Farmers who plan to sell products at farmers markets will have an opportunity to learn about regulations and more at six Farmers Market Boot Camp Workshops to be held across Tennessee beginning February 16.  Visit the website for the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture for more information. Photo courtesy UTIA.

SPRING HILL, Tenn. -- Farmers who plan to sell products at farmers markets will have an opportunity to learn about regulations and more at six Farmers Market Boot Camp Workshops to be held across Tennessee in February. This will be the fourth consecutive year for these workshops, which will be taught by specialists from University of Tennessee Extension, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and USDA Risk Management Agency. The workshops are open to all farmers.

“It is easy for a farmer to get frustrated with some of the food processing regulations, but it is important to remember that the regulations actually serve to help vendors,” said Hal Pepper, a financial specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture.  “Also, the regulations help support the market,” he said.

“At the Farmers Market Boot Camp Workshops farmers will learn about food safety regulations for their products as well as liability risk, and other pertinent topics. We encourage everyone to preregister early.” Those planning to attend may preregister for the workshops online at tiny.utk.edu/fmbootcamp. There is a $20 registration fee, and the fee includes lunch. Preregistration is required at least 5 days prior to the workshop. Space is limited.

The workshops will be held in Cookeville (Feb. 16), Alcoa (Feb. 17), Greeneville (Feb. 18), Covington (Feb. 24), Clarksville (Feb. 25) and Franklin (Feb. 26). Check-in begins at 9 a.m. local time, and sessions will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The workshops are intended for farmers who plan to sell at farmers markets and will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding the Need for Regulations on Processed Fruits and Vegetables
  • Be Outstanding in Your Field with a Fabulous Farmers Market Display
  • Are You Covered When Selling Fruits and Vegetables? Be Informed About Product Liability Risk
  • Retail Meat Sales Guidelines
  • Plant the Right Fruit and Vegetable Seeds to Grow Your Bank Account
  • Resources for Specialty Crop Growers Through the Center for Profitable Agriculture
  • Updates: Milk Sales and USDA Poultry Exemptions
  • Introduction to Whole Farm Revenue Protection



Attendance at this workshops fulfills a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in ONLY the following sectors: Fruits and Vegetables and Value-Added Diversification sectors. For additional information regarding educational programs for TAEP credit, please contact Erica Alexander at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 615-837-5344.

For more information about the workshops, click the link listed under “Educational Events” at the Center for Profitable Agriculture’s website: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of University of Tennessee Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

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Contact:

Hal Pepper, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777, hal.pepper@utk.edu