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Direct Farm Marketing Conference

2016 Direct Farm Marketing Conference

Portage la Prairie on March 11 and 12, 2016.



This conference is a valuable opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in the direct farm marketing sector.

Consumers are looking for exceptional quality, safety and service from the food industry and they're increasingly interested in knowing the story behind the products they buy.

If you're interested in starting or expanding a direct marketing business, this conference can provide new marketing ideas and information on emerging trends in farm business diversification including agrifood, agritourism and farmers' markets.

Producers, processors and direct farm marketers will enjoy this conference. Discover the latest in production techniques. Hear about opportunities in direct farm marketing. Learn about safe food for your clients. 

Join us to discover new marketing concepts, market trends and great ideas to take home for your farmers' market, agrifood or agritourism venture.


"The conference is a great place to see what's happening and what can happen. It's a way to take your perspective wider and look at all kinds of options."  

                                    Dora Friesen, Integrity Foods, Riverton MB


"Find your passion. Is it apples and apple juice? Then why not sell it direct, and be proud that your produce is made in Manitoba. You got a dream, go after it."

 Danny Kleinsasser, Danny's Whole Hog, Stony Mountain MB
2016 Direct Farm Marketing Conference Event Schedule
Friday, March 11, 2016
8:30      Registration (coffee / juice / muffins)
9:00      Welcome
9:15      Keynote Speaker – Elspeth McLean-Wile, Wile's Lake Farm and Market Bakery
             "Evolution and Marketing in Our Direct Farm Marketing Business"
10:30   Break / Tradeshow
11:00   Select-A-Session
              A   Lessons Learned From the Farm
Hans Steinman, God's Acres - A discussion of production practices that have worked best on Han's vegetable and fruit farm and have provided the highest return on investment
Tom Gonsalves, MAFRD Vegetable Specialist - Overview of high tunnel vegetable crop evaluations from the 2015 season
              B    How to Pitch Like a Pro
Jeff Fidyk, MAFRD Business Development Specialist - Attract more customers and sell more products at your farmers' market booth.  Learn how to engage more farmers' market attendees and turn them into customers 
              C    How to Finish Grass-Fed beef in the Manitoba Climate
Juanita Kopp, MAFRD Industry Development - Learn about assessing your forage quality and meeting your herd's feed requirements


12:15   Lunch / Tradeshow
1:15      Select-A-Session
              A   Strawberry Cultivars
Dr. Sajjad Rao, ACC Horticulture Production Instructor and Researcher - Listen to results from the ACC's 2015 Strawberry Cultivar evaluations
Anthony MIntenko, MAFRD Provincial Fruit Crops Specialist - Listen to a recap of the 2015 Manitoba berry season and discussion of potential 2016 issues.
              B    Finding Your Way
Fran and Dan DeRuyck, DeRuyck's Top of the Hill Farm - Fran and Dan will provide an overview of their organic farm and how they ahve used 'organic' as a marketing tool and how partnerships provide opporutnity.  The couple will share insight into looking at being in an organic business.
              C    The ‘Why’ of your Marketing Strategy!
Chantelle Winters, Entrepreneurship Manitoba - Do you know who your target market is?  Do you know why your customers buy? Do you know what makes a small business successful?  Learn how to create a foundation that will help you understand your market, why customers buy and how to keep your customers coming back!
2:20      Break / Tradeshow
3:00      Select-A-Session
              A   How to Maximize Your Profitability
Cory Van Groningen, VG Meats, Ontario - Increasing your bottom line with proper record keeping.  Lern how to keep track of your total carcass cut-out value and the effect it has on your profitability.
              B    It’s All on the Label
Alana Henuset, Food Development Centre - Labelling requirements on food produt, selling at farmers' markets, world wide web (222), retail and wholesale will be defined.  Specific references will be given to meat, fresh unprocessed single ingredient foods, and thermally processed food.  The changing regulatory environment, federally and provincially will be reviewed.
              C    It All Started . . .
Linda Pizzey, J.G. Pizzey Incorporated - Join Linda as she reflects on 'their story' from the local farmers' market, to starting a familiy business, to the founding of the Mnaitoba Food Processors Association, to selling Pizzey Milling, to starting their new company and everything inbetween.
4:15      FMAM AGM / Tradeshow
5:30      Cash Bar
6:30      Banquet
7:30      Pitch Your Trade

Saturday, March 12, 2016
9:00      Registration (coffee / juice / muffins)
9:15      Select-A-Session
              A   BeeKeeping for Fun & Profit
Rhéal Lafrenière, MAFRD Provincial Apiarist - Everything you need to know about beekeeping - from sourcing bees and equipment to expected honey yields and flavour.
               B    Strawberry & Raspberry Production Tips
Thaddeus McCamant, Central Lakes College, Minnesota - Insights into strawberry & raspberry production and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Minnesota
              C    It’s Viral (social media)
Susie Erjavec Parker, Sparker Strategy Group - See how the social media avenues, Facebook and Twitter, can build relationships while increasing a business’s client base.  Hear discussion on trends, engagement, strategies to drive business your way and how these avenues affect your marketing efforts.
10:30   Break / Tradeshow
11:00   Select-A-Session
              A   Access to Local & Organic Food
Jocelyn Gaudet, Theresa Chernecki, Nicole LeClair, Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel - Local and organic food consumption will be highlighted.  Trends and perceptions will be examined using data collected in 2011, 2012 & 2015.
              B    We’ve Come a Long Way Baby!
Tanis Podobni, Meandher Creek Pumpkin Patch - A successful entertainment venue was faced with the decision of whether or not to plunge into a commercial kitchen operation to prepare the food they serve on farm.  Hear about their farm with a focus on the considerations taken into account to make this decision.
              C    Memberships have Benefits
Uniquely Manitoba; Artisan Inspired Marketing Cooperative; Farmers’ Market Association of Manitoba; Small Farms Manitoba; Prairie Fruit Growers Association - Each organization represented will provide history on their organization, benefits and perks of being a member and hopes for the future, with time for Q & A.
12:15   Lunch / Tradeshow
        Guest Speaker – Dr. Thomas Netticadan, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Researh in Health and Medicine
        "Growing Health with Agriculture"
1:30      Select-A-Session
              A   Sustainable Poultry Production

Carlyle Bennett, MAFRD Livestock Industry Branch - Learn how to raise healthy chickens with information on feeding programs, housing, management and economics of pasture poultry, heritage breeds, and other niche poultry markets.

            B    Vegetable Production through to Marketing
Jonathon Stevens, Jonathon's Farm/Kalynn Spain, Small Farms Manitoba - Discussion of production practices and marketing avenues for vegetable farms.
Tom Gonsalves, MAFRD Vegetable Specialist - Overview of raised bed prodution under Manitoba conditions. 
I Am Me...An Evolving Entrepreneur
Erin Crampton, Crampton's Market - Speaking from her entrepreneurial perspective, Erin will share the trials and tribulations she has experienced    in her journey, and point out how you can learn from her experiences.
2:45      Closing – Elspeth McLean-Wile

        Being on Your Toes

 Elspeth will take a look to the future of her operation and share her thoughts on considerations to look at before businesses move ahead
To register for the Direct Farm Marketing Conference:
*  If paying by cheque, make payable to 'Direct Farm Marketing Conference' and mail completed registration form and payment to:
Direct Farm Marketing Conference


Box 1240

Portage La Prairie, Manitoba  R1N 3J9


*  For other payment options, go to Prairie Fruit Growers Association


Trade show booth spaces are available to registrants  but are LIMITED.  For more information on the tradeshow,  MAFRD at 204-392-7268 or joy.lorette@gov.mb.ca





For more information

Business Development Specialist
This conference is brought to you in partnership with the Prairie Fruit Growers Association and is supported by Small Farms Manitoba

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