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Workshops Help Farmers, Market Vendors

18 January 2013

US - A four-part workshop series will help vendors and organisers of farmers markets improve their markets and work with customers, inspectors and social media.

The "Farmers Market Boot Camp Series" consists of four workshops with topics on the importance of food safety, effective use of social media, creating a positive customer experience, and handling customer transactions involving Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBTs. The series is sponsored by Purdue Extension and the Indiana Cooperative Development Center.

The workshops will be held 31 January and 7, 14 and 20 February, at the Indiana Farm Bureau Office, 225 S. East St., Assembly Halls A & B, Indianapolis. Additionally, participants can watch the presentations through Adobe Connect at the Allen, Cass, Dearborn, Delaware (Minnestrista building), Harrison, Hendricks, Knox, LaPorte (Pinney Purdue Agricultural Center), Montgomery, Orange, Posey (Alexandrian Public Library), Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vigo and Warrick County Extension offices.

Each workshop will begin with registration from 9 to 10 a.m. EST, and sessions will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch.

The workshops' goal is to help farmers understand state food safety laws and cultivate positive relationships with county health inspectors in view of stronger food safety legislation, all with the ultimate goal of widening their markets and better promoting their products.

"Our audience is already aware of the strengths of farmers markets and local produce. The goal of this workshop is to help them raise awareness of local producers by helping them provide a better product," said Debbie Trocha, director of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center. "It's an effort to make them the best that they can be as interest in farmers markets and homegrown foods takes off nationwide and we try to catch up."

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