Farmers interested in selling to Lowes Foods, MDI encouraged to attend information sessions Feb. 19 and 20

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host two grower information sessions for farmers interested in selling their products to Lowes Foods and Merchants Distributors Inc. The sessions, which were first held last year, developed out of the need to meet growing demand for locally sourced foods in grocery stores.

“Last year, about 15 contracts came out of these information sessions,” said Randy Maness, NCDA&CS retail marketing specialist. “Even if they don’t get a contract, we encourage all growers to attend so they can learn about the different requirements for selling to these companies in the future.”

The information sessions will address guidelines Lowes Foods requires to sell in its store. Dick McKellogg, director of produce and floral merchandising for Lowes Foods, will be available to answer questions about liability insurance, GAP certification and other topics. In addition, NCDA&CS marketing specialists will present information about becoming GAP certified and other grower information.

The first session will take place Feb. 19 in the common area of the Harnett County Health Building Complex, 307 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd., Lillington. Another session will be held Feb. 20 at the Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Road, Kinston. Each meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include lunch.

There is no charge for the event, but registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Randy Maness at 919-707-3133 or is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.