Farmers interested in direct marketing and agri-tourism can participate in a one-day workshop in Debert, Colchester Co., later this month. The Marketing Caravan is designed to bring farmers and innovative agriculture experts together to talk about farm markets, business management, niche market development and diversification, and to make new contacts. “This workshop is an opportunity for farmers to learn more about direct marketing of farm products to Nova Scotia consumers,” said Ron Chisholm, acting Minister of Agriculture. “There will be time to network with people from different sectors of the agriculture industry and to learn about the latest in direct marketing and agri-tourism approaches that make consumers more aware of local products.” The North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association conference was held in Calgary from Feb. 12 to 17. Because not everyone can leave the farm to attend conferences, the Marketing Caravan is bringing the speakers and information to farming communities across Canada. Charlie Touchette and Brent Warner are the key speakers. Mr. Touchette is executive director of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association and has experience with farmers’ markets and marketing for farmers. Mr. Warner is with the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and is a direct farm marketing and agri-tourism specialist. The Department of Agriculture is hosting the event at the Debert Hospitality Centre on Friday, March 23. The cost is $50 and the deadline to register is Monday, March 12. For more information, contact Claire Hanlon Smith at 902-893-4491 or Ginger Stoddard at 902-893-6580. Information about the Marketing Caravan is available at http://farmcentre.com/english/conference/caravan2007/index .