February 21, 2007

An innovative new web-based system will soon connect Kentucky agricultural businesses, farmers and markets in a unique way to benefit consumers and producers alike. 

Called MarketMaker, the system features a mapping function and census data on locales and will enable buyers and sellers of food products to find each other quicker and easier. Sellers can use this interactive tool to identify potential markets and find processors and other businesses they need to profitably move their products to the market. Access to the Web site is free and open to the public from any computer connected to the Internet.

“MarketMaker is already working in three states, and we’re excited it’s now available to our Kentucky agricultural producers and food-related businesses,” said Steve Isaacs, Cooperative Extension assistant director for community and economic development for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. 

The program comes to Kentucky through the collaborative efforts of the UK College of Agriculture, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, and Allied Food Marketers.

“Each partner has played a crucial role in launching MarketMaker Kentucky,” said Michael Judge, executive director of the Office of Agricultural Marketing and Product Promotion at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “We’ve all added so many different pieces – farmer, processor, market lists, online resources – that we can’t tell where the lines are drawn and that truly indicates a strong multi-partner collaboration.”

MarketMaker was recently demonstrated to Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension agents at their statewide conference in early February. Other presentations are scheduled for the Community Farm Alliance annual meeting, Ohio River Valley Farm Marketing Conference, KDA’s Farmer’s Market Summits and the Growing Kentucky II symposium in March at UK.

Kentucky is only the fourth state to become part of this national program developed by University of Illinois Extension. For a closer view, visit Kentucky MarketMaker athttp://www.marketmakerky.com. If you’d like more information contact UK Food Systems Initiative coordinator Bob Perry at kymarketmaker@uky.edu, or call Perry at 859-257-8890.


Bob Perry, 859-257-8890