Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Keeping Our Local Farms Viable: A Meeting for Farmers

March 12, 2009
Keeping Our Local Farms Viable: A Meeting for Farmers
6 to 8 pm
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center Auditorium
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759

Farmers are invited to a dinner meeting to hear the results of two research projects that examined the importance of farming in our community and how to keep farming viable in the future. The Farm Prosperity Project is led by Jeanine Davis at the NC State Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River and Farmland Values Project is led by Leah Greden Mathews at UNC Asheville. Working with six other organizations, including three land trusts, the Farm Prosperity Project sought to develop an integrated approach to help farmers identify the best combination of farmland protection techniques and new agricultural opportunities to help keep their farms viable. At this meeting, the group will report on the tools that they developed to help farmers make decisions about their farms, including how to preserve the farm for future generations and how to make choices about new agricultural enterprises. Results from the demonstration research project on organic and heirloom tomatoes will also be presented. The Farmland Values Project will share what local residents and visitors think about farming and farmland. You might be surprised! Because a dinner is being served, reservations are required. Please call Terri Schell at the Research and Extension Center at 684-3562 to make your reservation. This meeting is designed specifically for farmers. There will also be four other meetings for the general public (March 19, March 26, April 2 and April 9) and one for local officials (April 15). Directions can be found at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher. More information is available about these projects at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/specialty_crops/farmprosperity/index.htm and http://www.unca.edu/farmlandvalues. These projects are funded by grants from the USDA-CSREES Small and Mid-Sized Farms Program. The Farm Prosperity and Farmland Values 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.