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Discussions with Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists and agents revealed that there exists an information gap between the public and academic sectors. Consequently, potential food business owners overlook the time and resources required to develop all aspects of the enterprise, leading to business failure. We determined this problem is twofold - an increased interest in value added products and the downsizing of extension services. Our web-based Food as a Business curriculum is intended to bridge the information gap that exists between the public and academic sectors. Upon completion of this program, participants will possess a set of written plans outlining their business plans and the resources they need to take concrete steps towards bringing the operation to life. This will allow time-constrained Extension specialists and agents to provide critical feedback and assistance targeted to meet the needs of their client. In addition, any potential partners to the new business, such as co-packers or bankers, will have the information they need to join the venture.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
March 18, 2019