Georgia Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Commissioner announces speakers, new details for Georgia Grown Symposium next month

ATLANTA, Ga. (Oct. 10) – How food producers can get their products into retail stores. How agritourism businesses can protect themselves. How to build a marketing plan for an agribusiness. These are just a few of the topics that will be covered at the first Georgia Grown Symposium on Nov. 8-9 in Macon.

The two-day symposium, “Growing Your Business with Georgia Grown,” held at the Macon Marriott City Center, will focus on the business of food, fiber and fuel as part of the state’s innovative Georgia Grown marketing program linking producers and consumers. Participants can attend workshops on finance, food safety, contracts and licensing, Farm to School, economic development and agritourism – all led by local and national experts.

Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will open and close the conference and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce will host a networking reception the evening of Nov. 8.

“Whether it’s expanding markets in Georgia or across the globe, the 2012 Georgia Grown Symposium will help farmers and other agribusinesses define and increase their food-related business,” the Commissioner said. “Through Georgia Grown initiatives, such as the Symposium, we are helping our state’s number one industry, agriculture, continue to grow and contribute to our economy.”

Michael Purvis, Center Store Director for Harvey's Supermarkets, will present on “What Retailers are Looking For: Positioning your Product for the Buyer,” and Atlanta attorney Joel McKie of Hall, Booth, Smith & Slover, P.C. , will discuss agricultural contracts and liability issues for farm and agritourism operations. Nationally known agricultural economist Dr. Kent Wolfe of the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will speak on “How to Build a Marketing Plan for your Business.” Other speakers include David Williamson, sales director, American Label (“Packaging Solutions for Your Agricultural Business”); Matt Granados, president, Local Vendors Coalition (“Growing Your Small Business: Distribution Solutions for Small Producers”); and Natalie Adan, manufactured food program manager, Georgia Department of Agriculture (“Ensuring the Safety and Compliance of Your Processed Agricultural Food Product”). A panel discussion on Farm to School and accessing institutional buyers has also been added to the schedule in response to member demand.

The 2012 symposium is open to anyone – both Georgia Grown members and non-members. Registration is required to attend; the deadline is Friday, Oct. 26. To register and learn more about expert speakers and topics that will be covered during the symposium, please visit For up-to-date detailed lists of daily topics and speakers, please visit:

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