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Ag Summit

Wed 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

In partnership with Haywood Community College, experience a one-day conference developed specifically with food, beverage and agriculture based businesses in mind. During the opening session we'll introduce you to various local resources and take a deeper dive into what it takes to become a small farm business owner and an overview of what and who you'll need to get it off the ground the right way. 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.

Choose 1 of 2 session per time slot:

Sessions 1 and 2- 9:30-10:45

1- "Understanding Market Outlets and Opportunities"

In this session, you will be introduced to the various market outlets that are out there, how to connect with these outlets, requirements (if any) for selling into these outlets, and a few considerations for improving sales with each respective outlet.

2- "NCDA Food & Drug Rules & Regulations 1.0- Home Processing, Low-Risk and Value-Added Food Manufacturing"

In this session, you will learn more about the NC Department of Agriculture and their role in your food-based business. Low-risk foods will be defined and specific regulations and guidelines outlined for you. In addition, the federal and state requirements and laws over home processing and low-risk foods will be thoroughly explained, as will the inspection process. Examples will be provided and opportunities for questions and answers.

Sessions 3 and 4- 11:00-12:15

3- "Diversifying Dollars on Your Farm Using Less Than 10 Acres"

What can you do to diversify your agribusiness operation with 10 acres or less? Whether you only have 10 acres to farm, or you've got 100 acres and are looking to do something new on a few of them... this session will help you generate creative ideas and connect with like-minded participants.

4- "NCDA Food & Drug Rules & Regulations 2.0- High Risk Food and Value-Added Food Manufacturing"

This session will be focused on “high-risk foods” by definition, as well as “pathogens of concern”. High Risk food rules and regulations are designed and enforced by the NC Department of Agriculture to promote health and safety. These are extremely important and must be strictly followed in order to preserve public health as well as your company’s reputation and bottom line. Learn more about specific policies and rules, additional training and regulation requirements, and the inspection process. Examples will be provided, as well as time for discussion around specific questions and common problem areas.


Sessions 5 and 6- 1:15-2:30

5- "Understand the Basics of Finding Money for Your Ag Business"

If you think you might need financing for your ag business now or at any point in your future, you will learn all you need to be prepared to move forward. Find out what business lenders and other funders are looking for and how to know when you’re ready to start the process.

6- "Grow Your Ag Business With an Online Presence" A powerful online presence for your business is more important now than ever before! You can and should expand your marketing reach with social media and online platforms, all while developing your unique brand. Determine what sets you apart from your competition, and use that uniqueness to ramp up online sales and marketing. This session will provide a step-by-step guide to add these tools to your ongoing marketing plans.

Sessions 7 and 8- 2:45-4:00

7- "Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse"

Learn the art of selling your product, your service and yourself! Contrary to popular opinion, selling isn’t as much about gimmicks, presentations and sales speeches as it is about listening and getting to know what your customer really wants. Participants will learn valuable skills on how to listen to the customer and clearly communicate the benefits of what they have to offer.

8- "Tapping Into Growth Potential with Season Extension Tools"

Seasonal climates can really limit the potential for growers and producers to a certain point, but discovering ways to work around those limitations can open up doors for expansion and growth. In this session, you’ll 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. In addition, you’ll be introduced to available cost share programs for funding assistance and see how this tool can increase revenues and make your business more profitable.

Fee: No Cost


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