Mar 10: Local Food Showcase

Local Food Showcase: A Grower/Buyer Event at Chatham University. This b2b event showcases the finest, freshest local food that western PA has to offer. Farmers can find customers for farm products by registering as a vendor. Buyers can find local sources for restaurants, stores, markets, CSA's or other businesses. There will be chef demos and educational workshops in addition to networking.
Penn State Extension, Allegheny County and co-sponsor Chatham University are proud to announce the first annual "Local Food Showcase: a Grower / Buyer Event". This event brings together Western Pennsylvania farmers, value added producers, food industry purchasers, and consumers. The event will be held on March 11, 2010 from 1-4pm at Chatham University. If you grow food, cook food or eat food, this event is for you!
This is a great opportunity to find local sources of fresh and processed foods for retail, restaurant, CSA (community supported agriculture), wholesale, farm markets, and home use. This event features a tradeshow format to foster networking. These local food producers will be displaying their products and seasonal availability to potential customers. In addition, there will be demonstrations, tastings and educational information on local farms, biofuels, composting and gardening. Many area organizations will be on hand contributing to this event.

New this year are two morning workshops, both lasting from 10:00-11:30 am. The workshop for buyers costs $30 and is entitled, “What is the real value of connecting to the local food system?” In this workshop participants will learn how to work with producers to increase local food production, distribution and consumption. They will examine the reasons for promoting the use of local farm products in their businesses, and discuss the constraints and barriers involved in accessing what they want from regional farms. There will also be a discussion of successful strategies used to overcome some of those barriers. The grower’s workshop costs $15 and is entitled, “Pricing Techniques and Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales.” In this workshop attendees will learn about different pricing techniques adopted by the food industry. There will be a lecture and discussion of marketing strategies used to increase sales via direct and indirect channels. A light continental breakfast will be provided for the workshops, and

an optional brown bag lunch will be available for $9.

Pennsylvania agriculture yields an amazing variety of food. The full spectrum of locally produced foods will be represented including fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, baked goods, sauces and salsas.
The goal of the "Local Food Showcase: a Grower / Buyer Event" is to foster economic development through business relationships between farmers and chefs, retailers, wholesalers, institutions, for the upcoming 2010 growing season and beyond. It is part of a larger effort to strengthen the local food infrastructure in Western Pennsylvania.
The showcase event will be held at the Chatham University Athletic & Fitness Center on Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA 15232, on March 11, 2010 from 1-4pm.
Farmers and vendors can register for this event through Penn State Extension, Allegheny County by contacting Heather Mikulas at 412-473-2540 or -- Registration deadline is February 26.
The public is invited to attend; the entrance fee to the event is $10.
To register or for more info, contact Heather Mikulas at the Penn State Extension, 400 Lexington St. Pgh 15208;, 412-423-8633.

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