2010-10-07 / Local & State

Income Opportunities Program For Ag-Entrepreneurs

A shallot may be just a fancy name for an onion, but to many producers, this niche product may be an essential component of their product line at area farmers’ markets. Producers throughout the country have felt the sting of falling commodity prices that have reduced cash flow, margins and overall profitability. Some producers are tired of the commodity pricing merry-goround and are taking control of their market and are bypassing the middleman by either creating value-added products like specialty cheeses and yogurts or by marketing their high quality farm products directly to consumers.

If you are tired of the commodity merry-go-round and are looking for some ideas for your small farm, consider attending the Income Opportunities Conference for Agricultural Entrepreneurs at Southern Fulton High School. This November 13 conference will feature an array of presentations on marketing, financial management and enterprise development for ag-entrepreneurs. Afternoon sessions will feature three distinct tracks for the ag-entrepreneur. Track one will focus on biomass crops, edible soybeans (edamame) and oil seed crops that can be grown in the Mid-Atlantic. Track two will feature sessions for entrepreneurs considering berry production, greenhouse production and high tunnel vegetable production. Track three will feature sessions on sheep production, goat production and small-scale livestock production. There is a $30- per-person registration fee for this conference and includes a hot meal, morning refreshments and handouts. AgChoice has also announced that this conference will qualify for two Smart Start credits for new and beginning and young farmer AgChoice borrowers. If you would like to attend the November 13 income opportunities conference or just want some more information, please contact extension educator Greg Strait at 717-485-4111 or Tom Ford at 814-940-5989.

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