Dr. Kim Morgan, Assistant Professor and Kohl Junior Faculty Fellow
Market Maker, a 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 supply chain.
Our Virginia Market Maker portal is managed by the VCE Market Maker Team, which includes Drs. Kim Morgan and Gordon Groover, Extension Economists in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department. As managers, we have the opportunity to offer featured listings for those agribusinesses that are registered on Virginia Market Maker and have completed all business details. If you would like to have your farm or agribusiness featured on the Market Maker home page, please contact Dr. Kim Morgan at KLMorgan@vt.edu and we will add you to the list!
The first featured listing type is the Business Spotlight, located on the top right corner of the home page. Currently, the Business Spotlight listing is Wegmeyer Farms, a Loudon County farm that offers pick-your-own strawberries and pumpkins, and most recently shares in their Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Wegmeyer Farms was selected as this month’s Business Spotlight in recognition of their completed Market Maker Business Profile, which included a link to their farm website, product offerings, business contact information and hours of operation, admission information, methods of sale, and facility detail.
A second featured listing type is the Taste of Virginia, located on the lower left corner of the home page. A key difference between the Business Spotlight and Taste of Virginia listing options is the ability of the agribusiness to offer an online store option to their customers. Our current Taste of Virginia listing is Cibulo Farms, a Culpeper operation that direct-markets bison and free-range pork products at four Washington, D.C., farmers’ markets, and, through their on-farm retail and online stores. Cibulo Farms was selected as the August Taste of Virginia agribusiness in recognition of their online store capability and unique product offerings sold direct to consumers. Note that Cibulo Farms has indicated their affiliation with Mid-Atlantic Growers and Consumers Cooperative in their listing, which helps their customers to identify those agribusinesses connected to recognized and trusted partners participating in known networks.
Remember, to help buyers find your Virginia Market Maker listing, fully complete your business profile, include your social media links (such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter), and, add any affiliate organizations connected to your agribusiness. If you need help, send an email to Dr. Kim Morgan at KLMorgan@vt.edu. Be sure to check next month’s blog for more details on the Virginia Market Maker affiliate programs!
More About Virginia Market Maker
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, 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.
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.
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!