Tours of Local Food Buyers Coming to Nashville and Knoxville in September

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Events Conducted by the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Direct farm marketers and value-added agriculture entrepreneurs interested in learning more about selling products to wholesale buyers such as grocery stores, restaurants and institutions are encouraged to attend one of two upcoming food buyer tours to be held in Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, this fall.

“The purpose of these tours is to bring small groups of direct farm marketers and value-added entrepreneurs to various food buyer locations in order to network with buyers and learn more about the opportunities, methods and challenges of selling products to these marketing channels,” says Megan Bruch Leffew, marketing specialist with the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture.

Previous food buyer tours were conducted in Kentucky via the University of Kentucky’s MarketReady Producer Training Program. These Tennessee buyer tours are a direct result of collaboration between the Center for Profitable Agriculture and the MarketReady Producer Training Program on behalf of the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative.

Alaina Boyd, an Extension assistant with the Center, participated in two of the Kentucky tours and has been pivotal in planning and coordinating the Tennessee events. “These food buyer tours offer our producers a chance to network with wholesale buyers and form valuable connections in their local communities. While the tours especially target value-added dairy producers, all interested producers and technical assistance providers are welcome to participate,” says Boyd.

The Nashville MarketReady Buyer Tour will take place on Thursday, September 21. The Knoxville MarketReady Buyer Tour will take place on Thursday, September 28. Participants will meet at a designated location in each city prior to beginning the tour. Participants may drive themselves to each stop, but carpooling is encouraged. For more detailed information on dates, times and logistics, visit

The tours are free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Interested producers are encouraged to register online now at Registration is open until spaces are filled or until September 14 for the Nashville event and September 21 for the Knoxville event. 

These tours are made possible through the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative with funding made possible, in part, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. Additional information about the Southeastern Dairy Business Initiative can be found at

Please contact Alaina Boyd at with questions.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a partnership between the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. The Center has worked for 25 years to help farmers analyze and develop value-added agriculture enterprises. Learn more about the Center at

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Media Contact

Alaina Boyd

UT Center for Profitable Agriculture