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November 28, 2007

'Putting Small Acreage to Work Conference' will be Dec. 8

As a result of increased interest in small-scale farming, Gaston County Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a "Putting Small Acreage to Work Conference." This conference will provide information for people interested in starting or expanding small-scale farm enterprises. Whether for profit or personal enjoyment, a new project should be carefully thought out.

The Dec. 8 conference presentations kick off at the Gaston County Police Department at 9 a.m., following registration at 8:30 a.m. The keynote speaker will feature Tim Will of Foothills Connect, speaking on creating a unique Internet-based produce market, aptly named Farmers Fresh Market, that links growers of locally grown fresh food products with Charlotte based restaurants and chefs.

Participants will explore alternative enterprises, learning from successful producers and university personnel who are already growing, producing and researching specialty crops and livestock. These experts will provide the practical, no-nonsense, hands-on advice growers will need when considering crop production, market development and other important business options.

Topics to be discussed include small fruit production, organic vegetable production, direct marketing freezer meats; beef and pork, meat goat production; bee keeping, agritourism, CSA and subscription sales, medicinal herbs, and pasture systems.

Class sessions will start promptly after registration. The program will include one general opening session and three breakout sessions. Three topics will be discussed concurrently during each of these breakout sessions. Participants will receive lunch and resource materials for all sessions. Fees for the conference are $20 per person or $30 per couple before Dec. 3.

Registration information for the conference is available at: http://gaston.ces.ncsu.edu/ or by contacting Lara_Worden@ncsu.edu or 704.922.2118.

Posted by Natalie at November 28, 2007 03:55 PM