Agriculture Press Release

April 9, 1998

"AgVenture Services" Program to Assist
Prospective Florida Entrepreneurs;
seminars set for Fort Myers and Wauchula

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is launching a new program to help would-be entrepreneurs turn their agribusiness ideas into potential business enterprises. The program will be explained at seminars on April 22 in Fort Myers and April 28 in Wauchula.

The AgVenture Services program provides prospective business owners with resource and reference materials that can be used to logically evaluate the prospective enterprises chances of success -- before a great deal of capital is invested.

A key component of the program is the business planning kit, which provides insight into how to develop a basic business plan, estimate costs and revenues, and project the ventures potential for profitability.

The AgVenture Services program stresses the processing of agricultural products, which adds value to raw commodities. The "value-added" concept means that an agribusiness processes fresh Florida farm commodities into products that have additional value to the consumer.

Value-added processing can be as simple as packing pecans in tray-packs for sale at retail outlets, or manufacturing salsa or picante sauces by processing fresh Florida tomatoes, onions, peppers and other raw ingredients.

Launching a value-added business enterprise requires securing financing, locating a suitable manufacturing facility, securing suppliers of raw materials, hiring and training a labor force, developing a marketing plan and distribution channels, and much more. Thats where the AgVenture Services program can assist entrepreneurs.

Participants who pursue their agribusiness enterprises are provided with information about infrastructure, professional marketing assistance, competitive intelligence, market research and other services essential to successfully launching a new business. Participants are also offered leased space available within the State Farmers Market system, which operates 15 locations in areas of high agricultural production.

Seminars to outline the benefits of the AgVenture Services program will be held on the following dates and locations, with each seminar beginning at 6 p.m.:

April 22, Fort Myers
Terry Park, Agricultural Extension Service Auditorium
3406 Palm Beach Boulevard

April 28, Wauchula
Hardee County Farm Bureau
1017 U.S. 17 North

Representatives from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be on hand to explain the program. Business planning kits will also be available.

For more information about the seminar or the AgVenture Services program, call
(850) 487-4322, or write:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Bureau of State Farmers Markets
541 East Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32308


For More Information:

Don Coker
(850) 487-4322

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