Field day helps farmers network, market crops

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News,Business

GOODMAN, Miss. (AP) — Farmers can learn online marketing techniques and networking strategies during an outreach event next week in Holmes County.

Roberto Gallardo, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach, will help fruit and vegetable producers understand how to use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Gallardo and his team also will explain the benefits of suing those mediums and other Internet resources to connect with customers. Extension service employees also will be on hand to help growers who want to set up an Internet presence.

Patrick Jerome of Rainbow Co-Op Grocery and chef Troy Woodson of High Noon Cafe will help growers understand the needs and requirements of the specialty food market.

"Growers should know who their customers will be before they plant their first seed," said Keith Benson, director of the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm.

Representatives with the University of Mississippi Transactional Law Clinic also will be on hand to offer business advice in confidential, one-on-one sessions.

The field day is scheduled for May 16 at the demonstration farm at 1184 Coleman Road in Goodman, north of Jackson. The event begins at 10 a.m. and is free but participants must register. Contact Benson at 601-988-4999 or via email at keithmdp@yahoo.com

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant Program fund the field day programs, which are held on the third Friday of each month through November. The last field day is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Topics range from pest, disease and weed management to profit planning.

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