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Farmers and food buyers sought for local expo

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition is seeking Kanawha County farmers and food business owners to attend an exhibition featuring local food producers in Southern West Virginia. The Local Foods Expo will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 13 at the Dream Center in Beckley.

The expo will provide regional food growers, producers and processors with an opportunity to connect with buyers from restaurants, grocery stores, schools, institutions and other food venues. Not intended for individual consumers, the event is intended to help foster long-term sales relationships between these buyers and farmers.

It is the second in a series of regional expos to be hosted throughout the state by the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition and local partners, with support provided by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Registration costs $10. A tasting showcase of foods prepared with locally-grown produce, a group "speed dating" session helping farmers and buyers get to know each other, and panel discussions on building relationships between farms and food purveyors will be featured. An area of exhibition space will be reserved for organizations and agencies providing products and services that assist producers. Those interested in a booth can indicate this need when registering.

WVFFC will also create a Buyer Grower Directory as a result of this event. Buyers or growers who wish to be included, but are not able to attend the expo, can still sign up for the directory until March 7.

To register, visit http://www.wvhub.org/wvffc/register-now. For questions about the event, call Garnet Bruell at 304-877-7920 or email foodandfarm@wvhub.org.


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