Third Annual MarketPlace Conference a Huge Success

Over 525 people gathered in North Platte, Nebraska, on Feb. 25, 2009, for the Center for Rural Affairs’ third annual MarketPlace, an entrepreneurial and small business conference. Entrepreneurs, business owners, service providers, students, teachers, farmers, ranchers and many others of all ages took part. Participants came from 11 states.

Whether looking to improve your farm or ranch operation, starting or improving a business, expanding a home-based business, or in community development, MarketPlace had something for everyone. Over 100 youths in attendance added to the energy and excitement in North Platte.

There were over 30 training opportunities organized in tracks including Marketing, Finance, Agriculture, Busi¬ness Development, Policy, Youth, Technology, Community Development and Hispanic (with sessions available in Spanish).

More than 50 exhibit booths were filled with successful small businesses, service providers, and other conference sponsors. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with experts in many fields – attorneys, CPA’s, web designers, etc. Rural America is facing many challenges. The purpose of MarketPlace is to address these challenges by creating connections and sharing information that people across rural America can use to create a better future for their communities, their families and themselves.

If you missed the conference this year, make sure to attend next year on Feb. 24, 2010, at the Ramada Inn in Kearney. For information, visit