MANHATTAN –The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host four regional workshops in 2016 to assist farmers’ market vendors and managers.

Kansas farmers’ markets not only provide a fresh food source, but also stimulate the local economy. In 2015, 56 farmers’ markets were registered with KDA’s Central Registration of Farmers’ Markets.

“While selling food directly to consumers through farmers’ markets provides growers a chance to tell their farm’s story, there are also legal, safety and financial parameters that farmers need to understand before choosing this marketing tool,” said Londa Nwadike, consumer food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri.

Workshop topics will vary slightly by location. Highlighted topics include:

Planning your production planting for market season;Food safety requirements and updates;Vendor panels on marketing and other best practices;Value-added food product safety;Accepting non-cash payments (EBT, SFMNP).

KDA’s Division of Weights and Measures will also offer free scale certification at the workshops for attendees.

Dates and locations are as follows:

Jan. 29 – KSU Agriculture Research Center, 1232 240th Ave., Hays.Feb. 6 – KSU Sedgwick County Extension Office, 7001 W. 21st Street N., Wichita.Feb. 20 – KSU Research and Extension Southeast Center, 25092 Ness Rd., Parsons.March 11 – KSU Olathe, 22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe.

Early-bird registration is $20 and closes 10 days prior to the event. Participants can also register after the early-bird registration or on site for $25. Registration includes lunch. Registration forms can be found at FromtheLandofKansas.com/FMConference or at the local extension offices.