Register Now for UT Extension Workshops in March

In March 2018, UT Extension will offer a workshop, Food for Profit, that shows producers how to use their vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, honey or other farm products to make jams and jellies, salsas and chow chows, juices and wines, breads, pies or any number of other value-added products.​ For more information visit the website for the Center for Profitable Agriculture​. Photo courtesy UTIA.

SPRING HILL, Tenn. ― Farmers and gardeners may use their vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, honey or other farm products to make jams and jellies, salsas and chow chows, juices and wines, breads, pies or any number of other value-added products. 

“Turning products into profit, however, takes planning and patience,” says Megan Bruch Leffew, marketing specialist with University of Tennessee Extension’s Center for Profitable Agriculture. “There is a lot more to consider than most people initially think.”

“Whether you are canning, pickling, drying, baking, fermenting or freezing, starting a food processing business is challenging,” according to Nathan Miller, UT Extension assistant for food safety in the Department of Food Science. “Understanding food manufacturing regulations and learning how to produce foods safely are vital pieces of the food processing puzzle.”

To help producers interested in starting their own food processing enterprises, UT Extension is once again offering Pennsylvania State Extension’s popular food processing education program to Tennessee. Food for Profit workshops take participants step by step through the information necessary to start and run a small food product business. The workshop provides information that participants will be able to use immediately to ensure that their business starts out and grows in a way that ma​tches their vision and goals. Topics covered include the realities of a food business by a local food manufacturer, regulatory requirements, packaging, safe food handling, marketing, financing, and developing a game plan. The workshop will be offered in two locations this spring. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required five business days prior to each workshop.

Food for Profit will be held March 15 in Unicoi at the Town of Unicoi Tourist Information Center and will include a tour of the new Mountain Harvest Kitchen. Register online by March 8 at to funding made available through the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Grant, registration for this event is only $10 per person. Contact Lee Manning at the Mountain Harvest Kitchen with questions at or call 423-330-9650.

Food for Profit will also be held March 21 in Centerville at the Emergency Operations Center. Register by March 14 for this event at There is a registration fee of $30 per person. Contact Megan Bruch Leffew with questions at or call 931-486-2777. Workshops are limited to 25 participants per location. Workshops not having an adequate number of registrations by the early registration deadline may be cancelled. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. local time. Lunch will be provided. 

Each workshop qualifies as one course toward the educational requirements to receive 50 percent Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program cost share for only Fruits and Vegetables and Value-Added producer diversification sectors. 

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a cooperative effort between UT Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation to help farmers develop value-added enterprises. Learn more about the Center for Profitable Agriculture online at 

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service.​.



Megan Leffew, UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777, ​​