Interest in where our food comes from and how it’s grown has never been higher. West Virginia University’s Organic Research Farm has a living laboratory that explores these issues and links scientific discovery with applications supporting an increasing number of organic growers and gardeners.

The farm will be open to the public from 12:15 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, for its 15th annual field day.

Hosted by the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension Service, the event introduces new research and highlights ongoing projects in organic production methods through intensive workshops and organized or self-guided tours of the farm, one of the largest certified organic research farms in the nation.

This year’s guest speaker is Tammy Jordan, president of Fruits of Labor, Inc., in Greenbrier County, W.Va. Jordan’s operation employs a multifaceted approach to organic production, including production and culinary processes in a sustainable agricultural model that inspires profitable, small-scale Appalachian farming opportunities.

The event will include workshops led by WVU students and faculty including topics on organic lamb production and health management, soil fertility and quality, organic pest management, and seed and cultivar evaluations. Walking tours of research and demonstration plots emphasizing market garden and site management practices for horticultural crops will be offered. Bring along a pair of binoculars to try and see the many species of birds that live on the farm, and fill in one of the checklists available to visitors.

The farm has employed five summer interns, with the support of a gift from Linda Butler, professor emerita of entomology. The interns have been instrumental in producing fruits and vegetables this summer, while also launching consumer supported agriculture taking on independent research into organic practices. The interns will be on-hand during the field day to answer questions about their projects.

The interns are: Daniel Almeida de Freitas, pursuing a graduate degree in agricultural sciences, from Minas Gerais, Brazil; Brian Fisher, an agribusiness management and rural development major from Nutley, N.J.; Coral Foster, an environmental protection major from McConnelsville, Ohio; Jake Kelly, a horticulture major from Beckley, W.Va.; and Jesse Poe, a horticulture major from Charleston, W.Va.

Gates open at 12:15 p.m. with workshops beginning at 1:15 p.m. Guided tours begin at 4 p.m. A lite dinner featuring organic produce grown on the farm will be served at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated.

To register, e-mail or contact Tessy Warnick at 304-293-2961.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

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