Ben Garber Interviews Dr. Tim Woods

Click the 'play' button below to watch the video of Ben's interview with Dr. Woods discussing the Market Ready Program at the Washington DC 2018 conference.

Ben Garber Interviews Dr. Ron Rainey

Click the 'play' button below to watch the video of Ben's interview with Dr. Rainey discussing the National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit in Washington DC.

The 2018 FDRS Annual Conference was held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia, during September 14-18, 2018.  Ron Rainey, VP Logistics, and I had the chance to tour the hotel in February.  This Marriott is perfectly situated minutes from Washington, D.C. and less than one mile from Reagan National Airport, with an interior corridor connecting you to the Crystal City Metro. Attractions such as Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, Pentagon City Mall, Arlington National Cemetery, Iwo Jima Memorial, Old Town Alexandria, US Capitol, White House, National Mall and Nationals Park are only a few Metro stops away! I am sure you found it an excellent venue for any type of entertainment you seek.

This years’ FDRS annual meeting was held in conjunction with United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit, Farmers Market Coalition, and National Value-Added Conference under the umbrella of “2018 Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit.”

The goal of the summit is to improve understanding, capacity and performance of farms and businesses that participate in direct to consumer markets. Summit featured new resources—intended to assist farmers, market managers and direct marketing farmers—as well as research and data on direct to consumer markets.

National leaders and experts from industry and the public sector participated in plenary sessions and break-out training. Technical assistance included workshops for Farmers Market Promotion Program grant participants and MarketMaker stakeholders.  The 2018 program featured an organized tour Shaw Farmers Market and Dupont Circle Farmers Market on Sunday, September 16th.

The Food Marketing Challenge occured on Saturday prior to the formal conference. Dr. Lurleen Walters and Dr. Elizabeth Canales are arranging an excellent and challenging case for this team competition. I encourage each of you to register a team. It is like no other competition and really challenges the students. Besides, there are cash awards for the top three teams.

Please consider submitting a proposal for a research update, research report, or poster. FDRS is a great place to share research and engage in dialogue that can help improve your work or spark ideas for future work. In addition, it is a friendly place for graduate students to gain experience. Another benefit of presenting a report, update or poster is it will be published in the March issue of the Journal of Food Distribution Research. I encourage you to include JFDR on your preferred publication list.

Announcements regarding the presidential awards and the Richardson-Applebaum awards for outstanding graduate research in food distribution and marketing have gone out to the membership and partnering organizations. Please consider nominating a worthy colleague and/or one of your students for these awards. If you did not receive the announcement, please visit the FDRS website at:


The Schedule was as follows: