We invite you to attend the Putting Small Acreage to Work Conference. You will be able to explore alternative enterprises by speaking with successful producers and university and extension personnel who are already growing, raising and researching specific livestock species, specialty crops, and other important business opportunities. The program will include three breakout sessions, each with several topics. You will need to choose one topic to attend at each of the three breakout sessions.
Pre-registration and a fee of $35/person and $20 for each additional person are due by Wednesday, January 23. Lunch and light breakfast refreshments are included in the registration fee.
Checks made payable to Gaston County Cooperative Extension.
Call Gaston County Cooperative Estension at 704-922-2112 for more information.
Putting Small Acreage to Work Agenda
8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m. to 12 noon
1. FAMACHA* Training for Small Ruminants Looking for a holistic, integrated approach to gastrointestinal parasite control for small ruminants? This certification clinic will explain the biology of intestinal parasites, the FAMACHA testing concept, hands-on use of the FAMACHA grading card, smart drenching properly, understanding parasite drug resistance versus animal resistance, susceptibility or resilience to gastrointestinal parasites, management tips to reduce gastrointestinal parasite loads in animals and on pastures, and non-chemical approaches to treating small ruminants with anthelmintics such as alternative forages. Presenter:Jean-Marie Luginbuhl
*Participants interested in FAMACHA certification and in purchasing the FAMACHA card will have to pay an extra $12.00 the day of the event.
Concurrent Session I
8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
2. Getting Started with Hogs This session will focus on getting started, how to purchase and raise pigs, common health considerations, production facility and feed options, processing, and regulatory parameters and resource information. Presenter: Arthur Duckworth, Apple Orchard Farm
3. Tree Fruit & Small Fruit Production This session will discuss the planting and care of tree fruit and small fruit crops along with variety selection and common disease, insect and weed management practices and identification. Presenter: Daniel Shires, Horticulture Agent
4. Sustainable Pasture and Beef Cattle Management Presenters: Jeff Carpenter, County Extension Director - Catawba County
Concurrent Session II
10:20 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
5. Growing Great Garlic, Lettuce & Specialty Greens Come learn more about these undervalued crops and how they can potentially make you money. This session will focus on selection of plant stock, planting, harvesting, and marketing of these undervalued crops. Presenter: Bill Makuch, The Specialty Farmer, Inc.
6. Direct Marketing for Niche Meat Producers Want to jump start your marketing efforts for your protein operation? Come listen to two producers talk about their marketing efforts, experiences and their use of farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs, restaurants, On-line markets and how to get into grocery chains. Presenters: Brandon Higgins - C-Saw Hill Farm, Cassie Parsons - Grateful Growers Farm & Harvest Moon Grille, Michael Underwood - Underwood Family Farms, Shelley Eagan - Proffit Family Farms
7. Introduction to Aquaculture Presenter: Molly Sandfoss, county Extension Director, McDowell County
8. Who Will Regulate My Food Business? Many government agencies are involved in regulating food. It is often confusing to try to understand the laws governing the processing, packaging and distribution of food products. During this session, a panel of regulatory experts will discuss which agency has the regulatory jurisdiction over which food-based businesses. Presenters: Percy Russell & Ray Sloan - NCDA Meat & Poultry Division, Martha Osborne - NCDA Food & Drug Division, Doc Thompson - Gaston County Environmental Health, Arthur Duckworth - Apple Orchard Farms
A local foods luncheon will be catered by Spindle City Cafe
Concurrent Session III
1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
9. Forages for the Birds Heritage birds are active foragers, but how much do you know about growing the right kind of forage for your birds’ needs? In this program, learn to identify forages that are primarily found in the Southeast, and review cool versus warm season grass varieties that can be used in poultry diets. Other topics for discussion include annual versus perennial plants, and proper timing of fertilizer applications for optimal growth in the plants. Explore heritage breeds versus industrial breeds when it comes to consumptions of forages, immune systems, and working ability. Presenters: Dan Campeau, NC Cooperative Extension & Amy Foster, Gilcrest Natural Farm
10. Importance of Cover Crops Join us as we explore the use of cover crops and to learn how specific crops can be used to improve soil quality, reduce soil erosion, increase fertility, suppress weeds, control insects and the use of cover crops for wildlife food plots. Presenter: Julie Flowers, Consumer Horticulture Agent, NC Cooperative Extension
11. Introduction to QuickBooks for Farmers Where does your money go? Which farm enterprises are most profitable? Every farm and business needs accurate recordkeeping to guide its decisions, keep up with tax requirements and plan for the future. This workshop, designed for farms with little or no QuickBooks experience, will show you how to set up your farm business books and will discuss the benefits of transitioning to automated bookkeeping. Participants will learn how to design the chart of accounts and class list, post income and expense items, and interpret basic financial reports. A question and answer session will follow. Presenter: Lara Worden, Area Agriculture Agent, Gaston County