AgriExpo 2000, a workshop for farmers and entrepreneurs starting or expanding a business that adds value to raw farm commodities, will be held Saturday, March 18, at the Capital Plaza in Jefferson City. The workshop's format has been expanded from AgriExpo '99, which drew more than 400 participants.

AgriExpo 2000 offers 10 educational tracks, each five hours long. Tracks include marketing on the Internet, direct marketing techniques, entrepreneurial skills, sustainable agriculture, export marketing and small-scale meat production and processing.

Other tracks will describe government programs to assist value-added entrepreneurs, offer success stories from operators of value-added businesses, and tips on advertising and product promotion. Commodity group representatives will give the latest research developments in Missouri beef, corn and pork industries.

"Participants can choose to attend an entire track for the day or they can mix and match tracks, sitting in on a variety of topics," said Doug Holt, head of the Office of Value-Added Agriculture Outreach at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

"In addition to getting the latest information from our expert speakers, participants will have a chance to network and share ideas on starting their own business," he said.

AgriExpo 2000 is sponsored by University Outreach and Extension, USDA Rural Development and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

A $20 registration fee, $25 after March 6, covers all sessions, lunch and coffee breaks.

For more information or to register call the MU Office of Value-Added at 1-877-ValuAdd or 573-882-1150. Contact Holt at 215 Agricultural Engineering Building.

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