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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 7:23 am | Fair 44º


Free Seminar on Agricultural Tourism, Export Open to the Public

Industry professionals will discuss FedEx's proposed Ambassadors Program, among other topics

The public is invited to learn more about agricultural tourism and export and how it can benefit local businesses in the Santa Ynez Valley and surrounding areas at a free seminar from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Grange Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. in Los Olivos.

The seminar will be hosted by the District Export Council of Southern California and sponsored by Soilmoisture Equipment Corp.

Industry professionals such as Guy Fox, chairman of the DECSC and export logistics expert, and Hud Warren, president of China West LLC and DECSC member, will be giving presentations on the proposed Ambassadors Program sponsored by FedEx, which will be taking a group of interested vintners from the Santa Ynez Valley to China sometime next spring to pour wines and expand the reach of local labels overseas and bring tourist dollars to our community.

The seminar will also feature a presentation from the Small Business Development Center, whose mission is to strengthen existing business entities, and assist start-ups through high quality, no-cost counseling and high quality, affordable training programs.

“We have a plethora of industry experts at the ready to assist local businesses either get into export or expand their export sales. Tourism is an export, and the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara County have so much to offer,” said Megan Cullen, chair of special events for the DECSC and international marketing manager of Soilmoisture Equipment Corp., based out of Goleta. “Tourism can be a starting point for many businesses to expand — more visitors means businesses hire more staff and that translates into growth.”

According to the International Trade Administration, last year a record 62 million international tourists visited the United States and spent a record $153 billion that went to support the economies of local communities, helping to support 1.1 million jobs in the travel and tourism industry.

The mission of the DECSC is to contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service, Department of Commerce export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade educational and community outreach.

The seminar is no cost to attend; however, those who want to attend must RSVP to Cullen at 805.252.0036 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Megan Cullen is the international sales and marketing manager for Soilmoisture Equipment Corp.

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