Agri-Business Alliance program Wednesday on sustainable agriculture

Published 6:20 pm Monday, September 14, 2009

The Community Agri-Business Alliance (CABA) is a membership organization for the support and development of Mountain BizWorks Alumni in Polk County and surrounding areas in partnership with the Polk County Office of Agricultural Economic Development. For the past 20 years Mountain BizWorks has been committed to celebrating the spirit of small business ventures in Western North Carolina, with the fundamental commitment to economic empowerment. The focus of this particular Alliance has a special emphasis on agriculture, but the friends of agriculture are also encouraged to participate. &bsp;

The purpose of the CABA is to support the business aspirations of its members within the framework of best business practices, develop and maintain positive relationships with the business, government, and education communities in Polk County, NC and surrounding areas, and for the purpose of networking. Other objectives are to initiate and support new approaches for business success in Polk County, and to sponsor networking and educational opportunities for small, developing businesses in our region.

Mountain BizWorks is a non-profit organization that provides training, financing and opportunities through business development and capital. The mission of Mountain BizWorks is to inspire entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas and the discipline to follow through and to build economic opportunities through business training and capital. The intention of the CABA is to build a more vibrant local economy in Western North Carolina through agriculture.

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Agricultural businesses can vary from on-the-ground farm operations to value added products and agri-tourism to services for the equestrian operations. An effort is being made to reconnect the residents and local businesses to an agricultural and economic heritage.&bsp; Since agriculture, including the equestrian operations, is the biggest business in Polk County, CABA members say every effort should be made to enhance existing operations. Finally, with the current trends to buy local healthy foods and encourage small businesses, they say agriculture can become the base for new business development.&bsp; It is expected that the number of agri-businesses will increase over the next several years.

Everyone interested learning more about organics, local, sustainable and bio-dynamic food is encouraged to attend. For more information call: Jo Ann Miksa-Blackwell at 864-457-6843 or Lynn Sprague at 894-2281.