Retail Ready - Wholesale Ready
To provide a more consistent, systematic and in-depth approach for educating and guiding producers interested in direct marketing, this project provided development opportunities for Ohio professionals working with their local food system. An Advisory group was formed and 9 ‘MarketReady’ professional development workshops were planned, with 3 for 2011 and 6 for 2012.
During the two-year project, at least 90 professionals will participate in professional development. During this first year, 39 professionals reported improvements to better work with producers who market local foods.
During this first year, an advisory group of 12 professionals was established and included diverse representations from University Extension, government agencies, industry associations, local food organizations and selected farmers involved in various direct marketing channels. This group met for a multi-day MarketReady training and planning session, as well as annual networking session. This group exchanged resources via an online password protected section of the Ohio Direct Marketing team website. They also guided program communications for other professionals and program evaluation. In 2011, 12 advisory members and 27 additional professionals participated in MarketReady professional development workshops. They became further engaged in helping update materials and guiding plans for the 2012 workshops.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The Program Director conducted one-on-one interviews with advisory group members. 75% reported applying new knowledge and skills to their educational development practices.
With the 27 other MarketReady participants, a post-workshop survey was conducted, with more than 90% of participants reporting improved attitude and motivation (to work with producers exploring various direct marketing channels) and improved awareness and knowledge (of direct marketing channels and the resources).