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WIA Conference Agenda

Friday, November 15, 2019

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. - Exhibitors Check-in; Conference Registration; West Virginia Agri-Women Fall Quarterly Meeting

Noon – 5:30 p.m. - Pre-conference Farm/Business Tour
Buses depart promptly at noon. Don’t be late! Boxed lunch provided to participants.

Noon – 6:00 p.m. Horticulture Tours

Lanagan’s Lodge – Reginald Lanagan 

Lanagan’s Lodge was established in 1996. The Lanagans make maple syrup in the sugar house designed and built by Reggie and his family. An orchard was established on the property. The Lanagans sell apples and cider at local farmer’s markets, directly from the farm and through other markets outside of West Virginia. The Lanagans also participate in Kid’s Farmers Markets at area schools.

Ol Dad’z Greenhouse

Marisa NicholsMarisa Nichols operates Ol Dad’z Greenhouse.  She cultivates two varieties of eucalyptus - silver dollar and silver drop.  Currently, she markets to individuals and is working to develop a market with local florists.  Marisa also grows gourds with the goal of eliminating plastics as planters. Any gourds that can’t be used as planters are sold as natural fire starters. She practices all-natural growing methods with no chemicals or pesticides.

Garden Treasures

Lisa and Doug DennisonLisa and Doug Dennison have operated a family farm nestled in the hills of Braxton County for over 20 years. Garden Treasures has traditionally marketed flowers, herbs, and seasonal produce for their loyal customers at local farmers markets and restaurants.  They sell scented old-fashioned lye soap, salves, gift baskets, wooden spoons, walking sticks, herbs, flowers and produce.

Noon – 6:00 p.m.  Livestock Tours

Wayne Cattle Company

Sara and John Wayne established Wayne Cattle Company in 2008.  Since November of 2009, agriculture has been their sole source of income. What began as a cow/calf herd, has grown and expanded to include pre-conditioning cattle, direct marketing hay to local feed stores, selling freezer beef, pork and lamb, custom grazing, and marketing their beef in retail cuts to restaurants and individuals. They are always on the lookout for new ways to diversify their agriculture ventures.  John and Sara are proud parents of 2 very active boys.

Hamric Farms

Debbie and Vernon (Buck) Hamric have both a commercial herd and a purebred Angus herd.  They usually market their commercial calves as a pre-conditioned group on a board sale. They develop Angus bulls and heifers and market those to producers in the central WV area. They also market freezer beef. Debbie operates a catering business with her daughter-in-law, “Country Girls Catering” out of her home. Buck and Debbie are teaching the second generation of Hamric’s about agriculture as they support their grandchildren’s efforts with market beef and bred heifer 4-H projects.

McClain Farms

Helen McClain and her husband Bill operate Stoney Meadows Farm on Georgetown Road, near the community of Vandalia in Lewis County. In 2011 the nearly 300-acre Stoney Meadows Farm was designated a Century Farm by the West Virginia Conservation Agency. They are the fourth generation to farm the land which was originally owned by Helen's great-grandfather as early as the 1880's. An additional 70 acres of farm land is leased for hay.

Their livestock consists of 24 cows, two bulls, 28 ewes and one ram. Helen is quick to point out that she is the farm's record keeper. She particularly enjoys working with their flock of sheep and helps with the cattle as needed.  Helen was raised on the farm where she and Bill live and continues to take an active role in agriculture related activities.

6:30 p.m. - Local Foods Networking Dinner 

Lessons in Leadership,  Haley Rosson, Assistant Professor, WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, and  WVU Extension Service

Haley Rosson was raised in the rural farming and ranching community of Miami, New Mexico. Growing up as "the Extension agent's kid," Rosson was very active in 4-H. Her involvement in the program instilled in her a love of agriculture and youth development, leading to her career interest in Extension.

Upon graduating from Texas Tech University, Rosson and her husband, TJ, moved to Oklahoma, where she was hired as the Agriculture/4-H and Youth Development Extension Educator in Logan County, Oklahoma. 

During her tenure as a county Extension educator, Rosson began pursuing coursework toward the completion of her doctorate degree at Oklahoma State University, where she also taught several of the agricultural leadership and Extension education courses. She completed her Ph.D. in agricultural education in 2018, the same year that she was hired as an assistant professor with the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, and WVU Extension Service.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. - Exhibitor Booth Setup

7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m . - Registration

8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. - Exhibitor Booths Open to Participants

8:30 a.m. - 4:05 p.m. - Youth Activities

8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. - Welcome and Keynote Speaker, M.E. Gamble, Fairmont State University

Mary Elizabeth “M. E.” Yancosek Gamble is the new chair of the Performing Arts Department at Fairmont State University and an associate professor, School of Business. Prior to joining Fairmont State, she was chair of the Communications and Media Arts Department at Bethany College. She was named Bethany College’s 2018 nominee to the Faculty Merit Foundation's annual Professor of the Year; “Educator of the Year" in 2015 by the West Virginia Public Relations Society of America (WVPRSA); and the department won the coveted WVPRSA "Chapter of the Year" in 2012; and in 2014, Bethany College won "Chapter of the Year" by Society for Collegiate Journalists.

She is the 2013 winner of the President's Award for Excellence in Performance, "Faculty Member of the Year" from the Bethany College Service Learning Center. She was one of 14 finalists in the 2013 T.A. Abbott Award for Faculty Excellence and was nominated by Bethany College to the U.S. Professor of the Year sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation. In 2017, she was the Scripts Howard Fellow for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Arizona. Before teaching at Bethany, she was the state director of the Small Business Division of the West Virginia Development Office. Prior to serving in that role, she was the Small Business Developer for Loudoun County, Virginia. 

A native of Washington, Pennsylvania, she received a bachelor of arts from California University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Marshall University (WV), both in communication studies, and post-graduate work in organizational communication from Bowling Green State University.

She began her career teaching at Bethany College and at Washington & Jefferson College. She served as executive director of public relations and marketing at Wheeling Jesuit University, and director of marketing for Cafaro Company and Crown American Corporation. She also taught full time as a faculty member in the School at Business, Fairmont State University.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - Visit Exhibit Booths/Break

10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. - West Virginia Women Producers Tell Their Stories: Women Producers’ Approach to Agriculture in the Mountain State and Beyond

  • HORTICULTURE
    Speaker: Kathryn "Boots" Tuckwiller, Tuckwiller Hemp and Cattle, LLC

Boots lives just outside Lewisburg, West Virginia, on an active cattle farm with her husband, Jack Tuckwiller, where they raise Angus and Hereford. Home life consists of gardening in an NRCS high tunnel as well as traditional gardening. They raise chickens for eggs, hogs for showing and the freezer. In 2018, they started their first year of growing 10 acres of hemp for CBD oil. She also serves as vice chair of the State Fair of West Virginia. Her day job comprises of running a residential concierge service for private  homes at the Greenbrier Sporting Club.

  • LIVESTOCK/FORAGE MANAGEMENT
    Speaker: LaDeana Teets, Snowy Creeks Dorsets 

LaDeana Teets owns and operates Snowy Creek Dorsets with her husband, Mark. The coupled purchased the farm from LaDeana’s parents in 1987. The 126-acre farm has been in the family for more than 120 years. Their flock consists of approximately 180 ewes and six rams of mostly registered Dorset sheep, with a mix of Texel grades in the flock.  

  • FINANCE
    Speaker: Darla Stemple, Owner, Vested Heirs Farm

Darla Stemple is a member of the third generation of Stemples to farm this same land in Aurora. She is Vested Heirs’ chief planning officer, a title she has earned because of her numerous computer skills. She lays out the planting plan long before they could ever put a seed in the ground. Darla grew up in 4-H as a member of the Delaware Tribe and actively showed dairy cattle. She, too, was on the award winning dairy judging team. Stemple grew up milking cows on the family’s dairy operation, picking strawberries and also had a veal operation with her brother David. 

  • SUCCESSION PLANNING
    Speakers: Linda Brown, Stone Run Hill Farm, and Stephanie Hawkins, Cronin Farms and Three Hawk Livestock

Linda Brown is owner and operator of Stone Run Hill Farm in Flatwoods, West Virginia. She is the fifth generation to manage  the family farm, which began in 1908. Stone Run Hill markets crossbred feeder cattle. Her children and  grandchildren are learning farm management and beef  production with Brown as their guide. She is active  with the Braxton County Farm Bureau and 4-H All-Stars, and serves on the board for Holly Gray Park – the location for Little League and high school baseball, 4-H camp and county fair. 

Stephanie Hawkins came into her passion and knowledge of agriculture the old-fashioned way. She was born the fourth generation to a farming family in Jane Lew, West Virginia. From birth to present day, she lives and farms at the family farm, Cronin Farms, which was established in 1931. The farm actively supports county and state agriculture groups for both youth and adults. 

She grew her love for farming as a child helping the family milk Guernsey cattle and watching the production of milk products in the family partnership of Producer’s Dairy in Clarksburg. Hawkins exhibited Guernsey cattle on a state level at the West Virginia Dairy Show, State Fair of West Virginia and 4-H competitions. When the family sold their dairy herd in 1997, they replaced them with an Angus herd, enhancing her love and knowledge for agriculture. 

In 2008, she married Rick Hawkins along with his love for Hereford cattle. Together they raise three children, Rickey III, Kora and Kenzie. The Hawkins family actively raises and competes on county, state and national levels with cattle and sheep. Hawkins is vice president of the Lewis County Livestock Association, adult advisor for the West Virginia Junior Hereford Association, 4-H County Leader and All-Star, active member in the West Virginia Hereford Association, and West Virginia Farm Bureau. 

11:30 – 12:20 p.m. - Session 1

  • HORTICULTURE
    Cider Apples - New Opportunities fo the Emerging Hard Cider Industry
    Speaker: Mira Danilovich, Consumer Horticulture Specialist, WVU Extension Service, and state coordinator for the WVU Extension Master Gardener program.

The hard cider is experiencing a renaissance. The volume of hard cider sold in in the U.S. increased nearly tenfold in the last decade and is now estimated to be a $1.3 billion industry supporting 910 producers across the country (Cider Market: ID301075; 2019). Entrepreneurs in West Virginia are now joining this movement, with the first two cideries opening in West Virginia just within the last few years, Hawk Knob Cidery in Lewisburg, and Swilled Dog Cidery in Franklin. With all marketing trends showing no signs of slowing down, there is an exceptional opportunity for getting involved in producing cider apples or hard cider or, both. The supply of locally sourced cider apples has been very limited in West Virginia, and a sufficient supply of cider apples is arguably the biggest challenge to expanding the state’s as well as the national cider making industry. This session will help you learn more about this exciting opportunity and how you can get involved.  

About the speaker: 

Dr. Danilovich received a bachelor's degree in horticulture and a master's degree in pomology from the University of Belgrade, Serbia (Yugoslavia). She completed a specialist degree in irrigation from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Agriculture in Mediterranean Region in Bari, Italy, and doctorate in pomology from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Prior to joining WVU in the summer of 2013, Dr. Danilovich spent 20 years working for the Michigan State University Extension as the district horticulture and marketing educator. She provided regional and state-wide leadership to commercial fruit producers and the fruit industry in Michigan. In addition to her district responsibilities, she served as a county Extension director providing administrative leadership and collaboration with the local units of government. During her 2002 to 2009 tenure with MSU, she also conducted educational programs for developing countries as a USDA/FAS/DAI/USAID consultant. In January/February of 2016, she was on USDA/USAID sponsored assignment to Central America delivering several educational sessions as part of the Farmer – 2 – Framer Program.

  • LIVESTOCK/FORAGE MANAGEMENT
    Quality Assurance Transportation
    Speaker: John Murray, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent - Taylor County, WVU Extension Service 

Learn about loading and transporting livestock using methods that will help ensure consumers that animals are handled with quality assurance principals.

About the speaker:

John Murray is a WVU Extension agent serving in Taylor County. He has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and master’s degree in Agriculture and Resource Economics, both from WVU. He joined WVU Extension Service in 2005 where he works primarily in the agriculture and natural resources programming area. He operates a small hobby farm with stocker steers and honey bees. Murray and his wife, Jenny, live in Taylor County with their three children.

  • FINANCE
    Beginning with the End in Mind - Financial Planning and Risk Management for Today and Tomorrow
    Speaker: Dee Singh-Knights, Agricultural Economics Specialist, WVU Extension Service

Farming is a challenging business to run in the best of times, and with challenging economic times it can be even tougher. Good business planning and risk management are essential for your farm business success. However, business decisions and plans in the context of your values, taking into account all of the reasons that you are involved in farming, is even more important. This session will discuss how to merge your family values and farm goals to persist in challenging times, today and tomorrow.  

About the speaker:

Dr. Dee Singh-Knights is an associate professor and WVU Extension Service specialist of Agribusiness Economics and Management at West Virginia University. Dr. Singh-Knights works throughout the state and region on a variety of issues including local food systems, food safety, business planning, risk management, agritourism and sustainable agriculture. Her aim is to help operators capitalize on ‘growing’ opportunities, while managing the resultant business risks.   

  • SUCCESSION PLANNING
    Securing Your Assets for Eldercare
    Speaker: Gerald Townsend, Attorney, Fluharty & Townsend

When the topic of estate planning comes up, thoughts usually jump to having a will. Farm estate planning encompasses much more than just a will – it’s a strategy to continue the family farm and give the next generati on the tools to be able to succeed. When the time comes to think about moving your assets from one generation to the next, there are a lot of legal implications to consider, including trusts, taxes, gifting, and more. Gerald Townsend, Elder Law expert, will share his advice founded in nearly 30 years of experience. In this workshop, participants will learn how to protect their assets, pass them on to their farm’s successors, and determine which methods are best for their future and the future of their farm.

About the speaker:

Gerald W. Townsend has served the legal needs of the elderly in West Virginia for 49 years with offices in Parkersburg and Williamstown, West Virginia. He graduated from the College of Wooster, earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University, and did additional study at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. 

He limits his law practice to elder law, including Medicaid planning to preserve assets from nursing home costs, guardianships and conservatorships for incompetent persons, estate planning, and  probate in West Virginia. Mr. Townsend has served in many positions as an expert on elder care including: Fiduciary Commissioner for the Wood County Commission for 29 years; chairman of the West Virginia State Bar Associations' Elder Law Committee and a member of its probate committee; a member of the West Virginia Governor’s Guardianship Commission which developed the current West Virginia laws and procedures relating to guardians and conservators for incompetent persons; and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He wrote the last 18 annual editions of West Virginia Elder Law and Medicaid Update and The Basics of Medicaid in West Virginia.

He is a 57-year member and assistant chief of the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Company; when he grows up he hopes to become a paid firefighter.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 – 2:50 p.m. - Session 2

  • HORTICULTURE
    Cover Crops for Profitable High Tunnel Production
    Speaker: Lewis Jett, Commercial Horticulture Specialist, WVU Extension Service 

The high tunnel is a low-cost, solar greenhouse in which vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers are grown in native soil within the structure. Based on recent surveys, there are approximately 800 high tunnels in West Virginia. To keep the soil healthy and productive, cover crops can be grown in high tunnels in warm and cool seasons of the year, and can provide essential plant nutrients for high tunnel cash crops. The cover crops can be important for no-till production where the soil is minimally tilled, and they serve as a surface mulch for weed control and reducing soil moisture loss. In this session, you will learn more about the successful use of high tunnel cover crops in all seasons.

About the speaker: 

Dr. Jett is associate professor and state WVU Extension Service Horticulture specialist with an emphasis in commercial, horticulture crops. A native of West Virginia, Dr. Jett's research and outreach program includes methods to lengthen the traditional growing season and expand locally grown production of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. Other areas of research include seed production, seed saving, native vegetables and fruits, no-till production and organic horticulture.

  • LIVESTOCK/FORAGE MANAGEMENT
    Multi-species Grazing
    Speaker: Ben Goff, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent - Mason/ Putnam Counties, WVU Extension Service

This workshop will cover the benefits to livestock, forages and soils that can be achieved when using multi-species grazing as a management tool.

About the speaker:

Ben Goff, a native of Grafton, West Virginia, was raised on a small cattle farm. He earned a bachelor's degree in Agronomy from West Virginia University in 2007. He also earned a master's degree from Iowa State University in Crop Production and Physiology, and doctorate from the University of Kentucky in Crop Science. Dr. Goff currently serves as the agriculture and natural resource agent for Mason and Putnam counties. Before coming to WVU, he was an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky and taught courses on forage management and statistics, while conducting research on improving the utilization of forage legumes in various cropping systems.

  • FINANCE 
    The Farm As Your Legacy - Understanding Your Farm Financial Health Numbers,
    Speaker: Alex White, Advanced Instructor in Dairy Farm Management, Virginia Tech 

This session will help you understand the importance of evaluating your operation’s profitability and health, both for current and future generations. You will receive tools and templates to help you determine your farm’s ‘health numbers.’ This will help you determine if the farm can support or grow to support multiple families in the future.

About the speaker:

Dr. White is an Instructor in the Dairy Science Department at Virginia Tech. The courses he has taught are mainly related to the business and financial side of agriculture.  He jokes that, “if it involves a dollar sign, he teaches it.” He also teaches Personal Financial Planning for the university, and has worked with national agricultural organizations on farm succession and estate planning initiatives.

  • SUCCESSION PLANNING
    Who gets Grandma's Favorite Pitch Fork?
    Speaker: Hannah Fincham, Family and Community Development Agent - Randolph County, WVU Extension Service

Even small farms can cause large rifts between family members when property or “stuff” is involved. How do you even begin making decisions on dividing up assets and personal possessions? What is considered fair between farming and non-farming children? Items that have sentimental value to one family member, like grandma’s favorite pitchfork, may not be as important to another. This session will help you to guide these crucial, yet often sensitive, conversations with your loved ones.

About the speaker:

Hannah Fincham is the WVU Family and Community Development Extension agent in Randolph County. She has degrees in business administration and public administration from West Virginia University, and has been working for the WVU Extension Service for the past 10 years. Her areas of expertise are food safety, food preservation, and policy, systems, and environmental change regarding nutrition and physical activity in pre-K age children. Fincham and her husband, Derek, purchased the family farm in April 2017 after her grandfather’s passing. The Finchams and their two children, Eva and Grady, raise produce to eat and sell, but have recently expanded to include six chickens. 

3:15 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. - Afternoon Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. - Session 3

  • HORTICULTURE
    Soil and Soil Testing
    Speaker: Emily Morrow, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent - Jefferson County, WVU Extension Service

If you want to get better acquainted with your soil, you better know its name. Learn more about soil sampling and testing process at WVU, gain a better understanding of different soil types, and how both relate to your farm and your yields. 

About the speaker:

Emily Morrow is a WVU Extension agent in Jefferson County. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University. As an extension agent, in addition to sharing her love for dirt, she focuses her time on sustainable agriculture education, youth agriculture programs and nutrient management research.

  • LIVESTOCK/FORAGE MANAGEMENT
    Predation and Control Part II
    Speaker: Tom Elliott, District Supervisor, West Virginia Wildlife Services Program

    Learn about the variety of wildlife that can hinder profitability on your operations and the programs/services available through APHIS/Wildlife Services to help you deal with predators and nuisance wildlife. 
About the speaker:

After graduating from WVU in 1996, Tom Elliott started his career working for almost two years in the South Carolina Wildlife Services (WS) Program as a beaver damage specialist. From there, he moved to the Virginia WS Program as a livestock protection specialist for seven years. He also took an active role in the ORV rabies program during his time in Virginia. In 2004, he accepted a biologist position in the Mississippi WS Program where he concentrated his efforts on wildlife hazard management at airports. In 2007, he moved on as the staff biologist position for the Pennsylvania WS program for two years. Since 2009, he has served as the district supervisor for the West Virginia WS Program. His staff protects cooperator’s resources with livestock protection, rabies control, feral swine, waterfowl and other avian species. 

  • FINANCE
    Farm Transition Planning
    Speaker: Jesse Richardson, Professor of Law, West Virginia University 

In addition to making sure your assets are distributed the way you want, an estate plan can also help you reduce stress, expenses and delays for your family members as you c onsider transitioning the farm to the next generation. Understanding the financial implications of estate planning and related tax issues is an important aspect of the farm transition process that requires your attention long before you begin the transition process. In this session, we will discuss these issues and provide you with recommended strategies to make the entire process smoother.

About the speaker:

Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. is the lead land use attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic and professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law. He has worked with communities in West Virginia and Virginia on land use planning issues, and has previously served on the Virginia Farmland Protection Task Force. Richardson worked extensively with the Women in Agriculture Program and Agritourism Initiative in West Virginia on the issues of managing legal risks, and has recently worked with Farm Credit of the Virginias on the Farm Succession Planning Workshop series. He holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

  • SUCCESSION PLANNING 
    The Farm As Your Legacy - Understanding Your Farm Financial Health Numbers
    Speaker: Dr Alex White, advanced instructor in Dairy Farm Management, Virginia Tech 

This session will help you understand the importance of evaluating your operation’s profitability and health, both for the current and future generations. You will receive tools and templates to help you determine your farm’s ‘health numbers.’ This will help you determine if the farm can support or grow to support multiple families in the future.

About the speaker: Dr. White is an instructor in the Dairy Science Department at Virginia Tech. The courses he teaches are mainly related to the business and financial side of agriculture. He jokes that, “if it involves a dollar sign, he teaches it.” He also teaches personal financial planning for the university and has worked with national agricultural organizations on farm succession and estate planning initiatives.


Schedule is subject to change.