Over 240 farmers, regulators, new entrants and agency representatives gathered for the 2018 Grow & Fortify Summit, held December 6 at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club conference center.
“The collective expertise of the speakers and panelists provided an incredible resource to the value-added agricultural industry,” said Kevin Atticks, Founder & CEO of Grow & Fortify.
Attendees heard from farmers, researchers, attorneys and more.
Memo Diriker, director of BEACON at Salisbury University, previewed the state’s first study assessing the impact of value-added agriculture. His research shows a value-added agriculture has an estimated $20.6 billion in economic impact, accounting for over 77,000 jobs.
A highlight of the event was AgPitch, a Shark Tank-style competition, sponsored by MidAtlantic Farm Credit. MADTECH Drones took home the prize, $7,500 in cash.
The Summit was organized by Kelly Dudeck, Grow & Fortify’s director of strategy, with the support of an industry advisory committee. Rural Maryland Council and MidAtlantic Farm Credit partnered to produce the Summit, and over a dozen industry organizations sponsored the event.