Experience a one-day conference developed specifically with food, beverage and agriculture based businesses in mind. Keeping pace with the agribusiness industry and the issues impacting growth and sustainability is a full-time job. Join us and reflect on how to make your existing agribusiness or idea stronger and deepen your understanding of what it takes to be successful for the long term. TRACK A- OPERATIONS TRACK B- SALES & MARKETING 9:00-9:15- Welcome and Introductions Session 1, TRACK A and B: 9:15-10:45 TRACK A, Session 1: Rules & Regulations for Simple Food Manufacturing Learn more about the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the role it plays in agribusiness. This session will define what low risk foods are, as well as the federal and state guidelines that are important to know. You will also become familiar with the laws that cover “home processing” and “low risk foods” in addition to a thorough understanding of the inspection process. or TRACK B, Session 1: Beginner Graphic & Marketing Design for Agribusinesses Would you like to have sharp and cleverly designed marketing pieces for your business? Good news, you don’t need experience in graphic design or even an investment in expensive software to do so. This session will show you how to use Canva, a free, web-based resource that will allow you to go from being a beginner to a master at graphics overnight! Learn how to create and publish professional and creative marketing designs that include brochures, flyers, social media graphics, logos, labels and more that would normally cost you a fortune. Turn your imagination into finished designs in minutes! Session 2, TRACK A and B: 11:00-12:30 TRACK A, Session 2: Financing and Grants For Ag Businesses Although food-based businesses are often difficult to qualify for a traditional bank loan, there are dozens of funders working to make access to capital a simpler and more straightforward process for owners of farm- and food-based businesses. This session includes the basics of working with lenders and grant agencies, getting your financing package together, basic grant writing skills, and resources for finding the funding source that is right for you. or TRACK B, Session 2: Grow Your Farm Business With the Right Marketing Strategies Marketing is an important component to attracting customers in any business, and it certainly is no different for agriculture-based businesses. This session introduces farm-based marketing strategies that will help expand your farm business. You will explore trends, discuss what customers really want and learn how to make the marketplace work best for you. LUNCH and KEYNOTE - 12:30-1:30 Introduction to High Tunnels Learn all about what a high tunnel is and how this farm tool can improve and expand your farm operation with high-quality, fresh produce year-round. Learn about the NRCS EQIP High Tunnel Initiative and how to apply. Session 3, TRACK A and B: 1:30-3:00 TRACK A, Session 3: Is Agritourism an Opportunity For Your Business? Agritourism offerings in North Carolina have greatly expanded in the last ten years. Consumers are increasingly interested in the farm experience. Many farms across the state are diversifying to offer unique experiences and adding to their income stream by doing so. This session will explore planning, logistics, regulatory issues, marketing and risk management, as well as make sure you know about the support that exists from state agencies. or TRACK B, Session 3: Social Media for Farm and Food Businesses A picture is worth a thousand words - and on Instagram and Facebook, it might be worth a thousand customers, too. Food-based businesses occupy a unique marketing niche in social and online media, and this session will help you understand which platforms are right for your business, provide step-by-step guides on how to implement social and online media successfully, and tips for maximizing your reach on these free and low-cost marketing platforms. Session 4, TRACK A and B: 3:15-4:45 TRACK A, Session 4: Bookkeeping and Tax Basics for Agripreneurs Keeping track of income and expenses, budgeting and paying taxes admittedly doesn’t sound like much fun for someone working in agriculture, but it is without a doubt critically important to the long-term success of your business. Stay on top of these things by knowing what you need to keep track of and how to do it. or TRACK B, Session 4: Customer Service Tips for AgriBusinesses In any agribusiness, happy and satisfied customers are the key to business survival and success. Customers who perceive a valuable experience while interacting with your business or visiting your operation are likely to become repeat customers and will often tell others about their satisfaction, making it one of the best marketing tools you have. Providing great customer service is easy to do with the right attitude and the proper procedures in place. This session will visit best practices related to great customer service to ensure you get it right!
Co-Sponsor(s): Cooperative Extension, NCDA, RC&D, USDA, NRCS, FSA and much more
Jackson Campus- Burrell Building
Fee: No Cost