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Schedule

Wednesday, February 21

7:00 a.m. Registration – Main Lobby

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Beekeeping Short Course – MEC Foyer
Ed Forney, Operator, Geezer Ridge Farm
Charles Walter, Operator, Walters Wholesome Goods

This training class caters to anyone who may be considering beekeeping as a hobby, a sideline income, or even as a business. Learn the fundamentals from commercial beekeepers and apiary owners.

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Better Process Control School – Salon E
Dr. Joseph E. Marcy, Department Head, Virginia Tech
Susan Slider, Research Assistant, West Virginia University
Teresa A. Halloran, Marketing Specialist, West Virginia Department of Agriculture

Are you looking to expand your market for processed specialty crops? Do you need to train additional staff in your commercial kitchen? This course fulfills the requirements set forth in Title 21, Part 114 of the Federal Food Code and is required by FDA and WV Public Health for commercial operations, including food manufacturers and commercial kitchen operations.

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training – Salon C
West Virginia Food Safety Training Team

For produce growers interested in exploring GHP/GAP certification or those seeking basic food production and handling practices for a direct market, this is the course for you. The one day program includes resource materials and instruction to explore your current practices and how to apply good food safety practices.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch – MEC Exhibit Hall

2:00– 5:00 p.m. Early Badge Pickup – Main Lobby


Thursday, February 22

West Virginia Farm Bureau Day

7:00 a.m. Registration – Main Lobby
Breakfast – MEC Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by Farm Aid, Inc.

8:00 a.m. Trade Show Opens – MEC Exhibit Hall
Silent Auction Opens – Salon F

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Beekeeping Short Course – MEC Foyer
Ed Forney, Operator, Geezer Ridge Farm
Charles Walter, Operator, Walters Wholesome Goods

This training class caters to anyone who may be considering beekeeping as a hobby, a sideline income, or even as a business. Learn the fundamentals from commercial beekeepers and apiary owners.

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Workshop Sessions

  • Better Process Control School – Salon E
  • Beekeeping Short Course – MEC Foyer
  • High Tunnel Workshop and Roundtable – Salon D
  • IPM for Apple Orchards: Insect & Disease Control – Salon C
  • Making Cold Storage on the Farm with CoolBots – Waterfront Room
  • Holistic Financial Planning – Wharf A
  • West Virginia Incubator Farm Network Program Design and Trainee Support – Mon River A & B
  • Farmacy – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

11:30 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. Lunch & Opening Remarks – MEC Exhibit Hall
Tom McConnell, WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center
Introductory Speaker: Danielle Grant, West Virginia Farm Bureau
Kent Leonhardt, Commissioner of Agriculture, West Virginia Department of Agriculture

Lunch Sponsor - Thrasher Engineering

1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Sessions

  • Better Process Control School – Salon E
  • Beekeeping Short Course – MEC Foyer
  • High Tunnel Workshop – Salon D
  • Growing Hops in West Virginia – Salon C
  • Energy Systems on the Farm – Waterfront Room
  • Holistic Financial Planning – Wharf A
  • West Virginia Incubator Farm Network Annual Meeting – Mon River A & B
  • Food IS Medicine – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Winter Blues Farmers Market Media Preview – MEC Exhibit Hall

4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Winter Blues Farmers Market and Local Dine-Around – MEC Exhibit Hall

Friday, February 23

West Virginia Department of Education Day

7:00 a.m. Registration – Main Lobby
Breakfast – MEC Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by Sodexo

8:00 a.m. Trade Show Opens – MEC Exhibit Hall
Silent Auction Opens – Salon F

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Morning Workshop Session 1

  • Managing the Small Beef Herd – Waterfront
  • High Value Production of Early, Warm-Season Vegetables – Salon E
  • Profitable Production of Blackberries in West Virginia– Salon D
  • Getting Started with CSAs – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Growing for Wholesale Markets: Winter Squash Case Study – Salon C
  • Incorporating Agriculture in Childcare Programs – Wharf A
  • Our Journey to Full Time Farming – Wharf B
  • Whole Farm Revenue Insurance – Mon River A & B
  • Forward Fund Roundtable – Salon H
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Workshop Session 2

  • Diversifying your Farm with Poultry – Waterfront
  • Asparagus A-Z – Salon E
  • Strawberries and More… Growing Your Niche – Salon D
  • Community Supported Agriculture Panel – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Gearing Up to Meet Wholesale Markets: Lessons Learned – Salon C
  • Beyond Bedding Plants: Maximizing the Benefits of High Tunnels & Greenhouses in Schools – Wharf A
  • The Holistic Goal: Meeting Personal, Family and Farm Needs through a Values-Based Vision – Wharf B
  • Managing Farm Liabilities & Business Insurance – Mon River A & B
  • Start Up Money: Youth Loans – Salon H
  • Composting: Feeding Our Soils – Salon G

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch & Plenary Speaker – MEC Exhibit Hall
Introductory Speaker: Bekki Leigh, WV Department of Education
Food System Panel

Lunch Sponsor - Northeast Natural Energy

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Break for Trade Show – MEC Exhibit Hall

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 1

  • Grazing the Whole System: Resiliency, Productivity and Profit with Multi-species Grazing – Waterfront
  • Crop Production of Winter Squash and Pumpkins – Salon E
  • Growing Strawberries Profitably – Salon D
  • Farmer Advocacy: Creating a Climate for Agriculture in West Virginia
  • Wholesale Buyer/Producer Panel – Salon C
  • West Virginia Kids Farmers Markets Program at Schools – Wharf A
  • West Virginia Grown Branding – Wharf B
  • Better Uses of Life Insurance than a Death Benefit – Mon River A & B
  • Selling Your Farm Story – Salon H
  • Mini Greenhouses – Salon G

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 2

  • Sustainable Beekeeping through Sound Management Practices – Waterfront
  • Tomato Grafting for Higher Yields – Salon E
  • Setting Up an Irrigation System on Your Farm – Salon D
  • Annual West Virginia Farmers Market Association Meeting – MEC Exhibit Hall
  • Wholesale Buyer/Producer Panel – Salon C
  • Growing Farmers in West Virginia: Garden-Based Learning for West Virginia Elementary Schools – Wharf A
  • Working with Local Chefs – Wharf B
  • Property Rights of Way – Mon River A & B
  • Career Opportunities – Salon H
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. The Great West Virginia Pop-Off – MEC Exhibit Hall

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 3

  • Alternative Systems for Raising Swine and Improving Pork Flavor – Waterfront
  • Sweet Corn Production – Salon E
  • Planning for Profit with Produce Sales – Salon D
  • Farmers Market Senior Nutrition Voucher Training
  • From Seconds to Success: Strategies for Selling Graded Seconds – Salon C
  • Farm to Campus & Back Again: Sustainable Food at the University of Maryland – Wharf A
  • The Art of Choosing Enterprises & Making Marketing Decisions – Wharf B
  • There's an App for That – Mon River A & B
  • Farming Is Risky Business! Risk Management for Young Producers – Salon H
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Competition – George R. Farmer Jr. Boardroom
After many weeks of hard work and critical thinking, the list of many student competitors has been shortened to 10 finalists. Today they deliver their final pitch to the judges.

8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Youth Agricultural Communications Competition – Puskar Boardroom
The communications’ event provides individuals with practical skills necessary to pursue career opportunities. Public communications about agricultural products, practices and policies are essential to the future of agriculture. Students who are equipped with strong communication skills can use a variety of media to help the public understand issues related to the industry of agriculture and have a brighter future in the job market.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Networking Social Hour Mixer – MEC Foyer
Sponsored by West Virginia Farmers Market Association

6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Meet Your Farmer Dinner and Awards – MEC Exhibit Hall
Young Agricultural Competitions Awards
Pop-Off Competition People’s Choice Awards

Tom McConnell, WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center
Vanguard Design Competition Award
Sponsored by Robert C. Byrd Institute: Advanced Manufacturing

8:00 – 9:15 p.m. Screening of “Farmers of America” Film – MEC Exhibit Hall


Saturday, February 24

Natural Resources Conservation Service Day

7:00 a.m. Registration – Main Lobby
Breakfast – MEC Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by Paragon

8:00 a.m. Trade Show Opens – MEC Exhibit Hall
Silent Auction Opens – Salon F

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Morning Workshop Session 1

  • Housing Poultry on your Farm – Waterfront
  • How We Grow and Market Produce – Salon E
  • Overview of Mulches for Vegetables and Fruit Production – Salon D
  • Marketing Local Meat Cooperatively – Salon C
  • AgriBusiness Loan Readiness – Mon River A & B
  • Panel Best Practices for Farmers Markets – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Design Fundamentals for Diversified Farms – Wharf B
  • From Udder to Butter – Salon G

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Workshop Session 2

  • Optimizing of Nutrients for Pasture Management – Salon E
  • Yield and Economic Comparison of Two Tomato Growing Systems – Salon E
  • Seed Saving for Commercial and Backyard Growers – Salon D
  • Chopping and Slicing Vegetables for Added Income – Wharf A
  • Enterprise Development & Modeling – Salon C
  • Loan Readiness Panel from the Experts – Mon River A & B
  • Double SNAP Programs for West Virginia’s Farmers Markets – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Advanced Design Fundamentals for Diversified Farms – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch & Plenary Speaker – MEC Exhibit Hall
Introductory Speaker: Louis Aspey, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Plenary Speaker: Ben Hartman, Clay Bottom Farm & The Lean Farm Author
Lunch Sponsor – Farm Credit of the Virginias

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 1

  • Your Guide to Soil Testing and Health – Waterfront
  • Improving Yield of Vegetables by Stand Establishment– Salon E
  • Value-added Lettuce, Squash, Peppers and Onions  – Salon D
  • Apply Three-Step Wash Process to Improve Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce – Wharf A
  • Adding Poultry Litter to Your Farms Soil Fertility Program – Salon C
  • Incorporating Crop Insurance – Mon River A & B
  • Mobile Poultry Processing Program – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Liability with People on the Farm – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Seed Exchange – MEC Exhibit Hall

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 2

  • Using Rolled and Crimped Cover Crops for No-Till Vegetable Production – Waterfront
  • Succession Planting for Profitable High Tunnel Production – Salon E
  • Postharvest Handling of Leafy Greens – Salon D
  • Farm Market Viability: A Study of 141 West Virginia Farmers – Wharf A
  • Stories from the Trainees – Salon C
  • Using the Lean System to Increase Profits with Less Work on the Farm – Mon River A & B
  • Farmers Market Sales Data Collection and Report Card – Exhibit Hall Stage
  • Hosting On-Farm Events – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Session 3

  • Liming Your Soil – Waterfront
  • Making Green with High Tunnel Leafy Greens – Salon E
  • Growing Miniature Watermelons – Salon D
  • Aggregation & Distribution Roundtable – Salon C
  • Statewide Farmers Market Marketing Campaign – Wharf A
  • Let’s Talk About Taxes and the Schedule F – Mon River A & B
  • Specialty Crop Block Grant – Wharf B
  • Budding Farmers – Salon G