Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Grown Symposium cultivates the business of food

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black today announced the first Georgia Grown Symposium will be held on Nov. 8-9 in Macon.

The two-day symposium, “Growing Your Business through Georgia Grown,” held at the Macon Marriott City Center, will focus on the production, distribution and the consumer side of food products as part of the state’s Georgia Grown marketing program, which links producers and consumers. Participants can choose workshops that fit their needs, ranging from finance, food safety, contracts and licensing, regulations, economic development and agritourism with workshops led by experts.

“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,” says Black, who will open and close the event. “This opportunity is open to anyone, from our larger growers, to someone who wants to sell homemade jams and jellies. Through Georgia Grown initiatives, such as the Symposium, we are helping our state’s number one industry continue to grow and contribute to our economy.”

Black added that producers, processors and manufacturers involved in food production, farmers markets and agritourism will benefit from the event.

The 2012 symposium is open to both Georgia Grown members and non-members. Pre-registration is required to attend; log on to to register and see updates on topics and speakers. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 26.


Georgia Grown Business Conference Schedule

Day 1, Nov. 8:

  • Welcome from Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black
  • Workshops on sourcing, finance, food safety, insurance/legal, distribution, and regulatory issues; information on finding resources to help you grow, agritourism issues and more
  • Lunch, sponsored by your Georgia EMCs
  • Networking reception, hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Dinner, sponsored by Kelly Products

Day 2, Nov. 9:

  • Breakfast presentation: Chef Gary Coltek, Director of Culinary & Sustainability Programs at Kennesaw State University, will share how his vision of a world-class sustainability program came true; sponsored by Harveys Supermarkets
  • Legislative update
  • Workshops on packaging, marketing, certifications and farmer’s markets; more information on regulatory issues and special certifications available from the Georgia Department of Agriculture
  • Lunch, sponsored by American Label
  • Closing Remarks from Commissioner Black
  • All breaks sponsored by the Georgia Forestry Commission


  • $50 One-day attendance, including meals and breaks
  • $75 Two-day attendance, including meals and breaks
  • Georgia Grown Silver members receive a 25 percent discount
  • Georgia Grown Gold, Platinum and Founders Circle members attend free
  • Georgia Grown guests may reserve a room at the Macon Marriott City Center for the special price of $99. Please reserve your room with the Macon Marriott directly at 478-621-5300.

Georgia Grown program contact: Margaret Lisi, 404-414-8088 or


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