University News

Value-Added Agriculture Conference

February 22, 2005

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MACOMB, IL – Illinois farmers have long tried to maximize the prices they receive by adding value to the commodities produced before they leave the farm. Today, groups of community leaders, farmers, and businessmen are banding together to develop businesses to process local commodities. Value-added agriculture is truly a grass-roots form of economic development where local people focus on local assets and create their own opportunities for growth.

To learn more about value-added agriculture, the Illinois Value-Added Rural Development Center (IVARDC) located at Western Illinois University will sponsor a conference, “Strategies for Value-Added Agriculture Progress,” Thursday, March 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield.

According to Chad Martin of the IVARDC, the conference will feature presentations by experts in value-added agriculture and representatives of successful value-added enterprises. Sessions planned for the conference include “Membership Developments and Equity Drives,” “Successful Grant Writing” and “Distiller Grains Marketing and Value-Added Processing Technology.”

“Value-added agricultural ventures provide new opportunities for strengthening the local economy by capitalizing on the competitive benefit from the impact of a variety of successful value-added business ventures,” Martin added.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended. For more information or to register, contact Mary Holmes at 800/526-9943 or e-mail at The conference brochure and registration materials are available on the IVARDC website at

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing