A CONFERENCE for producers interested in starting or expanding a value-added agricultural business is set for Dec. 4 at the Ramada Inn in Sikeston, Mo.

Featured in the Entrepreneurial Agriculture Conference will be a workshop on producing and marketing vegetables for restaurants and wholesale buyers, said Van Ayers, agricultural engineering specialist with the Stoddard County Outreach and Extension Center.

The conference includes three tracks with 17 different sessions ranging from emerging agricultural technologies to obtaining funding for value-added businesses, he said.

“We will cover such topics as how to conduct a feasibility study, government assistance programs and farmer cooperatives,” he said.

Other sessions will deal with new crops that may have a value-added component. Fruits, new rice varieties, biodiesel and agroforestry will be discussed.

Fee hunting, marketing niche melons, catfish cooperatives and crawfish production will also be included.

Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. followed by a breakfast and opening session at 8:15. Registration fee is $15, which includes breakfast and lunch. To register or for more information, contact Van Ayers at 573-568-3344.