Preregister Today for Farmers Market Boot Camp Workshops in January and February

University of Tennessee Extension announces a new round of Farmers Market Boot Camps for producers planning to grow fruits, vegetables or nuts for direct marketing. In January and February 2017 farmers will have the opportunity to learn about selecting crops and varieties that may give them an advantage with customers at the market.


Six workshops, each covering the same training, are scheduled across Tennessee in January and February. “We want to give farmers the information they need to wisely choose what crops to grow and how to successfully grow them” says UT Extension’s Annette Wszelaki, a vegetable production specialist. “These workshops should help growers build their marketing plan’s foundation.”


The workshops are intended for farmers who plan to direct market at farmers markets and other outlets. Session titles include:


  •        * Making the Most of Your Vegetable Crops for Market
  •        * Challenges and Opportunities in the Production and Marketing of Fruit and Nut Crops
  •       *  Recordkeeping Tools for Small Fruit and Vegetable Farms
  •        * Using Your Records to Develop Enterprise Budgets


Hal Pepper, a financial specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, adds that the workshops will cover the basics of building production and marketing budgets.

The workshops will be held in Dickson (Jan. 24), Dyersburg (Jan. 25), Bolivar (Jan. 26), Cookeville (Jan. 31), Chattanooga (Feb. 1) and Knoxville (Feb. 2). Check-in begins at 9 a.m. local time and sessions will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Workshop sessions will be taught by Wszelaki and Pepper along with their colleagues Dave Lockwood, UT Extension fruit and nut production specialist, and Margarita Velandia, a UT agricultural and resource economist specializing in niche marketing. Sponsors of the workshops include the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, the Southern Risk Management Education Center, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets.


Preregister to attend a workshop online at  There is a $20 registration fee, and lunch will be provided. Preregistration is required at least five business days prior to each workshop. Advance registration is encouraged as space is limited.


These workshops fulfill a TAEP educational requirement in only the following Producer Diversification sectors: Fruits & Vegetables and Value-Added. For additional information regarding educational programs for TAEP requirements, please contact Clay Dunivan at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 615-837-5348.


For more information about the workshops, visit the website for the Center for Profitable Agriculture:  Look for a link under the “educational events” menu.