Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Importance of Farmland in Your Community

April 2, 2009
The Importance of Farmland in Your Community
7 - 8:30 pm
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center Auditorium
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759

Farmland is important to residents of Henderson and Transylvania Counties. At this meeting we will report on the findings of two three-year studies on the value of farmland and ways to keep farming prosperous in your community. The Farmland Values Project is led by Leah Greden Mathews at UNC Asheville and the Farm Prosperity Project is led by Jeanine Davis at the NC State Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. The Farmland Values Project will share results from surveys and focus groups about what local residents and visitors value about farmland, including their willingness to contribute to local farm protection efforts. Results confirm the importance of farmland for maintaining residents’ quality of life, access to local food, and the scenic beauty of our region. The Farm Prosperity Project will explain how they worked with local farmers to develop tools to help farmers make decisions about their farms, how to preserve them, and what to grow. They will also discuss the research that has been conducted on organic and heirloom tomatoes. This meeting and three others in surrounding counties are designed specifically for the general public. There will also be a meeting for farmers (March 12) and one for local officials (April 15). Please call Terri Schell at 684-3562 to reserve a seat. Walk-ins are welcome, but we can plan better if you call ahead. Directions can be found at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher. More information is available about these projects at http://www.unca.edu/farmlandvalues and http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/specialty_crops/farmprosperity/index.htm. These projects are funded by grants from the USDA-CSREES Small and Mid-Sized Farms Program. The Farmland Values and Farm Prosperity projects are supported by the National Research Initiative of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, grants #2005-35618-15647 and #2005-35618-15645.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.