your-news image
Agricultural producers from across the Northeast will convene March 1-3 in scenic Sturbridge, MA, for Harvest New England Association's third biannual marketing conference and trade show. The theme of the 2011 event is "The Expanding New England Farm Enterprise: Reaping More from What We Sow."

This unique conference targets New England farmers interested in learning new marketing techniques and fine-tuning existing business strategies. Over 25 educational sessions will cover a wide range of topics including social media use, funding opportunities, customer relations, value-added products and agritourism.

Pre-conference workshops March 1 will include USDA Good Agricultural Practices training and ideas for effective farmers market management. Retail marketing expert John Stanley will deliver the keynote address March 2. Mr. Stanley will explain concepts of profitable merchandising and display, and will provide practical tips for increasing sales.

On March 3, Vermont farmer Ben Hewitt, author of "The Town that Food Saved," will discuss the potential that farms and producers have to revitalize their communities and keep money circulating locally.

A trade show of nearly 100 vendors will run March 2-3, providing information on the latest products and services for the agricultural community. Attendees will have ample opportunity to visit the trade between conference sessions.

The event will be held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center. Over 800 attendees attended the second conference in February 2009; even more are expected to turn out in 2011. For a complete schedule or to register, visit www.harvestnewengland.org.

The conference and trade show are sponsored by Harvest New England and all six New England state departments of agriculture in collaboration with the Cooperative Development Institute, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets, the Rhode Island Center for Agricultural, Promotion & Education, and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.