Farm Direct Marketing

Jeff Ishee jeff at
Tue Sep 26 21:49:04 EDT 2000

Dear Friends,

  Anyone in the eastern United States involved in agricultural direct
marketing will certainly want to check out the Mid-Atlantic Direct
Marketing Conference (MADMC) coming up next February. The Virginia
Farmers Direct Marketing Association is hosting the 4-day event, which
will take place at Virginia Beach. 
  Scheduled for February 21-24, 2001, the conference is being
cosponsored by the Departments of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension
in six states - including Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North
Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. 
  Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Carlton Courter will address the
conference on the importance of direct marketing to small family farms.
Keynote speaker Joel Salatin has been called "the most dynamic ag
speaker in North America" and will focus his address on "Relationship
  The MADMC conference will include intense sessions on New Approaches
to Display;  Wise Use of Advertising & Public Relations $; Food Safety
Regulations; Profiting from Farm Tours; and Purchasing Trends &

  Full conference information will be posted at in
just a few days. 

  Until then, you can see a tentative program for the conference at

  Of particular interest is a full day Farmers' Marketing workshop on
February 21st, delving into topics such as:

*Starting a Farmers' Market - Market organizers share their experience
in developing and establishing a new market. John Kirk - City of
Portsmouth, VA; Bernadine Prince  - American Farmland Trust, Washington,
DC (tentative)

*Market Strategies, Communications and Special Events - Practical
examples of how to provide for controlled growth of the market, create
newsletters and web sites, and  devise special events to attract
consumers, media and food professionals to your farmers' market. Lou
Nichols, Agri-Development Officer, Loudoun County, Virginia 

*Retail Farmers' Market Facility Design - The Virginia Tech College of
Architecture presents design considerations when a farmers' market
expands to a permanent structure. Specifics to be addressed will be
architectural integrity, ease of access for customers and vendors,
parking capacity, protection from the elements, etc.

*Marketeers Roundtable - Panel discussion on fundamental topics such as
market inspections, weights and measures, liability insurance, food
safety, and how to manage day-to-day operations of the market. We will
discuss the importance of communicating with vendors and consumers.
Facilitated by Jeff Ishee. Panelists include marketing authorities from
all six states and the District of Columbia.

  For registration information about the MADMC conference or the
farmers' marketing workshop, contact:
Cathy Belcher, VDACS, at (804) 786-4046; e-mail:
cbelcher at

For a complete MADMC program, contact:
Catherine T. Belcher
1100 Bank Street, Room 1021
Richmond, VA 23219

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