WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
February 15, 2006
Forum for Rural Innovation:
New Approaches for Agriculture and Rural Prosperity
March 10, 2006
This is a reminder about the excellent forum on March 10 on new approaches for Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Its program is most interesting, and should be of value to anyone attending.
Pre-registration by March 3 is required.
This forum should be of interest not only to farmers and others in agriculture, but also to members of the general public concerned about the future of independent family farming. These new approaches should be of interest.
The second annual Forum for Rural Innovation will be held Friday, March 10, 2006 at the Best Western Lee-Jackson Motor Inn & Conference Center in Winchester, Virginia. The purpose of the Forum is to showcase replicable innovative ideas, projects or programs that enhance farm or rural business profitability, conserve farm land and natural resources, or develop new approaches to rural prosperity that are viable in an expensive farmland-upscale consumer environment.
The Forum will feature a series of presentations, with an emphasis on farming for high-profitability by using innovative and sound business approaches particularly suited to the Mid-Atlantic region. Topics have been chosen to present practical examples of successful innovative operations that could be adapted to area farms. The program will feature some of the most progressive and recognized farmers and researchers in the United States.
Forum topics will include:
“The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Role in Fostering Innovative Agriculture,” Dr. Sharon Quisenberry, Dean of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Virginia Tech. Dean Quisenberry will highlight educational and research efforts at Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension to explore innovative and sustainable agriculture.
“Innovative Horticulture Production Systems,” Steve Bogash, Commercial Horticulture Educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension. Various forms of horticulture production including high tunnel, Haygrove tunnel, and others are commercially available. Hear a comparison of “why” in selecting these production systems, and opportunities in cut flower production, vegetable production, small fruits, and other niche crops.
“Effective Farmers Markets Promotions,” Bernadine Prince, Founder and Co-Director of FRESHFARM Markets. FRESHFARM Markets operates six producer-only farmers markets in the DC metro area. What makes these markets work so well? Learn how management and public education of food and farming
issues make these farmers markets the markets of choice.
“Livestock Marketing – From Hobby to Big Business,” Dr. David S. Redwine, DVM, Co-founder of Scott County Hair Sheep Association. The Scott County Hair Sheep Association is a model of livestock marketing opportunities. Learn the history, marketing strategies, and current production methods of this group of Southwest Virginia farmers to supply a meat marketing niche.
“High Value Horticultural and Forestry Crops Program,” Dr. Jerzy Nowak, Head of Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech. Dr. Nowak’s presentation will describe the Horticulture Department’s role in a multidisciplinary research program aiming at commercialization of a wide range of high-value horticultural crops and sustainable production of bio-energy and bio-products.
“Innovative Marketing and Agritourism Approaches,” Kate Zurschmeide, Great Country Farms, Bluemont, VA. The goal of Great Country Farms is to offer a way for everyone to experience farm life and enjoy the benefits of its bounty. CSAs, U-pick, weddings, picnics, Pumpkin Chunkin, Strawberry Jubilee, and a farm animal barnyard are just the beginning of this innovative farm operation.
“Endless Summer Harvest: A New Way of Making GREEN,” Wallace E. Reed, Jr., Managing Director & Grower, Endless Summer Harvest, associated with the U.S. Botanic Garden specializing in Tropical Plants. Endless Summer Harvest is asuccessful local farm that hydroponically grows added value crops of gourmet lettuces, specialty greens and culinary herbs, pesticide free in a year round controlled environment. They don’t make money from high quality lettuce greens, they make money from satisfied customers. Come and learn about the future of farming here and now, today- in Loudoun County.
“Off Season Strawberry Production in Unheated Greenhouses,” Dr. Fumiomi Takeda, Research Scientist, USDA/ARS, Kearneysville, WV. Dr. Takeda will present production issues and opportunities including cultural practices, pest management, and pitfalls associated with strawberry production in unheated greenhouse structures.
“Container Production of Trees,” Louis Nichols, Bellwether Farm,
Purcellville. Containerized production of Christmas trees and landscape nursery trees can reduce growing time of Christmas trees by 40%. Learn production techniques to reduce labor and increase production of Christmas and shade trees.
In addition, exhibits by agricultural suppliers, businesses, and support agencies will be featured the entire day. Area agricultural businesses are encouraged to participate with exhibits and displays.
A registration fee of $35.00 per person will include the forum program, morning refreshments, and buffet lunch. Registration information is available on-line at http://www.loudounfarms.org/
or by calling (703) 777-0426. Pre-registration by March 3rd is required.
The Forum for Rural Innovation is a cooperative educational effort by the offices of Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Economic Development in Loudoun, Fauquier, Clarke, and Frederick counties of Virginia, and Jefferson and Berkeley counties, West Virginia, and the Potomac Headwaters