FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Innovation Is Advancing Local Value-Added Agriculture
Value-added agriculture and agritourism have a bright future in Maryland
(KENT ISLAND, MD) – Nearly 200 local farmers and industry partners gathered on December 1 for the 2022 Value-Added Agriculture Summit in Kent Island, Md. This bi-annual conference, hosted by Grow & Fortify, explores the opportunities within Maryland’s value-added agriculture and agritourism industries. Attendees were comprised of individuals from various sectors of the state’s agriculture industry and included representatives from state and federal government agencies.
“What an amazing day. Attendees felt the energy, learned about innovation, shared their excitement about the diversity of people and ideas, and left with a sense of community,” said Grow & Fortify’s chief strategy officer, Kelly Dudeck. “This is what alternative agriculture looks like – it is exactly the industry Maryland needs to support right now.”
Kim Bremmer of Ag Inspirations was the event’s keynote speaker. Emphasizing how narratives around farming can sway consumers and regulators, Bremmer provided the audience with a refreshing and realistic take on the industry. Panelists and contributors from various backgrounds introduced their businesses and agricultural focuses during the highly anticipated “Rapid Fire Panel.”
The conference included breakout sessions and covered topics ranging from emerging agricultural markets to building more beneficial relationships with consumers and partners. Luke McFadden, a local waterman with more than 1.3 million followers on TikTok, provided the audience with unique insight into using social media to promote agriculture.
McFadden shared that social media audiences are interested in the things small farmers and business operators consider to be “day-to-day” and value seeing that every personality is human. This perspective has introduced millions of people to the life and work of a local waterman and has helped McFadden gain new access to the direct-to-consumer market.
Farm Credit, the Rural Maryland Council and the Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center supported this gathering as conference partners. More than a dozen additional sponsors contributed to the success of the event.
About Grow & Fortify
Grow & Fortify is built to support value-added agricultural organizations and the businesses they represent. We’ve gathered a team of professionals to support agricultural startups and ensure the financial viability of our land, and ultimately, our community.
Grow & Fortify is currently retained to represent the Brewers Association of Maryland, the Maryland Distillers Guild, and the Maryland Wineries Association.