Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center will hold a one-day EmPOWERing Growth Agribusiness Summit Thursday, December 5 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in HCC’s Public Services Training Facility. The Summit is sponsored by Carolina Farm Credit.

Food, beverage and agriculture based businesses are unique ventures and require special business planning methods. This not-to-miss event provides the tools needed to move your agribusiness forward. Participants will network with fellow and prospective agribusinesses, resource providers and business coaches, learning skills and the power of collaboration along the way.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose between two tracks:  Empowering Mountain Food Systems, for those in or looking to enter the value added food production sector; or Agribusiness Essentials, for those currently operating or looking to enter general agricultural, food and beverage based businesses.

The Lunch Plenary Session will include a highlight on the EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems program, a new and exciting grant project supporting food and farming businesses across the southwestern NC region. Attendees will learn more about the new program and how your business might benefit from this great opportunity. Lunch will be provided.

Sessions in the Mountain Food Systems Track will include:

  • Introduction to the Value-Added Food Industry
  • Business Readiness for New Food Businesses
  • Food Manufacturing for Small Scale Businesses
  • Marketing Your Product and Your Brand

Sessions in the Agribusiness Essentials Track:

  • Tips for Simple Food Manufacturing Safety
  • Grow Your Farm Business with the Right Marketing Strategies
  • Bookkeeping and Tax Basics for Agripreneurs
  • The Business of Organic


Presenters for the Agribusiness Summit include:  Smithson Mills, executive director for Blue Ridge Food Ventures; Christina Newhouse, Agriculture and High Tunnel Specialist for the Southwestern NC R & D Council; Susan Parrish, Western Region Food Regulatory Supervisor for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture; Tonya Wilson Snider, founder and CEO of tenBiz, Inc.; and Karen Bargsley, customer education officer in the Taxpayer Assistance Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Registration deadline is Monday, December 2. Visit SBC.Haywood.edu or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register today. Thinking about starting a business in Haywood County or growing an existing business? Take advantage of the programs, services and resources provided by the Small Business Center. The NC Community College’s Small Business Center Network assists in starting an average of over 600 businesses each year. Small Business Centers have an economic impact in 90 percent of all NC Counties each year, helping to create and retain nearly 3,000 jobs annually.