Virtual MarketReady class for producers begins Feb. 13

Iowa State University Extension
Farm Forum

AMES, Iowa – A virtual MarketReady workshop series will be provided by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Hamilton County office, beginning Feb. 13. The training is designed to provide producers with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound decisions about diversifying their operations into wholesale, retail and institutional market outlets.

The course includes seven online modules and live virtual discussions on the following Saturdays, beginning at 9 a.m.

  • Feb. 13: Virtual intro and discussion with Christa Hartsook, small farms program coordinator for farm, food and enterprise development with ISU Extension and Outreach
  • Feb. 27: Panel discussion with central Iowa institutional buyers, including participant Q & A
  • March 13: Virtual wrap-up with Christa Hartsook

Participants will complete the seven online modules at their own pace, with the suggested timeline of Feb. 13 — March 13. Once they finish the course and pass the quiz, they will receive a certificate of completion.

The fee for this course is $20 per person. Register and pay for the workshop is available at

This training will focus on best marketing practices when dealing with these market outlets, including communications and relationship building, regulations, packaging and labeling, grading, pricing, logistics and more.

The workshop will also include a buyer panel. The intent is for buyers to meet farmers and producers, and for both sides of the sales transaction to understand what the other needs in order to supply and buy local food.

Panelists will include chefs, grocers and institutional buyers such as those working for school districts and hospitals.

For more information about the workshop, contact Susan Schmitz, program coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach in Hamilton County, at, (515)832-9597.