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Illinois hosts 3rd annual organic farming meeting
By TIM ALEXANDER
Illinois Correspondent

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois (UOI) sustainable agriculture program will host its third statewide conference on organic production and marketing, Dec. 6-7 at the Interstate Center in Bloomington.

The conference is the brainchild of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science and the UOI Extension. Dan Anderson, planning committee chair, announced, “we’re doing things a little differently this year” when it comes to the conference’s format. Instead of the old format of two separate meetings, the formats will be combined to offer the latest in production information along with the most recent marketing information and trends to organic producers and other attendees.

Titled A Recipe for Success, the conference will feature addresses from marketing leaders in the organics industry such as Harold Lloyd, who will speak about the psychology of organic customers, adding value to a product and creating a brand. Leslie Duram, an associate professor and organic farming expert from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, will be the keynote speaker.

Breakout sessions such as Web Design Ideas for the Producer Wanting to Attract and Keep Customers, Market Development and Market Penetration and Agri-Tourism - It Can be For Everyone are scheduled for both days of the conference.

Around 50 trade show sponsors will display their goods and services during the conference. A “taste-of-organic” public reception will be on Dec. 6 with organic delights being offered by local chefs. Entertain-ment will be provided. Rooms have been reserved at two Bloomington motels at special rates for conference attendees.

A Recipe for Success is two conferences (Organic Day, Marketing Day) rolled into one. Those interested can register for either one day alone ($60) or both days together ($100) at reduced prices if registering before Nov. 15. After Nov.15, prices will increase to $90 for a single day or $150 for both. For details, contact Anderson at 217-333-1588 or aslan@uiuc.edu or Crystal Bartanen at 217-244-8160 or bartanen@uiuc.edu

A complete schedule of speakers along with a description of motel arrangements is available online at the conference website www.asap.aces.uiuc.edu/orgconf

This farm news was published in the Sept. 20, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

9/22/2006