STURBRIDGE, Mass. — The Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference & Trade Show is once again coming to Sturbridge, MA in March, 2017. This is the 6th biennial New England conference and it draws hundreds of farmers and farm industry members to idea-laden workshops and to hear motivational speakers. Mark your calendars now for March 7th to 9th and join your fellow regional agriculturists for a jam-packed program!
The theme of the 2017 conference is Turn Up the Volume on Your Farm Marketing! Attendees will experience nearly 30 workshops on topics such as retail and wholesale marketing, agri-tourism, business planning, value added product development, social media and online marketing and lots more. An all day workshop for New England Farmers’ Market Managers will be held on Wednesday, March 8th. Don’t forget the trade show with a large variety of agricultural suppliers and vendors! A reception will be held in the trade show for conference attendees on Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
New for 2017 are two pre-conference tours on Tuesday, March 7th. The tours will feature several stellar farm businesses and marketing and production venues in the region.
Kicking of the educational workshops on Wednesday, March 8th at 8:00 am is conference keynote speaker, Craig Ostbo, managing partner and chief marketing and brand strategist from Koopman Ostbo Marketing Communications in Portland, OR. Craig will challenge the perception that just because your job title or business card doesn’t say “marketing” doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for marketing your farm’s brand.
On Thursday, March 9th at 8:00 am, Craig will lead a keynote panel of industry and media professionals from around New England including producers, media specialists, and communication directors in a discussion entitled, Media Strategies: When Things Go Right….and Wrong. From real-world circumstances, you’ll learn tips, tricks and techniques designed to help you develop a plan for preparedness to promote the good and address the seemingly bad.
Farmers interested in getting their farms authorized to accept SNAP (formerly food stamps) will be able to drop in at the SNAP Resource Center-one stop shopping where farmers and market managers can complete their USDA application to accept SNAP benefits and obtain information on low cost wireless equipment to process SNAP payments.
Early Bird registration is now open. Click here or go to www.harvestnewengland.org/events for more information. Program details and lodging options are also available at this site. Register early for the best rate!
Harvest New England (HNE) is a cooperative marketing program created by New England’s state departments of agriculture in 1992. It has sponsored this regional conference since 2007. For more information, contact Jaime.Smith@ct.gov.
–Harvest New England
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