Transportation Costs Workshops for Farmers

If you market food products you grow directly to consumers, to institutions, retailers or through a distributor you’ll want to attend one of the following free public workshops conducted by the Land Stewardship Project on calculating and reducing the costs of transporting direct-marketed farm products to customers. Chose the date and location that works best for you:

THIS MONDAY – April 4, 2011 in Litchfield, MN at the Public Library, 216 North Marshall Avenue from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Produce farmer Greg Reyonlds of Riverbend Farm will talk about his transportation costs and how they figure into running a successful farming operation.

Space is limited for this workshop so please RSVP to Tom Taylor at 320-269-2105 or ttaylor@landstewardshipproject.org to secure your place and to find out what farm information you should bring. Let him know how many people will be attending with you. There will be a light supper at 5:30 with the workshop starting at 6:00. This workshop is free and open to the public.

April 12, 2011 – Morris, MN at the Ag Country Auditorium of the West Central Research and Outreach Center from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Mike Stine transportation and distribution costs and how that’s helped him create a system that works for his grass fed beef farm.

If neither of these dates or locations work for you, this same workshop will be held in the Winona-Lewiston area sometime in July, 2011.

For both of the April workshops, a light supper will be available at 5:30 p.m., and the workshop will begin at 6 p.m. Space is limited so RSVPs are required. To RSVP and get more details about this workshop by contacting Tom Taylor or Terry VanDerPol at 320-269-2105.

Gasoline and diesel fuel prices are skyrocketing, and for anyone who markets food products, increasing transportation costs are cutting into their profits. To bring transportation costs under control, it’s important to know exactly what they add to the cost of the products farmers sell.

This hands-on workshop will provide tools and resources to better understand the transportation costs incurred in a farm marketing business, and what transportation adds to the cost of each unit of farm product delivered.

“When farmers began developing these direct-from-the-farm markets a few years ago, the attitude was ‘Do whatever it takes to make it work,’ ” said Terry VanDerPol, Community Food Systems Director for the Land Stewardship Project.

“But as this sector of the economy grows and matures, it’s become clear activities such as transporting the product from Point A to Point B can benefit from the use of distributors or integrators. In order to determine if such strategies fit their operations, farmers need to get a better handle on their costs.”

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