Small Farms Leadership Holds Fourth Educational Program Next Week

By Lydian Bernhardt / 02/17/2023

Small Farms Leadership 360 is a hands-on series providing practical information for the business of farming. The event will be held Feb. 21-22 in Williamston, N.C.

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (Feb. 17, 2023) – Registration is open for the Small Farms 360 Leadership Initiative’s fourth educational workshop to be held Feb. 21 -22 at the Bob Martin Eastern North Carolina Agricultural Center.  

The Initiative, developed and launched in 2022 by Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University , aims to help small farmers improve their operations and increase their profits through education, hands-on demonstrations, and network building with other farmers and agriculture experts. It targets farmers in underserved counties, particularly farmers of color and those in eastern North Carolina.

“This program is about bridging the gap between experts in agricultural production and agribusiness and the small farmers who need their expertise to thrive,” said Fletcher Barber, Ed.D.,  small farm recruiter with Extension at N.C. A&T who co-directs the program with James D. Oliver, Ph.D., Extension at A&T’s small farms coordinator. “The university and our state agriculture community have a lot of knowledge to share and when you get it in the hands of real farmers and connect them to each other and to resources, they are more successful and resilient.”

The fourth module focuses on farm business management and will include discussions of agricultural taxation, securing credit, how to be a successful negotiator, how to handle farm emergencies, agritourism, developing a farm business plan and more. The program launched in February 2022 with a two-day learning module focused on farm management and marketing. A second module, held in June 2022, covered small farm sustainability, including post-harvest best practices and wholesale readiness, and introduced farmers to resources such as the Farmers of Color Network and USDA Farm Service Administration. Module three focused on challenges and opportunities for agriculture enterprises.

Featured speakers for module four include Darrel Tennie, CEO of an agribusiness tax service firm in Knightdale; Annie Buth, J.D.,  professor at Northwestern University’s Center on Negotiation, Mediation and Restorative Justice; and Karla Ward, business and market development specialist with D’ Vine Foods/Lu Mil Vineyard in Elizabethtown. University experts participating in the program include Crystal Cook Marshall, Ph.D., director of the AgrAbility Partnership and agromedicine coordinator for Extension at N.C. A&T; Joel Wiggins, interim director of the university’s Center of Excellence, Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and Kenrett Jefferson-Moore, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of agribusiness, applied economics and agriscience education.    

Participation in Small Farms Leadership 360 is free to small farmers. To register and learn more, visit the Small Farms Leadership 360 web page.

Media Contact Information: llbernhardt@ncat.edu

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