Imagine a place where farmers and buyers join forces. Relationships are forged, connections are made, and a locally-sourced meal joins everyone together. This place is not a figment of our local food-loving imaginations. It happens right here every winter at ASAP’s Business of Farming conference.
The conference is a place for new and established farmers to meet and learn from each other, as well as meet with with food buyers who can bring their products to the community. A unique component is the lunchtime grower-buyer meetings, which are a chance for farmers and buyers to plan and connect, starting with putting a face to the name.
Restaurant owners, chefs, distributors and grocers discover new farm products and form relationships with growers. Farmers meet new buyers, establish commonalities, and learn valuable skills for building a successful business.
Networking is a key part of the conference, and so are workshops on everything from marketing to agritourism. Farmers can pick up tips on the do’s and don’ts of selling to restaurants, learn how to craft their farm story, and find out ways to make social media more engaging for the public.
There’s more to farming than growing produce, raising animals, or making farm-fresh products. Planning is also an essential part of the growing process. The lull of winter is actually a busy season for farmers. They have think ahead to decide not just what to plant, but where to sell it. It’s a time when farmers learn how to access new markets and set goals to keep their farms thriving all year. The Business of Farming conference is a place gain the knowledge and skills to do just that.
Growing Local will dive deep into the conference to share the sounds of local food systems in the making. Stay tuned to meet farmers, buyers, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the business of farming. More information about the conference can be found at www.asapconnections.org