2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit

Sept. 15-18, 2018, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington VA

About the 2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit

The United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit Council, Farmers Market Coalition, Food Distribution Research Society and National Value Added Conference are collaborating to offer the 2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit.

The goal of the Summit is to improve the capacity and performance of farms and businesses that participate in direct to consumer agricultural markets. The Summit will feature new resources to assist market managers and direct marketing farmers, as well as research and data on direct to consumer markets. Summit attendees represent diverse backgrounds, including researchers, extension specialists, entrepreneurs, service providers, farmers, mission-focused investors, business operators, community practitioners, students, consultants, and government employees from state and Federal agencies.

National leaders and experts from industry and the public sector will participate in plenary sessions and break-out trainings. Technical assistance will include workshops for Farmers Market Promotion Program grant participants.

“The Summit will provide an invaluable opportunity for business networking, partnering, and peer-to-peer learning. Attendees will receive technical assistance to address training gaps and identify ways that direct-to-consumer agricultural marketing enterprises can improve the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations.”

Arthur Neal

Deputy Administrator, Transportation and Marketing Program, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

“The summit is a rare opportunity for managers of farmers markets and those who provide technical assistance to local food systems to learn about innovative training tools and resources, including research and partnerships, this gathering is also a great time for attendees to visit and compare notes. This type of networking opportunity does not come along often.”

Ron Rainey

Professor, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture





Direct Agricultural Market Summit Conveners

Agricultural Marketing Service USDA (AMS) is a presenting sponsor providing leadership and financial support to host the summit. Through a cooperative agreement with the University of Arkansas, AMS provides leadership and financial support to the summit planning committee to host this national effort that highlights public and private innovations in direct to consumer markets. AMS delivers national leadership to several programs which will be highlighted throughout the summit including Farmers Market Promotion and Local Food Promotion programs; Local Food Economics; and Local Food Resource Mapping Project.

Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) is the only body of scholars and practitioners in the United States dedicated to the study, monitoring and sharing of knowledge about the dramatic changes that are taking place in the global food system.

The FDRS meets today’s challenges across the food value chain by annually hosting a conference to share and discuss the latest research and industry findings, publishing the Journal of Food Distribution Research. The journal (JFDR) has been published since 1969 and is the principal academic product and outlet for research dissemination. The annual meeting provides the opportunity for exchange of ideas among practitioners, researchers, and government agencies. FDRS also produces a quarterly newsletter that promotes the society and gives updates on society activities.

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) is a national, member-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicating to strengthening farmers markets through education, networking and advocacy. Now in our 11h year of operation, FMC has completed more than 4,300 hours of technical assistance to farmers markets, providing assistance in project development and evaluation, research, and training. Our website features comprehensive guidance for new and experienced market managers, in-depth analysis of federal regulations, guides to offering SNAP at markets, a farmers market resource library, an archive of professional development webinars, and multiple programming opportunities. FMC regularly presents and hosts workshops at state and regional conferences, in addition to planning and implementing training webinars.

FMC specializes in measuring and communicating farmers market impacts, working to quantify and highlight their ability to stimulate local economies, preserve rural farmland and livelihoods, increase access to fresh food, support healthy communities, activate civic meeting places, and promote sustainable farming practices.

Farm Credit is a presenting sponsor providing leadership and financial support to host the summit. For more than 100 years, Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. In all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Farm Credit supports infrastructure providers and farmers by helping to keep American agriculture competitive in global markets and our rural communities viable and thriving.

Our 73 independent Farm Credit institutions are governed by the customers they serve. Together, we support more than 500,000 farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers, rural infrastructure providers and rural homebuyers. Farm Credit loans help U.S. agricultural producers feed the world, rural businesses grow and rural families thrive.

Since 2009 the National Value Added Agriculture (NVAA) Conference has welcomed farmers, researchers, extension educators, USDA representatives and agricultural industry stakeholders to highlight resources and expertise to assist farmers and agribusinesses with improving market knowledge and performance across the food value chain.

The conference planning committee is an informal partnership of faculty from land-grant colleges and universities across the United States.  The conference features tools and resources of Iowa State University’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC – https://www.agmrc.org/ ) and MarketMaker (https://foodmarketmaker.com/ ).  MarketMaker is a national network of states that connect farmers and fishermen with food retailers, grocery stores, processors, caterers, chefs, and consumers. It is an ever-growing partnership of Land Grant Universities, Departments of Agriculture, and food and agricultural organizations investing in a coordinated effort to build a virtual food value chain.

Childcare Options

Below are a few options for childcare while at the meeting. Check out the websites in advance, some require advance signup. You can review sitters and rates before hiring a sitter.


  1. Sign up: Create an account. It’s easy.
  2. Create a job: Caregivers will contact you within 3 days, guaranteed.
  3. Review profiles: Check out your candidates. Request background checks.
  4. Hire a caregiver: Interview, check references, and hire the one that works for you!
  5. Pay for your care: Make and track payments in our Payment Centers



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College Sitters

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SeekingSitters is a company that offers babysitting services that
may provide an easy and useful sitting solution while you are attending the conference. SeekingSitters is able to come to the
hotel to provide their services.

Hourly fees are based on the number of children. Please call 301-963-9349 and ask for Linda
for more information and a coupon code. Allow 24 hours to activate your account and request a sitter at http://seekingsittersdcmetrowashington.com/.

Owner – Montgomery County and DC

Drop-off Options:

Contact the childcare providers for availability and with any other questions.

Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool

Washington Child Care Center Address:
2101 L Street Northwest Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-887-8433

Huckleberry Cheesecake

Address: 1307 19th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.467.4202


Address: 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Ste 170, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 785-018

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