MSU sets video conference on food firm startups

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University plans a daylong videoconference with locations around the state to help new owners of food businesses improve their odds of success, even during current hard times.

MSU Extension professor Anna Hood says the Oct. 4 conference is for anyone considering owning and operating a business in food manufacturing or wholesale distribution. She says it will explain what’s needed for basic startup in such businesses.

Locations for “Food as a Business” include Hattiesburg, Raymond, Verona and Cleveland as well as the university. The registration deadline is Sept. 23.

Topics to be covered include business plans, legal issues, marketing, Internet sales, food processing and labeling regulations, funding sources, and product costing and pricing. Speakers will address how to work with retailers and the “Make Mine Mississippi” program. Lunch speakers will tell of their experiences starting food processing businesses.

A $40 registration fee includes conference materials, lunch, and snacks.

Go to http://www.fsnhp.msstate.edu/ for additional information and a registration form.

Sponsors include the extension service, the university’s Small Business Development Center and its Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion; and the Mississippi Development Authority’s Entrepreneur Center.

The Associated Press