More than 70 farmers are registered to attend the Pierce County Farm Forum, where they will glean ideas from each other and experts in agricultural marketing and trends.
The Farm Forum, to be held Thursday, Feb. 6, on the WSU Extension campus in Puyallup, was organized by County Executive Pat McCarthy to help farmers expand local agricultural markets.
“I’ve talked to lots of farmers about the challenges they face, and one of the biggest involves connecting with customers in new or developing markets,” Executive McCarthy said. “We have pulled together experts from across the state to share their tips for success. We are following the model we established with our two aerospace summits to support industries that are vital to Pierce County’s economy.”
Speakers include experts from the Northwest Agricultural Business Center and the Washington State University Extension offices in Thurston and Skagit counties. Local farmers Andrew Wilcox and Dan Hulse also will participate in panel discussions. The keynote speaker is Dr. Steven Van Ausdle, president of Walla Walla Community College, which is credited for its role in developing a premium red wine industry in that region.
The Farm Forum also will mark the unveiling of a mobile app that Pierce County is developing in partnership with the Coalition's Cascade Harvest Coalition to help consumers find local farm products. The app will provide easy access to the growing statewide list of farms, farmers markets, local food, recipes and farm-related events that are available on the Coalition's Puget Sound Freshwebsite. The app is in the final stage of development and is expected to be available to the public in the coming weeks.
The full list of speakers and other information is available at www.piercecountyfarmforum.com. Registration for the event is full, but the panel sessions will be recorded on video and made available online later.