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Great River Region

Regional Flavors Discovery Day

 

Due to the winter weather that is forecasted, we are postponing the event until further notice.  We will update this page once we have decided on a date to reschedule.  Please contact Alex at alexmerk@iastate.edu or 319-835-5116 with any questions.  Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Join us for a day of celebrating the agriculture, food, arts, and tourism of the Great River Region, and discover strategies for improving our economic vitality!

 

Thursday, February 21

9AM-4PM

Pilot Grove Savings Bank Community Room

506 North Main Street

Donnellson, IA

 

COST: $20

Includes lunch and refreshments

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

 

 

9:00AM Registration, Refreshments, Meet and Greet

 

9:30AM Welcome and Introduction

 

9:45AM Regional Flavors Branding for Economic Vitality: ACEnet's Success Story

Leslie Schaller, Director of Programming, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks

Regional Flavor as an entrepreneurship strategy celebrates the food, agriculture, tourism, heritage, artisan and recreation opportunities, and assets of a geographical region and pulls together support from many community stakeholders to build a stronger economy.

 

10:45AM Break

 

11:00AM Panel Discussion:  Regional Initiatives for Enhancing Tourism

Steven McMenamin, Department of Transportation, Iowa Rest Area Administrator
Dorthy Gilbert, Villages of Van Buren, Organizing for an Iowa Great Places Grant
Katy Anderson, Pathfinders RC&D, Historic Hills Scenic Byways Initiative

Hear from a panel of regional experts who will share their experiences in regional branding, obtaining funding, organizing stakeholders, and executing plans to enhance tourism.

 

12:00PM Lunch

 

1:00PM-2:00PM Breakout Session 1

Farm Marketing Strategies for Attracting Farm Visitors

Marsha Laux, Value Added Agriculture Program, ISU Extension and Outreach

Harvest season and school tours can provide sporadic or seasonal customer flow, but this session will examine various strategies to attract on-farm visitors for more sustainable and predictable traffic.

Marketing and Merchandising for Farmers Market Vendors

Andy Larson, Small Farms Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach

Learn strategies to optimize the appearance and layout of your farmers market booth to draw in customers, make the sale and bring customers back.

Regional Branding and Entrepreneurial Networks

Leslie Schaller, Director of Programming, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks

Learn how regional brands can showcase entrepreneurs in many business clusters.  This session will provide examples of successful regional brand programs in rural communities across the U.S. and how these models can be adapted to your community.

 

2:15PM-3:15PM Breakout Session 2

Choosing the Market that Fits My Farm

Marsha Laux, Value Added Agriculture Program, ISU Extension and Outreach

Jan Swinton, Food Systems Coordinator, Pathfinders RC&D

How do you decide between 1) selling direct to consumers through farmers market; 2) selling retail to chefs in restaurants or at grocery stores; 3) selling to institutions such as schools, nursing homes or hospitals; or 4) selling to wholesale distributors?  This session will examine factors involved in various markets and the advantages and disadvantages in each.

Should I Scale Up my Lifestyle Farm to Turn it into a Business?

Andy Larson, Small Farms Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach

Larger scale production and marketing begins with a conscious decision to do your research and take the appropriate steps to grow for your preferred market.  Explore strategies for marketing research, cooperative production, cooperative marketing, and other opportunities that exist currently in local foods.

Designing Stakeholder Partnership Collaboration with Entrepreneurs, Community Leaders, and Elected Officials

Leslie Schaller, Director of Programming, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks

Learn how to engage a diverse network of stakeholders in developing regional brand and consumer education strategies in your rural communities.

 

3:30PM-4:00PM

Lessons Learned and Take Home Ideas from a Participant Panel

Door Prizes, Refreshments, Adjourn

 

 

This program is sponsored by:

Great River Region Entrepreneurial Technical Assistance Project

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

First Community Bank - Keokuk

Pilot Grove Savings Bank