PENDER, Neb. — Registration is now open for the “Food + Art Conference: Growing Rural Businesses and Communities,” hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs. The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Pender Community Center, 614 Main St., in Pender, Nebraska.

The conference will offer resources and connections for food and arts-based businesses, and rural community or economic developers wishing to develop local economic opportunities around local foods and the arts.

“Local foods and the arts are emerging market opportunities for rural communities and business owners,” said Sandra Renner, Farm & Community Program director with the Center for Rural Affairs. “This conference focuses on giving small food and arts-based businesses the tools they need to be successful and access to resources usually only found at larger conferences in urban areas.”

Sessions topics include funding, small business basics, food hubs, how to market and sell your art, developing cooperatives, and community development around local foods and the arts.

An optional post-conference session will be held the same day from 4-6 p.m., and pre-sessions will be offered Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Walthill and Winnebago.

For more information and to register, visit Contact Renner at or 402-687-2100, ext. 1009, with questions.

Sponsors for the conference include Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District and Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project. Funding for the conference is provided by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant.

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