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Small-farm opportunities conference takes place Feb. 27

Media contact: Martha Mobley, 919-496-3344

Interested in learning more about small farm opportunities in North Carolina? If so, make plans now to attend North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Successful Small Farms Opportunities Conference Feb. 27 at Vance-Granville Community College in Louisburg.

The event, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is designed to help participants gain insight into issues affecting today’s small farmers, whether they are involved in vegetable or animal production. Successful producers and university experts will be on hand to discuss alternative enterprises and farm management practices. There will also be a trade show, with an opportunity to meet vendors and other producers, according to Franklin County Agricultural Extension Agent Martha Mobley.

Dr. Richard Bonanno, the new associate dean and director of Extension for N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will discuss food safety and small farms during a morning session, and Griffee Youngleson of Farmzie, a North Carolina company that has pioneered online farmers markets, will discuss farm marketing and business essentials during a catered lunch.

Workshop sessions will cover a variety of topics, including farm stays and weddings, farmers markets, conservation farming and climate change, pricing farm products, managing your farm with Google Earth, honeybees and beneficial pollinators, using cover crops to build soil health, using forages in your poultry flock diets, and small-scale sheep and shiitake mushroom production and marketing.

Participants will have the chance to choose from two of five sessions in the morning, then two of five in the afternoon.

Registration is $50 through Feb. 25, for the first individual in a group, then $25 for others in the group. Individual registration after Feb. 27 is $75. It includes a notebook of information from all sessions as well as lunch and a snack. For more information and to register, visit or call the Franklin Extension Center at 919-496-3344.

– D. Shore