Agenda & Sessions

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday November 13, 2010

maverick farmsSummit Panel and Workshop Descriptions

Direct Marketing

Session 1: Friday 10:15-11:45 am

Facilitator: Jen Walker (UNC Chapel Hill)

Speaker: Megan Ray (ASAP), Jeff Thomas (Creek Song Farm), James Wilkes (Faith Mountain Farm)

Focus Question: How can we make direct marketing successful?

This panel session will discuss how farmers can directly access potential markets by direct marketing. The panelists will cover topics such as branding, websites, value-added products, food safety, and insurance liability.

Food Security and Hunger

Session 1: Friday 10:15-11:30 am

Facilitator: Kelly Jo Drey-Houck (Mountain Laurel Consulting)

Speakers: Tamara McNaughton (Johnson County Farmers Market), Compton Fortuna (Hunger Coalition), Renee Boughman (FARM Café), Joe Martin (Zydeco Moon Farm/Watauga County Farmers Market)

Focus Question: How can food security and hunger be addressed within the regional food system?

Local Food: Accessible to All?

Can the movement for local food and sustainable agriculture be truly successful while food insecurity and hunger still exist? How can we make fresh, healthy food affordable and accessible to everyone in the community? This session will explore these questions and others through lively, open discussion.

appalachian farmSustainable Forestry and Forest Products

Session 2: Friday 1:30-2:45

Facilitator: Brooke Kornegay (Farm Manager for Goodnight Brothers Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm)

Speakers: Jim Hamilton (Watauga County Cooperative Extension), Ian Snider (Sustainable Forester), Jim Moretz, Doug Munroe

Focus Question: What are some opportunities for sustainable forestry and utilizing forest products in the high country?

This session will be a panel discussion about the benefits and techniques of sustainable forestry. An important part of a healthy farm is managing and maintaining the woodlot in a way that enhances and meets the goals of the owner. These experts will discuss opportunities for integrating sustainable forestry as well as utilizing forest products, such as forest herbs, in the High Country.

Farm Finances and Grant Monies

Session 2: Friday 1:30-2:45

Facilitator: Meghan Baker (Watauga County Agricultural Extension Agent)

Speakers: Andrew Branan (NC Farm Transition Network),Tammara Cole (Cooperative Extension), Amy Johnston (Springhouse Farm), Hollis Wild (Farmer)

Focus Question: How can farmers access financial resources in order to sustain their operations?

A short panel followed by discussion. This session will cover various financial concerns and opportunities for farmers including wills, farm succession planning, deed restrictions, conservation easements, and available grant monies for innovative farm enterprises.

Farmer Access to Appalachian Food Services at ASU

Session 3: Friday 3:15-4:30 pm

Facilitator: Courtney Baines (Adjunct Instructor in Sustainable Development)

Speaker: Art Kessler (Appalachian Food Services), Megan Ray (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)

Focus Question: How can local food producers and ASU's Appalachian Food Services connect and do business within the region?

Farmers interested in selling their products to the Appalachian Food Services at ASU are invited to speak directly with the director of Appalachian Food Services, Art Kessler. Both parties will be able to share constraints and standards in order to unveil unseen opportunities for collaboration. This is part of an ongoing effort that Appalachian Food Services is undertaking to increase the amount of locally and sustainably produced food products available through campus dining.

Possibilities for Local Meat Processing Facilities in the High Country

Session 3: Friday 3:15-4:30 pm

Facilitator: Eddy Labus (Watauag County Cooperative Extension)

Speakers: Ann Rose (Rose Mountain Farm), Melanie Pollard (NCDA), Casey McKissick (NC Choices)
Focus Question: How do we collaborate to maximize local small-animal and large-animal production, processing, and marketing for the High Country?

During the last Food Summit, there was an expressed need for a local meat processing facility in the High Country. This year, we will delve further into this topic as the panelists will discuss issues related to a local meat processing facility including regulatory requirements, volume issues, economics, and personal experience with meat processing.

Land Access for Older and Newer Farmers

Session 1: Saturday 10:20-11:45 am

Facilitator: Chuck Smith (Director of the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program)

Speakers: Eric Heigl (Blue Ridge Conservancy Board Member), Jeffrey Scott (Frontline Conservation/Heifer International), Alice Brooke Wilson (Maverick Farm)

Focus Question: How can older and newer farmers share information and ideas about land access and common wisdom to sustain farming in the High Country?

This session will be a forum and working group led by the director of the Sustainable Development program at ASU, Chuck Smith. Community members and experts will be present to field questions and offer ideas for accessing land for farming in the High Country. It will also hopefully be a space for newer farmers to speak directly with experienced farmers for guidance and advice and create mutually beneficial connections.

Farm Profitability: Obstacles and Opportunities

Session 4: Saturday 10:20-11:45 am

Facilitator: Richard Boylan (Watauga County Coopertive Extension)

Speakers: Blake Brown (NCSU specialist), Carol Coulter (Heritage Homestead Farm), Shiloh Avery (Tumbling Shoals Farm), Holly Whitesides

Focus Question: What are the opportunities available and obstacles to overcome as farmers work towards profitability?

This panel will address issues related to the economic viability of a farm. No matter the size of your farm and whether you want to expand or not, the panelists will present ideas of farm resilience, diversification, and profitability that have worked for them. This will include ventures related to the farm as well as having off farm jobs. Also included in this topic will be ideas for planning, budgeting, and expanding operations as a farmer works towards economic viability.