Farmers urged to attend gathering

AGRICULTURE NOTES

January 06, 2008

Farmers looking to buy or sell local produce are encouraged to attend a regional networking-style business gathering that brings together Maryland fruit and vegetable farmers and corporate produce buyers from Mid-Atlantic grocery, food service and wholesale suppliers.

The meetings are opportunities for Maryland produce farmers to increase sales by introducing them directly to food purchasing decision-makers. Buyers also can find out what products are available from the state's farmers to meet consumer demand for local produce.

Meetings are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. as follows:

Food Service Buyers and Growers: Jan. 22 at Villa Julie College, Stevenson; Jan. 28 at MDA Headquarters; and Feb. 18 at Tidewater Inn, Easton.

Large Volume Grocers and Growers: 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 28 at the Maryland Department of Agriculture Headquarters, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis.

MDA's marketing division has several programs to link farmers with regional buyers and local consumers: the Maryland's Best branding program, farmers' market development, and the Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs.

To register for any meeting, call Kate Mason at 410-841-5779 or masonkb @mda.state.md.us.

Voucher training provided at no cost

Maryland Cooperative Extension offices will offer free voucher training and renewal courses to farm operators who apply nutrients to 10 or more acres of cropland.

The two-hour applicator training course is required once every three years for operators.

Training for Cecil County will be held Jan. 22. Call 410-996-5280 to register.

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