UACES Facebook MarketMaker resources featured at Chicago conference
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MarketMaker resources featured at Chicago conference

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
June 13, 2017

Fast Facts:

  • Division of Agriculture extension personnel demonstrate technology at produce industry expositions in Chicago
  • U of A faculty to present activities of USDA Agricultural Marketing Service project 

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CHICAGO – A Professor of Economics with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is providing national leadership to a program designed to connect local growers with new customers. That program will be featured this week at United Fresh 2017, a multi-expo and conference event in Chicago and one of the largest gatherings of businesses operating across the produce industry.

Ron Rainey, a Professor of Economics with the Division of Agriculture, will lead a collaboration with National MarketMaker at the events taking place June 13-16. MarketMaker, which was originally developed by the University of Illinois in 2004, helps growers more effectively market their produce to customers both far and near through the use of online resources, as well as to develop farmers’ markets and other point-of-sale venues.

Rainey and MarketMaker founders will be discussing and demonstrating aspects of the program this week at both the United Fresh MKT and United Fresh TEC expos at the West Building in McCormick Place, located in Chicago.

Rainey said discussions will focus on the use of MarketMaker as a tool for mapping local food resources, as well as a new web application.

“The university is leading an Agricultural Marketing Service project, in conjunction with MarketMaker and the USDA,” Rainey said. “The goal for this project is to improve local leaders’ and food entrepreneurs’ understanding of the structure of their local and regional food systems, with a focus on transparently highlighting the market participants, infrastructure and market channels.”

The goal of the mapping project is to integrate business data from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service into MarketMaker, which works as an online resource, providing search and mapping functions. MarketMaker is operated by a network of 21 state partners, working to build capacity for local food system development.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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