USDA to Host National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit

News Article -

You are cordially invited to attend USDA’s 2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit (Summit), conducted in partnership with the Food Distribution Research Society, National Value-Added Agriculture Conference, Farmers Market Coalition, and Farm Credit Council.

Why should NASDA members and constituents attend?

The Summit will provide technical assistance to producers interested in or already conducting Direct to Consumer (DTC) marketing activities. Attendees will pinpoint existing business training gaps and identify ways that DTC marketing enterprises can improve the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations.

This Summit, the first of its kind in the United States, will feature sessions on:

  • New resources intended to assist farmers market managers and direct marketing farmers;
  • Recent research and data on DTC markets;
  • Technical assistance workshops led by USDA staff and current Agricultural Marketing Service grant recipients;
  • Data collection and communicating impacts;
  • Using technology for data visualization and mapping resources;
  • Developing business and marketing plans; and
  • Sharing value-added agricultural resources available for producers.

Best of all, there will be numerous networking opportunities throughout the Summit to form partnerships and solidify the technical assistance and training provided! Participate in peer-to-peer learning to form communities of practice, and interact directly with USDA staff and other service providers to receive technical assistance.

When and where is the Summit?

The Summit is September 17-18, 2018 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. There are also optional pre-conference activities on September 15 and 16. The registration levels and a tentative agenda are available online at We highly encourage all regular registrants to reserve guestrooms at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (the Summit hotel) at the reduced conference rate of $240/night (pre-tax). This not only provides convenience to the onsite Summit activities, but also simplifies networking opportunities during off-Summit hours.

How can I suggest specific topics that I’d like to hear about during the Summit?

While much of the agenda is already established, we welcome input as we complete the finishing touches. Send your suggestions to Jeff O’Hara ( who will pass your comments to the planning committee.