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Apr 6

Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference

April 6 @ 1:00 pm - April 9 @ 5:00 pm CDT

The Home-Based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference will, for the first time, bring together cottage food business owners.

Get started with your dream of owning your own home-based cottage food business or take your business to the next level. Join some of the leading cottage food operators, food activists, educators, and leaders in various organizations who are fighting for our freedom to earn, whether we’re selling decorated cookies, artisanal chocolates, small batch jams and jellies, hand-formed loaves of bread, cocoa bombs or numerous other “non-hazardous” cottage food products. This conference is designed to offer practical, actionable ideas and information from some of the leaders of the cottage food movement and from successful cottage food entrepreneurs who are running successful, and profitable, businesses from their home kitchens.

We’re excited to offer the first-ever, national conference on cottage food and food freedom. To set the stage, there will be a keynote from the following acclaimed speakers:

Virtual Conference Format

The completely virtual conference is designed to allow participants from any part of the continental US to access the scheduled programming without having to wake up in the wee hours of the morning or stay up past your bedtime.

There will be four, 30-minute keynotes, one on each day of the conference, followed by a 20-minute LIVE question and answer session. The keynote starts at 1pm, Central Standard Time (CST). To help avoid confusion, when you register, the schedule you see in the conference app will automatically adjust the timing to your time zone. The keynotes are followed by three 20-minute workshops, one after another with a 10-minute LIVE question and answer session after each workshop.

There are brief breaks between sessions, so you have a chance to stretch your legs, get a cup of coffee or tea, let the dog out, or check on those kids. In terms of posting questions to the speakers, we will make sure every last question that is posted will be answered, either live, or posted after the session.

About 24 hours after you register for this conference, you will be granted access to the Whova Conference Web App, download the Whova Conference App for your mobile device, search for and network with other attendees from your state, or start your own meet-up group on a topic you want to connect with others about.

There are also some fun contests using the Whova Conference App on your mobile device, like the “people’s choice” award for the most Instagrammable photo of your amazing product, market stand display, or of you working in the kitchen. Thanks to the sponsorship by New Society Publishers, a free copy of Homemade for Sale will be given away to the winners of these contests.

What This Virtual Conference Will Cover

The Home-Based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference will, for the first time, bring together cottage food business owners operating under their state’s cottage food law along with educators and leaders in this movement with a goal to support these new entrepreneurs to launch and succeed. The conference will showcase and celebrate the economic impact of this budding entrepreneurial movement and the local food economy.

The goals of this virtual gathering are to facilitate information sharing and discussion to:

  • Examine the cottage food movement nationally and explore what it might look like in the future
  • Provide a platform for cottage food entrepreneurs to share best practices, challenges & ideas
  • Create opportunity for networking and connections between states
  • Spotlight the up-and-coming Food Freedom movement
  • Provide start-up information and resources for new entrepreneurs
  • Address both the challenges and opportunities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

Interaction and Attendee Participation

In addition to four keynote presentations, there will be a series of practical workshops that are designed to help you launch your business or achieve greater success in the one you’re operating. Each keynote and workshop are followed by a LIVE question and answer session where you can post your questions directly to the speakers. While unlikely, speakers and schedule are subject to change. All questions will be answered, either in the live session or posted afterwards online, so no question will be left unanswered.

This conference is to help you achieve your dream, make your cottage food operation a success and build a stronger movement, state by state. There are no concurrent sessions, so you never have to miss one. In the event your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend a session, don’t worry, since it will be archived for you to view at a later date when convenient to you.

As a special bonus, there are on-demand presentations which you can review at a time convenient to you. These special bonus sessions, which might appeal to those just starting out with their business, include the Cottage Food Overview and Selling From Your Home Kitchen, and are offered at no additional fee.

Everyone will be encouraged to share their own experiences, challenges, and help others with resources and advice through online, interactive Social Group chat rooms by state. Breakouts are also possible using Zoom Meeting Rooms where you can turn on your video and fully join in on a topic or issue.

Special Note on Timing and Attendance

We realize we’re all very busy people. We have cookies to deliver. We have families to feed. We may have kids to care for. Therefore, not only will the conference keynote and workshops be made available after their first official session, but we’re taping and archiving every call in question and answer session. You will be able to access and review or replay all of these sessions and enjoy all of the content on the Whova platform until July 1, 2021 on the Whova web app, and until October 1, 2021 on the Whova mobile app.

Cancellation Policy: No Refunds

The Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference has a no refund policy. Registration fees are not transferable and non-refundable. Please keep in mind that the conference is virtual, and all keynotes, workshops and other conference content will be made accessible outside the official schedule, so attendee access to the conference is not limited to the actual dates and scheduled speakers at the conference. All paid registrations will have access to the content for up to six months after the completion of the conference on the Whova Conference mobile app.

Conference Host:

Renewing the Countryside

Renewing the Countryside works to strengthen rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. The goal of our work is to foster sustainable, vibrant and equitable communities.

Supporters and Sponsors:

SILVER Level ($1,000)

Forrager.com and The Forrager Podcast

New Society Publishers

Artisan Grain Collaborative

North Central Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (NC SARE)

Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Sugar Cookie Marketing

Delights by Dawn

Institute for Justice

BRONZE Level ($500)


The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School

Farm Commons

Profitable Preserves

Food Lawyer Network

Pen and Provisions

Bella’s Desserts

Pop Culture Cake Pops

Wild Yeast Kitchen

Poppy and Sweetpea’s Cookies

OUTREACH PARTNER Level (non-profits only; $200)

Minnesota Cottage Food Producer’s Association

Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA)

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Compeer Financial

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service

Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN)

Women’s Agriculture Network/University of Vermont

For complete details: Click Here