COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio ranks in the top five nationally for direct farm sales, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a direct marketing conference taking place in January is designed to keep Ohio farmers at the top when it comes to exploring trend opportunities, reaching new markets, and improving their bottom line.
The Ohio Direct Agricultural Marketing Conference, sponsored by Ohio State University Extension's Direct Marketing Team and the Ohio Direct Agriculture Marketing Association, will be held Jan. 14-17, 2007, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress, the National Bramble Conference, and the Mid-American Ag & Hort Human Resource Conference.
Participants can expect to benefit from educational workshops, a trade show, social gatherings and special events.
Events kick off on Jan. 14 with a Direct Marketing Agripreneuer Boot Camp from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration for the event is $35 for Direct Agriculture Marketing Association (DAMA) members and $65 for non-members. The event will explore the elements of direct marketing in today's rapidly changing marketplace, from exploring new product opportunities and new places, to generating profits, to discovering strategies and resources beneficial to a farm operation.
One-day feature event workshops are slated for Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost to attend the workshops is $75 for DAMA members and $115 for non-members, and includes lunch.
Workshops include rethinking the way business is done with "Ban Customers and Grow Your Business, Advanced Retail Concepts," presented by John Stanley, and engaging in team building on the farm with "Hosting Team Building Events on Your Farm, Attract New Groups" presented by Jim Cain.
The day will also include a free workshop on farmer experiences of what worked and what didn't work with their direct marketing operations with "What Flew/What Flopped," from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Direct marketing sessions will be highlighted Jan. 16-Jan. 17, all included in the price of a full or one-day conference registration. Topics include branding, market opportunities, marketing results for farmers' market managers, Internet marketing trends, diversification opportunities, agritourism, growing and selling for chefs and restaurants, risk management, and food safety.
For more information about the Ohio Direct Agriculture Marketing Association Conference, log on to http://directmarketing.osu.edu. For additional conference information, contact Kathy Lutz at (614) 246-8292, or e-mail email@example.com. For additional information about direct marketing or DAMA, contact Julie Fox at Ohio State's South Centers at Piketon at (740) 289-2071, ext. 225, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.