Virginia Market Maker, Part I: Introduction

Dr. Kim Morgan, Assistant Professor and Kohl Junior Faculty Fellow

Market Maker, an web-based portal that serves as a virtual marketplace for producers, distributors, and sellers, and buyers of agricultural products, seeks to provide farm-to-fork access to participants in the food va-MarketMakerLogo-rgbsupply chain.

It is with great excitement that Virginia Cooperative Extension announces the official launch of Virginia Market Maker on June 9, 2015!

Virginia Market Maker, a multi-entity partnership that operates under the auspices of Virginia Cooperative Extension, is the largest and most in-depth national database for the agricultural industry, providing that provides a simple registration process and search tools to connect buyers, farmers and ranchers, fisheries, farmers markets, processors and packers, wineries, restaurants, and more. With the generous support of partners and stakeholders including the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Farm Credit, Market Maker is available at no cost to Virginia producers, processors, and consumers. For a full overview of the Market Maker portal, including details on how to register your agricultural business, search for farmers’ markets or agritourism operations near your location, or to learn more about the portal, follow this link to an informational YouTube video: Market Maker Introduction.

The Market Maker portal provides numerous benefits to Virginia agribusinesses and consumers:
• Secure, and efficient registration process that allows agribusiness managers to detail their product offerings, business location and hours, payment methods, seasonal availability, type of operation, etc.
• Agribusinesses can differentiate their listing based on categories of certifications, types of animals or products offered, processing or value-added options, production characteristics, product sales offerings and packaging and pricing options, and cross-list by social media listings, affiliations, and media information.
•Once registered, agribusinesses can securely access their unique Market Maker profile and edit their information at any time, creating new contacts and personalized communications with their customers.
• All food supply chain participants, from farm to fork, may conduct custom searches of the database to discover potential new markets and foster agribusiness partnerships between businesses and consumers, improving trade connections across Virginia and the 21 partner Market Maker states, including the District of Columbia.

Market Maker provides simple yet powerful search tools to connect with others across the production and distribution chain. For additional information on how registering your agribusiness on the Virginia Market Maker portal can add value to your marketing plan, Why Market Maker? highlights the value of building strategic partnerships that result in improved resource management, market access and long-term profitability.
The National Food Market Maker portal was created by University of Illinois Extension Specialists Darlene and Richard Knipe in 2004, and was purchased by the non-profit organization Riverside Research in 2013. A cattle producer, food pantry, farmers market, 4-H programs, dairy, orchard, berry farms, food distributor and a kosher manufacturing facility shared their Market Maker success stories in this article: Who’s Using Market Maker?

Visit the Virginia Market Maker page on the Virginia Cooperative Extension site for new updates and information on educational programs offered, or, contact Dr. Kim Morgan for additional information. Share this post using the links following this article, and, stay connected by subscribing to this blog to receive updates on Virginia Market Maker programming, follow Dr. Morgan on Twitter and, like the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department on Facebook!

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