Value-Added Marketing Strategies At Nov. 6 Meeting

Leopold Center offers free all-day workshop, featuring resources for farmer-led businesses.

The latest research on economics of alternative and organic enterprises, consumer demand for natural and organic meat, and other emerging business opportunities for farmers will be presented November 6 at a no-cost workshop hosted by Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

The day-long event will feature presentations on more than 30 projects currently funded by the Center's Marketing and Food Systems Initiative and the Value Chain Partnerships for a Sustainable Agriculture project (also coordinated by the Leopold Center). The workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Gateway Conference Center and Hotel in Ames.

"The Iowa projects we have supported are truly on the cutting edge of new market strategies for food and fiber enterprises," says Rich Pirog, who leads the Center's Marketing and Food Systems Initiative. "The tools and research findings from these projects can be used to help farmer-led businesses succeed."

Four areas of niche markets are targeted

Headlining the workshop will be reports from four working groups that target niche markets for pork, organic flax, local and regional foods, and crops for renewable energy and fiber production. Several concurrent sessions that follow will highlight results and updates for active projects. Topics include:

* Consumer market research;
* Challenges in selling to direct, retail and institutional food markets;
* Natural and organic meat production and quality management;
* Tools to help farmers succeed in niche markets;
* Linking community-based food systems with health and economic development;
* Economic impacts and implications of local/regional food, fiber and energy enterprises;
* Place-based foods and new food entrepreneurs;
* Community supported and local food enterprises; and
* Business planning programs for entrepreneurs and farmers.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by November 2 to ensure a lunch ticket. For information, contact [email protected]. Detailed agenda and registration are online at: www.leopold.iastate.edu/workshop.htm.

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