W.Va. small-farms, FarmHer conferences set for Feb 21-22

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Including this farm near Sandyville, West Virginia boasts one of the highest percentages of small farms in the U.S.

The fourteenth annual West Virginia Small Farm Conference is set to begin February 21 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia.

“West Virginia has over 20,000 farms. Most of those operations are small. This gives West Virginia one of the highest percentages of small farms in the country,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.

“These small farms are the essence of West Virginia agriculture.”

The event is being hosted by West Virginia University Extension Services in conjunction with the W.Va. Department of Agriculture and various other partners, Leonhardt said.

Conference attendees will hear from topic experts speak on issues including: animal production, specialty crops, valued-added products, Farm to School, agritourism and how to seek marketing opportunities.

The division will also hold a “West Virginia Grown” stakeholder meeting, seeking valuable input from state agriculturalists, with a complete relaunch of the branding program set for this spring.

There will also be a viewing of the documentary “Farmers for America,” narrated by Mike Rowe Friday evening.

“The small farm conference is a celebration of our family farms and the exploration of improved management techniques and science to help our communities prosper,” said Tom McConnell, program leader for the WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center.

FarmHer, a national organization focused on inspiring young women to pursue careers in agriculture, will host an 8:30 a.m.-to-4 p.m. confence February 22, open to women ages 16-22. Participants will hear firsthand stories from various successful Agri-women.

To register for the Small Farm Conference, , or for more information, contact Lisa Jones at 304-293-2715 or Lisa.Lagana@mail.wvu.edu.

To register for the FarmHer event, contact Dee Singh-Knights at 304-293-7606 or dosingh-knights@mail.wvu.edu.

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