Agritourism to be highlighted at conference

Monday, June 23, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missourians have the opportunity to learn more about agritourism and urban agriculture at the second annual Missouri Agritourism Conference.

The conference will be July 13-15, at the Embassy Suites Hotel near Kansas City International Airport. Sponsors of the conference are Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Department of Agriculture's AgriMissouri program.

The conference will have two tracks: one will concentrate on how to manage a successful agritourism operation, while the second will focus on farmer's markets and urban agriculture.

Regardless of chosen track, attendees will have the opportunity participate in roundtable discussions on Sunday, workshop sessions on Monday and guided bus tours on Tuesday.

The agritourism track sessions will address topics such as employee management, achieving regulatory compliance, creative ways to attract customers, farm-to-table dinners and strategic use of social media.

The urban agriculture/farmer's market track will include sessions about creating and operating a market stand, how to set appropriate market goals, and how to engage customers and the community with urban agricultural operations. An afternoon session will focus on regional issues around the state.

Bus tours corresponding to each track will visit multiple venues Tuesday, July 15.

The agritourism track's bus tour will visit agritourism venues including Carolyn's Cousin's Country Pumpkin Patch, Show Me Ziplines, Weston Red Barn and Jowler Creek Winery.

The urban agriculture/farmer's market track will visit urban agriculture locations such as Urban Farming Guys Garden Tour, DST Systems Demonstration Garden, Kansas City's City Market, Kauffman Gardens, Stony Crest Urban Farm, and Kansas City Community Gardens.

The registration deadline for the conference is July 7, 2014, but early registration is encouraged. Conference registration forms are available at mofb.org. Registration fees are as follows: $75 for the Sunday evening social and Monday class sessions, $100 for the Sunday evening social, Monday class session and Monday evening banquet, and $125 for the complete conference. To reserve a room, call the Embassy Suites Hotel at 816-891-7788 and mention the Missouri Agritourism Conference. Room rates are $109 per night plus tax.

For more information about the conference, contact Kelly Smith, Missouri Farm Bureau Director of Marketing and Commodities at 573-893-1416 or at kesmith@mofb.com