The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission is hosting an Agriculture Marketing Conference specifically tailored to benefit Southern Maryland region farm enterprises. The Conference will be held at the College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick campus, on Nov. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“This is SMADC’s first ever full-day Marketing Conference,” Karyn Owens, SMADC’s program specialist and conference coordinator, said in a news release. “SMADC is well known for its niche marketing workshops. This conference takes our outreach to the next level with a full-day, multi-track slate of focus topics designed to meet the needs of beginning and experienced growers and farmers engaged in all types of agriculture.”
Producers and farmers (of the land or water) looking to brush up their marketing skills ahead of the 2020 season and learn something new to enhance their business trajectory, will find topics are broadly applicable to a wide range of agricultural enterprises, according to the release. Four tracks with breakout sessions will be offered: New and Beginning Farm Enterprises, Advanced Marketing Skills, State-Wide Trainings and ‘On the Horizon’ featuring new or popular industries, including industrial hemp, urban agriculture, grains and agritourism. Presentations will cover business and marketing foundation planning and evaluation, products and pricing, photography, social media strategy and marketing enhancement, regulatory “need to know” and more.
Conference speakers are drawn from SMADC’s extensive network of credentialed organizations and industry partners featuring Grow and Fortify, The Institute of Applied Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension and regional marketing and economic development specialists.
Keynote speaker Kellie Hinkle, chief of tourism for Charles County, will give a presentation during the lunch break. Well-known for her enthusiastic support for local agriculture, Hinkle has particular expertise in assisting start-ups and expanding agricultural and rural businesses, according to the release. She recently served as the acting assistant director for the Loudoun County (Va.) Department of Economic Development and as an agricultural development officer for Loudoun County Department of Economic Development and Jefferson County (Va.) Development Authority.
Following the keynote presentation, a novel addition to the lunch hour includes a “rapid fire” farmer panel featuring Southern Maryland graduates of the LEAD Maryland Program, a two-year agricultural and natural resources leadership development program through the University of Maryland Extension. Panelists will respond to questions about their farm businesses and experiences.
For conference details, agenda and to register, visit “News & Events” at SMADC.com. An early bird registration of $30 is being accepted until Oct. 25; thereafter, general admission will increase to $40 per person. The ticket includes a light breakfast and catered lunch.
View registration details at www.eventbrite.com/e/southern-maryland-ag-marketing-conference-tickets-67810610361.