UACES Facebook Historic National Direct Marketing Agricultural Summit co-chaired by Ron Rainey
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Historic National Direct Marketing Agricultural Summit co-chaired by Ron Rainey

By Ryan P. Ruiz
University of Arkansas Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Fast Facts:

  • Ron Rainey co-chaired historic summit
  • Summit was first national conference on technical assistance to direct marketers

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture provided leadership to host the National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit, the first national conference focused on providing technical assistance to direct marketing practitioners and stakeholders.

NATIONAL SUMMIT -- Ron Rainey, Arthur Neal, and Bumpers College Dean Deacue Fields attending the 2018 National Direct Marketing Agricultural Summit. Rainey was a co-organizer for the conference and Neal was one of the speakers.

Ron Rainey, professor of economics and director of the Division of Agriculture's Southern Regional Risk Management Education Center, served as co-chair of the event. Rainey is also a professor in the University of Arkansas’ department of agricultural economics and agribusiness.

The summit was held Sept. 15-18 in Arlington, Virginia, and attracted 400 attendees from 43 states.  

Rainey led the planning for the summit through a cooperative agreement with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. The summit conveners included USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Farm Credit, Farmers Market Coalition, National Value-Added Agriculture Conference and the Food Distribution Research Society. 

Rainey said the summit provided a rare engagement opportunity for direct marketing farmers, managers of farmers markets and those who provide technical assistance to local food systems on the national level. The innovative training tools and resources featured throughout the three-day summit offered cutting-edge resources and strategies to enhance direct marketing efforts across the country. 

Also in attendance was Arthur Neal, an alumnus of the U of A agricultural economics and agribusiness master's program and the current deputy administrator for the transportation and marketing program of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Neal said, “The summit provided an invaluable opportunity for business networking, partnering, and peer-to-peer learning. Attendees addressed training gaps and identified ways that direct-to-consumer agricultural marketing enterprises can improve the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations.”

To learn more about the resources and discussions shared at the summit, visit the summit's webpage, The website includes presentations, an archive of summit photos and a collection of direct marketing success stories from across the country.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Media Contact: Ryan Ruiz
University of Arkansas
Department of Agricultural Economics and AgriBusiness
(479) 575-7374

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