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AgriBusiness Summit

Mon 9:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Experience a one-day conference developed specifically with food, beverage and agriculture based businesses in mind. Sessions will include: --Marketing Your Food Business in a Post- COVID World -- Forest Farming -- Taking Your Business Online: How to Succeed with Online Sales & Delivery -- Opportunities for Local Meats -- How to Start Selling Your Ag Products on Shopify -- EmPOWERing Your Online Marketing Presence -- How to Start a New AgriBusiness -- Medicinal Herbs: Farm Business Diversification

Welcome Session: Meet Your Local Extension Agents- 8:45-9:30 Session 1: 9:30-10:45 Marketing Your Food Business in a Post-COVID World This session provides a crash course in what has changed for food and farm businesses since the disruptions of COVID-19 changed the way we market, sell, and deliver products. The class will cover business-to-business marketing, shifting to online media and sales, marketing with a public health mindset, positioning your brand as a trustworthy outlet in a time of uncertainty, and more. Session 2: 9:30-10:45 Forest Farming There is a wealth of marketable products that you can cultivate in your woods, including medicinal herbs, mushrooms, vegetables, nuts, and berries. In this colorful presentation, you will be introduced to the concept of forest farming and some of the products you can grow. We will focus on medicinal herbs, such as ginseng and goldenseal to illustrate how to grow them and the economics of production. Resources on how to learn more and get involved in local forest farming groups and activities will be provided. Session 3: 11:00-12:15 Taking Your Business Online: How to Succeed with Online Sales & Delivery This session brings in a special guest farm to talk about their transition during 2020 to online sales and delivery, and covers some of the platforms and options you can use to begin or increase online sales. The session will also cover the challenges and opportunities with pickup, shipping, delivery, branding, and logistics for online sales. Session 4: 11:00-12:15 Opportunities for Local Meats 2020 has highlighted opportunities for livestock producers to connect with consumers to sell local meats. To effectively develop a local meat business, there are a variety of things to consider. Join us to learn more about challenges and opportunities in niche meat production in NC. We'll discuss the requirements for selling meat in NC, considerations in marketing, and developing an effective pricing strategy. Session 5: 1:00-2:15 How to Start Selling Your Ag Products on Shopify Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell products. It is now the leading e-commerce platform designed for all sized businesses. If you sell online, on social media, in store, or out of the trunk of your car, Shopify has you covered in each situation. So whether you're opening a new online store or are interested in using Shopify as your e-commerce platform, you can find out more information about your options in this session. Session 6: 1:00-2:15 EmPOWERing Your Online Marketing Presence You can expand your marketing reach with social media multiple online platforms while developing your unique brand. EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems apprentices have worked with numerous food and farming businesses to ramp up online sales and marketing. Participants will be provided with a step by step guide to add these tools to their marketing plans. Session 7: 2:30-3:45 How to Start a New AgriBusiness There is a steep learning curve for starting any new business, and agriculture-based businesses are certainly no exception. This session will provide an overview of the regulatory and planning pieces you need to consider in starting an agribusiness. Learn about the variety of programs and resources available to farms in our region and where to go for additional support. Session 8: 2:30-3:45 Medicinal Herbs: Farm Business Diversification Medicinal Herbs are a specialty crops that can diversify your farm production. From small scale market gardeners to intensive contract farming, Thomas Leonard Farm Operations Manager at Gaia Herbs, will explain the basics of growing processing and selling medicinal herbs. This session will discuss the equipment and techniques used on a homestead scale or on a 350-acre production farm in Brevard, NC. Closing Session: Meet Your Lenders – 3:45-4:30

Speaker(s): tenBiz

Co-Sponsor(s): Cooperative Extension, NCDA, RC&D, USDA, NRCS, FSA and much more

Fee: No Cost

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