Farmers throughout Missouri and Illinois are invited to attend a Meet the Buyers event to meet local and regional food buyers. The event will take place March 3, 2015, at the St. Louis University campus in the Il Monastero Building, 3050 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo., from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
The event is a unique opportunity for farmers to meet with buyers one-on-one and learn what it takes to do business with the grocery and food service industries in the area. Extension representatives will present introductory information about two programs, MarketReady and Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs). Market Ready is a program designed to teach best commercial business practices between growers and various retail markets. GAPs are a set of recommendations that can help improve the quality and safety of the produce grown.
Representatives from a foodservice distributor, grocery retailer and school foodservice management company also will be on hand to share information on how those specific industries work and how farmers can tap into them. Rusty Lee, owner, Lee Farms, LLC, will demonstrate to farmers how to sort, grade and pack a produce box and how to distribute on a small scale.
Registration for the event is $15 and includes all event materials, a buffet lunch featuring several local and regional foods, and breaks. Due to limited seating, registration is first come, first served. Registration must be completed by Feb. 25, 2015. To register online, visit http://www.ilfb.org/ifb-news-and-events/conferences-events/meet-the-farmers,-meet-the-buyers.aspx. If registrants encounter problems paying online, please contact Charlene Blary at [email protected] to make special arrangements.
A limited number of AgriMissouri scholarships are available for AgriMissouri members to attend this event. Contact Catherine Bohnert at (573) 522-9213 or [email protected] for details. Registrations must be confirmed by February 25th to be eligible.
The following organizations are partnering to support the one-day event: Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Department of Agriculture, University of Missouri Extension, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and University of Illinois Extension.