One-day conference focuses on food, beverage, ag sectors


Southwestern Community College’s “Food and Farming Business Summit,” a one-day conference developed specifically with food, beverage and agriculture-based businesses in mind, will be held in the Burrell Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2.

There will be eight sessions offered throughout the day, with topics including food manufacturing safety and law, how to launch a new food business, bookkeeping and tax basics, agricultural marketing and agritourism.

In “Business Readiness for New Food Businesses,” attendees will receive a comprehensive checklist that includes everything from items needed to get started to marketing strategies to pricing. Topics include market entry and essential “to do’s” for starting a small food business. Case studies of local success stories will be provided, along with one or two failures to learn from.

“Is Agritourism an Opportunity for Your Business?” will explore ways to expand farm operations through guest experiences. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes agritourism as the top opportunity for working farms in America to diversify and create new revenue streams. Attendees should gain an understanding of the industry’s best practices centered around safety, liability and marketing and get insight into enhancing existing farm operations and engaging customers.

The conference is co-sponsored by the N.C. State Extension, emPOWERing Mountain Food Systems and Blue Ridge Food Ventures.

The event is free, and lunch will be provided. Both prospective and existing agricultural business owners are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration is required at

For more information about any of the services and seminars offered by SCC’s Small Business Center, contact Tiffany Henry at or 339-4426.