MarketMaker 2012 Innovation Awards
Mississippi and Kentucky MarketMaker Teams were honored by Farm Credit with the 2012 National Food MarketMaker Innovation Award. Awards were presented at the National Value Added Agriculture Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on July 25, 2012.
MarketMaker, an online marketing resource that connects food producers with markets, invited all of the participating states to submit proposals highlighting their innovative efforts. Awards were given in two categories: 1) Partnership, and 2) Education, Research and Outreach.
Four Mississippi organizations united to produce the Partnership Award winning program, “Eat Healthy Mississippi”. Restaurant chefs and owners used MarketMaker to find local producers to supply local foods to be used by the restaurants. The restaurants, in turn, used the local foods to create more healthy recipes for patrons.
Kentucky’s “MarketReady” program won the Education, Research and Outreach Award. MarketReady is a marketing education program targeted to local food producers and suppliers seeking to sell to restaurants, grocery, wholesale, or foodservice buyers. The training integrates MarketMaker as a tool along with best supplier practices across a range of business-to-business functions.
Representing Farm Credit at the awards ceremony was Gary Matteson, Vice President of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach. “Farm Credit is proud to recognize the creativity and effectiveness of all entries to the 2012 National Food MarketMaker Innovation Award. It’s impressive to see how resourceful each MarketMaker program is, and understand the potential for these great ideas to be put to good use in other states.”
MarketMaker is hosted and maintained by University of Illinois and is guided by an advisory board made up of representatives from among participating partner states. The National website is located at: www.foodmarketmaker.com. The site currently includes 19 participating states plus Washington, D.C. There is no charge associated with having a business listed on the site or to search the site for information.
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