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Dozens of farmers get tips on the wholesale marketplacePrint

Food & Farming | February 13, 2013 | By Jim Sluyter

Atina Diffley's credibility, humor, solid information—and endurance—kept the audience engaged at the Wholesale Success workshop on Feb. 11. 

More than 60 people from nearly 50 farm operations crowded into the NW Michigan Horticultural Research Center on Feb. 11 to hear Atina Diffley deliver one of the most effective workshops in the five-year history of MLUI’s Get Farming! program.

“Wholesale Success” focused on the marketing, post-harvest handling and food safety needs of growers interested in moving into the wholesale marketplace. But almost all of those considerations are valuable to growers at any scale or marketing strategy.

Harry Norconk, with decades of experience in growing and marketing asparagus at Norconk Farm, said he came away with seven or eight new ideas or considerations that he will apply to his farm business. His overall impression? “It was excellent.”

Jill Kiteley started a small urban farm, Dream Acres, just last year and found the information “very applicable, especially ‘best practices’ and sanitation considerations that we can apply and use right away.”

Noel Weeks is just starting out on La Casa Verde Farm and found it “especially useful for a beginner” because it exposed him to issues he had not considered.

“I will be using some of the ideas presented to set up a washing station this spring,” Weeks said.

Everyone had high praise for Diffley, whose credibility, humor, and solid information—and endurance—kept the audience engaged from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Find resources, copies of handouts and presentations and other information at this site

More than 60 people from nearly 50 farm operations attended the Feb. 11 workshop on succeeding in the wholesale marketplace.