Grow Mary­land Sum­mit set for Stevensville

Maryland Independent - - Business -

The Grow Mary­land Sum­mit: The Fu­ture of Value-Added Agri­cul­ture will be the first of its kind event, de­voted to the state’s value-added agri­cul­ture in­dus­try. The con­fer­ence, hosted by Grow Mary­land and the Ru­ral Mary­land Coun­cil, will take place on Thurs­day, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club, 500 Ma­rina Club Road in Stevensville, and in­cludes nu­mer­ous speak­ers and panel dis­cus­sions.

Craig Bey­routy, dean of the Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, will wel­come at­ten­dees. The morn­ing ses­sion will in­clude a panel of ex­perts who will pro­vide an over­view of the value-added land­scape, in­clud­ing up­dates on some of the lat­est in­dus­try stud­ies. In the af­ter­noon, break­out ses­sions will in­clude tracks on in­no­va­tion, law and li­a­bil­ity, trends and tourism, as well as start­ing small and scaling up.

There will be a unique oneon-one curb­side con­sul­ta­tion where po­ten­tial, and cur­rent, value-added pro­duc­ers can meet with fi­nanciers, li­cens­ing agents and other tech­ni­cal con­sul­tants, about 15 in to­tal.

Or­ga­niz­ers hope to at­tract a di­verse au­di­ence of farm­ers, small food busi­nesses, state and county agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives, elected of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try. Tick­ets are $60 per per­son, which in­cludes full ac­cess to the con­fer­ence, lunch and re­cep­tion. Reg­is­ter on­line at www.grow­mary­land.org/grow-mary­land-sum­mit­dec-1-2016/.

The in­au­gu­ral event comes on the heels of the “Value-Added Agri­cul­ture: A Re­gional Fo­cus” re­port, con­ducted by Grow & For­tify, LLC. The Bal­ti­more-based man­age­ment firm de­vel­ops and sup­ports or­ga­ni­za­tions that spe­cial­ize in value-added agri­cul­ture, agri-tourism, craft bev­er­ages and other re­lated in­dus­tries. In 2015, Grow & For­tify launched its non-profit arm, Grow Mary­land, after con­ven­ing a se­ries of lis­ten­ing ses­sions through­out the state, help­ing to de­ter­mine the needs of the in­dus­try.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the sum­mit, go to www.grow­mary­land.org/grow-mary­land-sum­mit-dec-1-2016/, or call 410-2529463.

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