Embassy Suites Hotel
1801 Newtown Pike
Lexington, Kentucky 40511

ATTRA "Text an Expert" Resource

ATTRA has expanded its helpline and email service. If you have a question about sustainable agriculture you can text it to them to get an answer from an expert! Just text your question to (

and the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) staff will reply to your phone!

ATTRA can taylor their answers to meet the needs of farmers or ranchers, ag. educators, or organizations that support farmers. You can call, ask online, or even text them questions now!

Learn more by clicking on the link below!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot Chocolate and Cool Watersheds Social

The University of Kentucky will host a Hot Chocolate and Cool Watersheds social on Tuesday, December 11th 6-7:30pm at the Coldstream Research Campus Atrium, 1500 Bull Lea Rd, Lexington, KY 40511 .

The social is an opportunity for community members to learn about stream restoration plans along the Legacy Trail in Coldstream Park and interact with technical staff and students addressing water quality issues in the Cane Run watershed. Refreshments will be served (including hot chocolate), and children are welcome (we will have a special activity for them).

Please RSVP to Esther Edwards at
or call 859-257-3780.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 Farming for Profit and Stewardship Conference

The 14th Annual "Farming for Profit and Stewardship" Conference will take place on January 18 & 19, in Lansdowne, VA.

Pre-Conference Workshops

General Sessions - Keynote, Local Food Celebration and Auction, Farmer Panel

Track 1 - Beginning Farmers
Track 2 - Scaling Up
Track 3 - Grass-Based Systems
Track 4 - Local Food Communities
Track 5 - Fruit and Vegetable Production
Track 6 - The Business of Farming

CLICK HERE to learn more or to register!

"Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms: Selling and Working Together for Profitability"

Interest in sourcing local food continues to increase at restaurants, institutions, and schools. Small farms can combine forces to satisfy the demands of larger-scale buyer’s. The “Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms” guide provides information for farmers interested in working with other farms to access new markets. This guide explains different business structure options and how to succeed in joint ventures, partnerships, and corporations.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Farm to School "Pitch Room"

All producers and Food Service Directors interested in the Farm to School program are invited the first ever "Pitch room" event. This opportunity allows producers to promote their farm and Food Service Directors to express their interest in the Farm to School program. It will provide valuable networking and it will enable you to connect with all Food Service Directors from across the state.  For more information contact Tina Garland ( or 502-382-7505)

December 6th 10am - 11:30 am
Holiday Inn University Plaza
1021 Wilkinson Trace
Bowling Green, KY

.  Please R.S.V.P

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wholesale Success: Market Training for Produce Farmers

Dec 3 & 4: Warren County Extension Office
     3132 Nashville Rd 

     Bowling Green, KY

Dec 4 & 5: Franklin County Extension Office

     101 Lakeshore Ct. 

     Frankfort, KY 
This workshop is designed for fruit and vegetable farmers who want to know more about growing for wholesale customers including food safety training, wholesale standards, financial resources, financial trainin
g, sustainable production and extended season production.

The cost of the workshop is $20, which includes two meals and a 255-page workbook. For more information and registration, call or email Courtney at 502.708.1881 or


9 a.m. to noon: Wholesale Success: A Guide to Growing Produce that Sells
Farmer, author and farmer-trainer Atina Diffley will conduct this training that includes information on harvest considerations, post-harvest handling, grading and packing and other operations that make your product an easy sell in the wholesale market.

Noon to 12:45 p.m. Locavore Lunch:
Local foods are more available than ever. Ask for them next time you have a catered event and support Kentucky’s agriculture economy.

12:45 to to2:45 p.m.: More Wholesale Success:
National consultant Atina Diffley will discuss storage, transportation, marketing, GAP record keeping and pack shed design

2:45 Break

3 pm: Meet the buyers
Several wholesale produce buyers will discuss what they buy. Feel free to stay after the presentation to ask questions of the buyers.


8 to 8:30 am: Registration and continental breakfast

8:30 to 9:45 am: Bookkeeping and cost analysis
Can you make money growing produce? Grasshopper’s President Ellen McGeeney helps you through real-life scenarios, in partnership with University of Kentucky agriculture economist Tim Woods.

9:45 to 11: The Challenge of High Tunnels
High tunnels offer a way to extend seasons and make more money. But they require a different set of farming skills. Learn what to expect from Michael Bomford, KSU Organic and Sustainable Agriculture extension specialist (Bowling Green) or Tim Coolong, University of Kentucky extension Vegetable Crop specialist (Frankfort).

Break: 11 to 11:15

11:15 to 12:15 am: What’s bugging you?
University of Kentucky entomologist Ric Bessin talks about pest management for small and medium-size produce farms.

12:15 to 12:45: Locavore Lunch
Local foods are more available than ever. Ask for them next time you have a catered event to support Kentucky’s agriculture economy.

12:45 to 1:45 pm: Disease identification and management
University of Kentucky plant pathologist Kenny Seebold updates attendees on disease prevention and treatments for small and medium-size farms.

1:45 to 2:45 pm: Show Me the Money
Find out about grant money and low interest loans that can give you some flexibility on the farm and help grow your business. Mac Stone, Kentucky State University (Frankfort); Michael Bomford (Bowling Green); Caroline Heine, Seed Capital Kentucky; NRCS representatives, and more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will be offering a webinar on Thursday, November 29 to explain a unique type of crop insurance for small, diverse, organic/specialty crop, direct-market farmers. Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite) is based on whole farm revenue, which means that it allows diversified farmers to insure production based on historic farm revenue. This event will be especially helpful for farmers who grow diverse specialty crops, organic crops, or mixed crop or livestock operations and for educators or professionals who work with this type of farmer. Agricultural Economist Jeff Schahczenski with NCAT will be presenting the AGR-Lite webinar at 1:00 PM on Thursday, November, 29.

Webinar: "Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance 
for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms"
 November 29, 2012
 1 p.m. EDT


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Financing and Planning Your Farm and Enterprises

The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (NSAIS) presents Financing and Planning Your Farm and Enterprises, a guide to planning your farm business. Learn about financing options, setting objectives, creating a business plan, considering different farm enterprises, and more. ATTRA has made a plethora of information available for planning your farm business! Click the link below to learn more!

Financing and Planning Your Farm and Enterprises

Eat Local, Grow Local

Madison County Extension Office will be hosting an informative fruit tree event Tuesday, November 13. The discussion will be focused on growing small fruits and various berries (blue, black, strawberries, etc.). You can come to learn about growing small fruits and berries or share your experiences.

Tuesday, November 13
7 pm - 8 pm
Madison County Extension Center
230 Duncannon Lane
Richmond, KY  
(859) 623-4072

Bourbon & Beans Buzz at Good Foods

The Marketing Director for Good Foods Market & Cafe, Danielle Dove, will give a presentation about the cooperative business model. This is part of a monthly event called the Breakfast Buzz Sessions, which is an informal event that features different small business related topics each month. This is a free event that will take place in the Rochdale Room at Good Foods Market & Cafe. You can learn about what cooperatives are, challenges faced by them, marketing tools available, and how cooperative models differ. Click the link below for more details!

Bourbon & Beans Buzz at Goof Foods Cafe

Tuesday, November, 13
8:30 am - 9:30 am
Good Foods Market & Café 455D Southland Drive Lexington, KY 40503

New Farmer's Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

The Davis Farmers Market Presents: New Farmer's Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets. This publication is a how-to guide filled with information about being successful in farmers' markets, and it is authored by a 30 year veteran farmers market manager and a 30 year marketing  professional. Learn about how to estimate your costs, build relationships with market managers, and how to market your products at the farmers' market. Follow the link below to view the guide and get started!

New Farmer's Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

Monday, October 22, 2012

Start Farming Fact Sheets - Penn State Extension

Four New Equipment Videos Available

Penn State Extension has released a series of 10 fact sheets to help farmers enhance their knowledge about organic vegetable production, ecological plant disease management, and soil basics. These fact sheets aim to support beginning farmers, home gardeners, and farmers new to organic growing practices.

Some topics include the following: seed and seedling biology, potting media and plant propagation, planning a crop rotation, plant disease basics, diagnosing a plant problem, ecological disease management, creating a weed-management plan, selecting the right seeding and transplanting strategies, soil quality and managing soils.

Click here for SOIL FACT SHEETS!


Farmer Meeting with JCPS - Nov 2

Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) representatives will be holding a meeting with farmers and distributors interested in selling local food to JCPS. JCPS will explain how farmers can participate in the School Lunch Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. They will also be explaining how their bidding process works and what food items they are seeking.

Click here to REGISTER NOW!

What:   JCPS Farmer Meeting
When:  Nov 2, 2012 (2PM - 4 PM)
Where: 360 Farmington Ave.
             Louisville, KY 40209

Food Day 2012

Food Day will take place on October 24th at Western Kentucky University's Ag Expo Center. Food Day is a celebration that offers educational workshops, a local food expo, farm tours, a special Farm Elegant Dinner, and activities for kids. This is a free event open to all, and it will start at 9 AM and conclude at 4 PM (CST).

Registration and fees are required for certain activities. Please follow the link below to learn more about Food Day 2012!

Food Day Conference 2012 website

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jackson County Public Schools Seeking More Farmers for School Lunches

Jefferson County Public Schools, serving 90,000 meals per day and more than 17,000 fresh produce snacks three days per week, would like to increase its purchases of local food during the growing season 2013. Food service directors from counties contiguous to Jefferson have been invited.

JCPS would like to invite all farmers and other stakeholders interested in the future of local food purchases by JCPS to attend a meeting on Nov 2.

Farmer Meeting
2 to 4 p.m.

Friday, Nov 2, 2012

360 Farmington Ave.

Louisville, KY 40209

JCPS representatives will explain how to participate with both the School Lunch Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program. Farmers, distributors and extension agents can learn more about the bid process and the produce items that will be put up for bid. Contracts typically guarantee a price for the farm product, but do not require a farmer to supply product if weather impedes the crop.

In addition, representatives from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable snack program will be at this meeting, with a list of local products they can use.

At the end of the meeting we'll spend some time going over bid sheets to help folks understand them a little better. Distributors will also be invited, as they are in some (not all) cases necessary to get food to the schools.
If you plan to come, please register at so we'll have enough materials on hand and enough chairs for everyone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pawpaw: The "Poor Mans Banana"

Never heard of a pawpaw tree? Pawpaw fruit is a delicious treat that grows wild throughout Kentucky, but many consumers are not familiar with the pawpaw. Pawpaws are rich in nutrition and flavor, and could very well be the next "superfood", but are not heavily commercialized. Commercialization of the pawpaw fruit is underway thanks to efforts through KSU, Purdue, Ohio State, and other entities. If you are interested in learning more, click on the link below to read an article about pawpaw harvesting, handling, marketing, and more!

NCAT: Pawpaw-A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference "No Water; No Food"

The 2012 Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference will be held on Saturday October, 13 from 9 am to 5:30 pm; it costs $40 to attend the conference. The conference will be held at Kentucky Country Day School (4100 Springdale Rd. Louisville, KY 40241). Featured speakers will include Dennis Dimick (National Geographic), Wendell Berry, Matthew Sleeth, and more! Click the link below for more information and to register for the conference!

2012 Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Evaluating a Rural Enterprise

Preston Sullivan and Lane Greer
NCAT Agriculture Specialists
Published 2002

Follow the link below if you want to learn how to evaluate your rural enterprise! You can read about everything in this publication from evaluating your resources to completing a financial assessment. Every business has the ability to become more successful, including yours! Take some time to evaluate your business and make improvements. Click below to visit the NSAIS website and learn how you can start moving forward:

Evaluating a Rural Enterprise

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rural Development Accomplishments

The USDA has released the Rural Development Accomplishments from 2009 - 2011. Check out the interactive map on their website to view Rural Development Accomplishments by state! They also offer some quick facts about accomplishments throughout the country. This is a great source to find information about grants and loan opportunities available in your state. Follow the link below to see it for yourself!

USDA Rural Development Accomplishments Interactive Map

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Calendar

Follow the link below to view the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Calendar! You can see what is going on in the world of Extension. Find interesting events happening throughout Kentucky including fairs, seminars, training programs, workshops, and more!

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Calendar

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts

Farmers' Action Legal Group (FLAG) has just released the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts. This guide can help farmers throughout the process of completing organic contracts. This is an incredible resource for organic farmers! Follow the link below to dig deeper!

FLAG - Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts

Friday, September 7, 2012

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company - Local Since Forever!

Check out this great video from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company! They have been supporting local foods since forever!

Piggly Wiggly - Local Since Forever Video

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Low Cost AWA Egg Cartons

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) offers AWA branded egg cartons at a low cost to AWA farms that are currently approved for laying hens. These cartons are made of 100% reclaimed paper and enable producers to market eggs in a professional container featuring an AWA approved logo, which illustrates to consumers that your farm offers eggs from hens raised with the highest welfare standards. There is also space on the carton for your own farm-branded label and space on the inside for a nutrition facts label. AWA even offers assistance with label development.

Each carton only costs $0.15 and can be ordered in bundles of 200 for only $30!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Connecting Farm$ to Local Market$

Connecting Farm$ to Local Market$
Friday, September 14, 2012
8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, Kentucky
A networking opportunity designed to introduce Kentucky growers to wholesale and retail markets!

Speaker Information

The morning program will feature three panel presentations focusing on wholesale and institutional market needs and requirements for potential sales
9:00 a.m.     *Large Volume Produce Buyers –discussing past bulk sales for large institutions and the restaurant market, present needs and future predictions for local food beyond (and including) tomatoes and corn.

·         Ellen McGeeney, President, Grasshoppers Distribution, Louisville, Ky – buys from more than 60 farmers in Southern Indiana and Kentucky
·         Doug Polk,  President and COO, Southern Foods, Bowling Green, Kentucky – supporting the Kentucky Proud program
·         Krey Kenney, Specialty Purchaser, Creation Gardens; specializes in delivering food to chefs in Louisville, Lexington, Evansville and Nashville areas as well as institutions such as University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt

9:40 a.m.    *Volume Meat and Grain Buyers – livestock distribution and value added product opportunities
·         Marksbury Farms – Preston Correll; buying animals from farmers for distribution in Louisville and Lexington
·         Woodlands Farm – Jay Denham;  needs  and adds value to farm-raised pork by drying and curing meat the old-fashioned way/also seeks barley growers
·         Brian Churchill -  Operations manager, Preferred Popcorn; buys popcorn from Kentucky and Indiana farmers for international sales

10:35 a.m.    *Public School System Institutional Buyers
Kentucky’s 120 county school system food service directors are encouraged by USDA  to “Know Your Farmer/Know Your Food” by purchasing locally grown food products.  Learn the requirements and current successes with the Farm to School program
·         Beth Miller, Metcalfe County Public Schools
·         Kim Simpson,  Bowling Green City Schools

12:00 noon   Plate It Up, Kentucky Proud Luncheon
    Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture, James Comer, will highlight the wholesale/retail market opportunities and incentives provided through the “Kentucky Proud” marketing program along with his view of future market sales trends throughout the state for direct sales

1:30 p.m. *Round Table Discussions – growers will learn more about the cost of doing business as well as talking “one on one” with company representatives about potential sales requirements and opportunities, rotating every 20 minutes! Featured speakers from the morning panels will discuss in-depth sales opportunities.  Other topics and speakers include:

·         Insurance Protection  - Scott Bouldin, Kentucky Farm Bureau
·         Kentucky Health Department Food Safety Requirements – Shadrick Adams
·         State Park Sales – Lisa Davis, Barren River State Park
·         Hart County Produce Auctions – Joe Schmucker
·         Winery and Resort sales – Nick Noble, Park Mammoth Resort
·         Restaurant Sales - Brickyard Café – Robert Stupar
·         Restaurant Sales – Home Café – Josh Poling
·         Business Plans – Rich Laing, KCARD
·         Farm to School sales – Chuck Bennett, Bennett Farms, Scottsville – Beth Miller, Metcalfe Co. Schools
·         Kentucky Food Bank Association – Tamara Sandberg

County Extension agents will receive in-service education credits for attendance. Registration is$15 per person and is due Sept. 7 to the Warren County Cooperative Extension Service, 3231 Nashville Road, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101. For more information visit: