Registration open for upcoming VDACS marketing conferences

marketingRegistration is now open for two conferences hosted by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) in March 2015.

These educational programs are designed to connect producers with new markets for Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest® products.


Virginia Specialty Food and Beverage Educational Conference

March 16-17, 2015
Newport News, Va.

The Virginia Specialty Food and Beverage Educational Conference will take place March 16-17, 2015, in Newport News. Seasoned and successful Virginia manufacturers, new Virginia food and beverage companies, chefs, restaurateurs, retailers, distributors, food safety experts and sales and marketing specialists will come together for two days of meetings, workshops and seminars. The programs will provide Virginia’s Finest® food and beverage producers with specific tools to help grow their companies and expand their customer base. Industry experts will host seminars and workshops focused on specialty food retailing trends, food safety, product pricing, distribution and promotions.

The conference will take place at the Newport News Marriott at City Center. Attendees may register and find additional conference information at

The Virginia Specialty Food and Beverage Educational Conference is presented by Virginia’s Specialty Food Advisory Committee (SFAC), in cooperation with VDACS and the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech.


Virginia Farm-to-School Conference
March 18-19, 2015
Charlottesville, Va.

The Virginia Farm-to-School Conference will take place March 18-19, 2015, in Charlottesville. Education programs will feature notable keynote speakers as well as procurement training for schools and farmers, capacity building, supply chain distribution, food safety, school gardens, community collaborations and an open forum to stimulate creative thinking on common issues. The conference will provide a venue to showcase, network and inspire those who are interested or involved in nourishing Virginia students through farm-to-school efforts in Virginia.

Virginia has embraced the farm-to-school effort since 2007, when the General Assembly passed a House Joint Resolution requesting that partner organizations work toward advancing farm-to-school initiatives in the Commonwealth. Through marketing and education, including organizing Virginia’s annual Farm-to-School Week, the state has made successful strides to help connect fresh food from local farms to schools.

VDACS was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm-to-School Conference and Event grant of $20,750 for a statewide conference. This USDA grant provides the opportunity to increase the number of Virginia school systems incorporating Virginia Grown products into school menus, while at the same time encouraging reliable, ongoing markets to support Virginia’s agricultural economy.

The conference will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Charlottesville. Attendees may register and find additional conference information at


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

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