The 12th annual West Virginia University Extension Service Small Farm Conference offers educational opportunities that West Virginia farmers can “bet the farm on” when it comes to producing and selling food.

The conference takes place at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston from Thursday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Feb. 27. A three-day pass can be purchased for $190 or a one-day pass can be purchased for $70. Student, military veteran and individual event passes can also be purchased, see for full details.

Organized by the WVU Extension Small Farm Center, it’s a conference that offers more than just learning opportunities for increasing sustainable animal, plant or value-added product production, but teaches farmers how to positively influence their bottom line.

Organizers say that no matter how large or small the farm, or how experienced the farmer, attendees can increase their understanding of how to produce food profitably for their communities. Sessions provide reliable, tested knowledge about current trends as taught by university specialists, successful farmers and business men and women.

“As more and more folks buy and eat locally grown food, the opportunity for West Virginia farmers grows too,” said Tom McConnell, program leader for the WVU Extension Small Farm Center.

According to McConnell, the state’s residents spent more than $8 billion on food last year — money he believes local farmers could earn and grow their business with instead of it flowing out of state.

Conference activities include in-depth classes and demonstrations on topics including producing, processing and marketing West Virginia farm products.

The conference boasts more than 140 different educational sessions spread across 11 in-depth tracks. Sessions cover everything from agritourism to opportunities for military veterans and cheesemaking to sheep production.

Conference-goers can also experience the Winter Blues Farmers Market, a trade show, a silent auction, a seed swap and ample opportunity to meet with fellow producers, industry experts and university specialists.

To register, or for more information, schedule and course offerings, visit or call the Center at 304-293-2715.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service

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