Farmers market, direct-to-consumer workshops set for February

Special to The Kansan

MANHATTAN — The Kansas Department of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension will offer virtual workshops Feb. 16–19 to assist farmers market vendors and managers, and also for those wanting to sell food products directly to consumers. The workshop series includes three online Lunch and Learn sessions, followed by a half-day virtual workshop.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in people’s enthusiasm for locally sourced food, and these workshops will address common questions and concerns for farmers and small businesses who are embracing these opportunities to reach local consumers,” said Londa Nwadike, food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri.

“It’s also important for farmers to understand certain legal, safety and financial parameters before choosing to sell either directly to the consumer or at a farmers’ market,” Nwadike said. 

In 2020, 76 farmers markets were registered with KDA’s Central Registration of Farmers’ Markets.

Dates and topics for each Lunch and Learn online session are as follows:

• noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16: Food Safety for Value-Added Food Products

• noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17: Meat and Poultry Regulations

• noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18: Taxation and Accepting EBT/SNAP

The half-day virtual workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, will cover topics, such as COVID-19 related changes, Double Up Food Bucks program, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, From the Land of Kansas program and resources available from KSRE. Keynote speaker Michael Kilpatrick of the Thriving Farmer podcast will also discuss marketing tips for direct-to-consumer sales.

KDA’s weights and measures program will offer free scale certification with a paid registration to an online workshop.

Registration for the February virtual workshops is now open. The cost is $5 per participant. Register at

For more information, contact Robin Blume, KDA’s education and events coordinator, at 785-564-6756 or

The workshops are funded by the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, the Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.