MarketReady partners with several different agencies and service providers to offer you the highest quality information. Check out each of our partner organizations below.
Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD)
KCARD is a 501 (c)-3 non-profit organization established to facilitate agricultural and rural business development in Kentucky. KCARD provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and business support services to businesses that are mutually owned by producers. KCARD is supported through grants from the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant program and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.
Click here to visit their website. Check out their YouTube page here. Some of their business development services include assisting with feasibility studies & marketing assessment, business management & operations analysis, incorporations & adoption of legal agreements, the recruitment and hiring of managers, developing organizational charts, administrative & personnel policies, & job descriptions. Some of their business maintenance services include: on-site business consultations, business plan development, record keeping assistance, cost analysis, marketing plan development, facility and store layout assessment.
Center for Crop Diversification (CCD)
The Center for Crop Diversification is a specialty crops focused cooperative extension organization based out of the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food & Environment. The CCD provides price reports, large and small scale budgets, and so much more. Check out their website here and their YouTube channel here.
Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC)
The Kentucky Horticulture Council represents the horticulture industry within the state including specialty crop growers and green industry business owners. The KHC offers cost-share programs, ag water quality testing, farm-to-school resources, and so much more. The Kentucky Horticulture Council is one of our go-to places for information. Check out their website here and YouTube channel here.
The Food Systems Innovation Center (FSIC)
The Food Systems Innovation Center(FSIC) provides technical and business development services to facilitate the profitable production, processing and marketing of locally produced and processed food by Kentucky-based enterprises and entrepreneurs.
The FSIC was created to assist processors, producers and entrepreneurs to maximize their market capabilities by having access to UK's technical and business expertise.The center is a collaborative effort of a number of departments within the College of Agriculture including the Department of Animal and Food Science and the Department of Agricultural Economics.
Check out their website here and their services below:
Consumer, Sensory and Demand Studies
In collaboration with the FSIC, the Department of Agricultural Economics conducts consumer, demand studies, economic impact and feasibility studies. Our clients can gather valuable market analysis and product placement information to develop overall business strategy. Data from these studies can assess consumer willingness-to-pay and product feature preferences such as formulation or packaging. Through regular surveys of Kentucky consumer households and the ability to work with panels nationwide, the FSIC can provide timely market information. The FSIC provides services to farming communities, manufacturers of all sizes and to industry or government associations.
Food Chemistry Testing
Basic chemical analysis and testing requirements for the food industry are provided by our chemical laboratory division which specializes in testing for process validation such as salt, pH, CO2 and O2 levels, water activity and several other analyses.
With new legislature in place more food manufacturers are required to label their food products in order to conduct business. As it is a necessity for a large part of the food industry, manufacturers should seek assistance in verifying their labeling requirements. The FSIC performs the necessary analysis and develops nutrition labeling information for all product categories.
FSIC is able to perform Process Reviews for Canned Acidified Foods and FDA 2541e exempt canned products. Process Reviews are required by the FDA and KY Food Safety Branch for any canned foods sold beyond the Home-based Processor and Microprocessor certified outlets. We do not perform reviews for non-Kentucky residents, effective 10/21/15, and submissions from states other than Kentucky will be rejected.
If you are a Kentucky Resident seeking a Process Review from our Process Authority, please click here for process review. PLEASE NOTE: the FSIC is not accepting Process Review submissions at this time due to COVID-19.
Filing instructions and tips for the FDA 2541e form are found on the FDA website.
Product safety is a key concern in the minds of food manufacturers as well as consumers and all stakeholders in the supply chain. Determining quality, safety and risk can all be performed by our microbiological testing laboratory. Food borne pathogen testing, shelf life determination and challenge studies, environmental testing, identifying process or preservative system failures, food station and plant sanitation process verification are some of the staple procedures carried out by our microbiological testing service.
Shelf life testing - From fresh, refrigerated and frozen products to shelf stable products and processed meats all food products have an optimal time during which the customer should consumer it, both for safety and for quality purposes.
Risk Assessment- Pathogens are one of the main concerns to the consumer. Validation studies can be done to ensure your process is appropriate and results in a safe, acceptable product to the consumer.
The FSIC's sensory panel services can help our clients to determine consumer acceptance of a product, identify potential flavor, visual, other sensory issues and provide descriptive feedback. Sensory analyses are a key component in a successful food marketing plan and can provide data prior to market launches to ensure success. With sensory testing, you can match flavors, make better product launch decisions and know more about your potential customers before your product is on the market.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA)
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is a consumer protection and service agency that affects the lives of all Kentuckians every day. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture administers Kentucky Proud, the state's official farm marketing program. the KDA has many services, programs, and resources which are helpful for producers. A few highlights are:
Kentucky Proud Program
Why buy KY Proud - Kentucky Proud stands for foods, nursery items, crafts, agritourism sites, farmers' markets, state parks, and many other products and destinations with roots in Kentucky soil. Kentucky Proud foods are raised, grown, or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians. You can serve Kentucky Proud foods to your family with the confidence that they came from your friends and neighbors just down the road.
Why be KY Proud - Kentucky Proud is the official state marketing program for agricultural products. There is no charge to join. As a Kentucky Proud member, you can consult with Kentucky Department of Agriculture marketing specialists; apply for grants and cost share funds; buy promotional items at cost; display the Kentucky Proud logo; and take advantage of many more member benefits.
Find KY Proud - Kentucky Proud offers an interactive page to locate Kentucky Proud businesses and people. You can search by businesses, category and/or county.
Register to be a KY Proud Member Here.
Additional Programs to consider:
- Appalachia Proud - Appalachia Proud is a trademarked brand in the Kentucky Proud family and cannot be copied or used without the express written consent of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
- Homegrown by Heroes - Homegrown by Heroes is a brand that identifies farm products produced by Kentucky farmer/veterans. Consumers can say "thank you" to our veterans by looking for products bearing the Homegrown By Heroes logo.
- Restaurant Rewards - Restaurant Rewards offers Kentucky restaurants and food services up to 20 percent back for the purchase of eligible Kentucky Proud products up to $12,000 in a 12-month period.
- Farm to School - The Kentucky Proud Farm to School Program helps Kentucky school food service directors locate and purchase local foods for their students to help them grow up to be healthy adults and teach them where their food comes from.
- Farm to Campus - The Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus program helps Kentucky colleges and universities locate and purchase farm-fresh foods for their foodservice systems and shelf-stable products for their campus bookstores.
- Livestock Tag Program - The Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program promotes animals that are born in Kentucky and enrolled in the program. Livestock exhibitors who show animals that are enrolled in the program are eligible for premiums.
Click HERE for a full list of KDA Programs
Click HERE for a full list of KDA Services