CHARLESTON – Agricultural enthusiasts from all over West Virginia will come to the Colonsay Center and the Charleston Convention on Wednesday this Sunday to attend West Virginia West Virginia West Virginia West Conference.
The conference brings together a collection of farming experts and appalachia experts throughout the conferences, from significant agricultural industrialists, networking opportunities and over 110 classes on topics such as agritourism, horticulture and risk management.
Now in the 15th year, Tom McConnell, the Small Farm Center Program Leader, the WVU Expand Service, operates to promote agriculture throughout West Virginia.
McConnell, a lifelong farmer himself, said the conference is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to learn more about agriculture.
"We have experts in all aspects of farming serving, sharing talks and sharing their knowledge," McConnell said. "These are people who have taught their crafts and want to teach what they learned."
While West Virginia is deemed confusing as agricultural power, McConnell said that the Appalachian region has many acres of fertile soil and many opportunities.
"West Virginia, which provides thousands of jobs, has more than 22,000 small farms," said McConnell. "Farming is a big part of our economy than some people understand."
While the conference will have plenty of classes on farming techniques, McConnell said that focusing on business-related learning. While acknowledging that the best step is to be fostered, McConnell is sure to note that selling is just as important, if it is not more than growing.
"Not only does the fields require farming," McConnell said. "A good farmer must be a good businessman, he must market himself and his product to be successful."
McConnell also believes that it is vital for small farms to find out-of-the-art revenue sources. Profit margins can be tight in agriculture, and even more in small farms.
"It's important that there are ways to make money from your farm outside the sale of a new crops," he said. "It's very profitable to go into a tourist trip or selling jarred and pickled items."
Strawberry farmer and owner of the Road and Cow House, Angela Born, to run a bed and breakfast on their farm, a class will teach him. Although a woman sells money for her strawberries, she says that many of her profits from guests are on vacation.
"We have a beautiful piece of land, and a bed-based bed and breakfast, as it offers us, is a great way to escape behind the country," she said. "People can come, pick strawberries and enjoy peace."
The conference was born as an appropriate and fun support for all those involved. Although it was primarily a strawberry farm, she said that lessons learned from the House and Sheep Road House conference allowed to float while taking flowers.
"I feel it is important to share partnership and information for farmers, especially in a small market like West Virginia," Born. "I am glad to teach a little about what I know and learn from others."
McConnell said that agriculture in general has grown in West Virginia for several years. The world's rapidly growing population means more to live, McConnell must say that smaller farms will be filling more.
He also said that the expansion of agriculture can lead to a better understanding of the importance of eating healthy food.
"I think that many people are getting worse about health, and the value of fresh products and the meat that is not processed less," said McConnell. "You want to run your body on the cleanest possible fuel, which is why local farms are available.
The main visitors to the conference are Dr Lewis Ziska of the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Russel Hedrick of JRH Grain Farms.
Ziska is a climate change expert who published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on the subject. Its work focuses on a wide range of agricultural topics, the latest impact on climate change on food security.
Hedrick gets the award of the North North of the Year's Young Innovative Farmer 2014 and is well known for its success in direct marketing of consumer and crops.
"I hope this year's speakers," McConnell said. "The two experts are in their field where the interests of agriculture interested can benefit from listening to them."
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