Oregon Farm Direct Marketing conference to be held Feb. 28

February 13, 2004

CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Extension Service and the Oregon Farmers' Market Association is sponsoring a day-long conference, "Farm Direct Marketing in Oregon: The Niche is Growing."

The conference will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Valley River Inn in Eugene. Refreshments and registration begin at 8 a.m. Keynote speakers convene at 9:30 a.m. The conference ends at 5 p.m.

Conference workshops will be of interest to farmers, farmers' market managers, food retailers, restaurant owners, community members and leaders, agricultural professionals and community food policy advocates, according to OSU program organizers.

Workshops include: farm direct marketing sales expansion and diversification; beyond produce: protein foods in the market; move from selling to marketing; collaborative marketing; grant support for local food initiative; and direct marketers relationships in the community.

Keynote speakers will be Gus Schumacher and Dave Lakey. Schumacher, former under secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will speak on "Fostering Diversity in America's Farmers' Markets: Products, Policies and Farmers." Lakey, president of The Lake Group, a marketing firm, will facilitate a focus group on "Consumer Views of Direct and Local Marketing."

The Oregon Farmers' Market Association's annual market managers forum will meet the day before, on Friday, Feb. 27, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Lane County office of the OSU Extension Service. The meeting agenda includes the Oregon Trail food stamp program and market manager "speed dating." Registration for this meeting is posted at: www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org/ or call 503-233-8425.

Registration for the farm direct marketing conference is $25 per person or $40 per couple, including refreshments and lunch. Information and registration materials are posted on the Web at: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/farmdirect/FDM2004_Brochure.pdf.

For more information or registration materials call 541-766-6750 or 800-365-0201.

The deadline for pre-registration is Wednesday, Feb. 18. Make checks payable to ARF. On-site registration will be $35 per person.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Linda Brewer