Big support for small farms
The 2015 Small Farms Week kickoff will be Monday, March 23, in Yancey County, where the agenda includes tours of two award-winning small farms, a food distribution hub and an old landfill where methane and other gases are serving as a source of energy for craft business incubators. Activities at A&T get rolling that same day with a free and open-to-the-public screening of the documentary "Fresh" at 6 p.m. in the Godfrey Multipurpose Room at Coltrane Hall. "Fresh" introduces some of the major strategists, activists and farmers who are leading the transformation of agriculture from questionable production practices to sustainable alternatives.
Among the Small Farms Week workshops and presentations on March 24 are sessions devoted to Farm Schools, SAES integrated pest management research, and a 25-acre Edgecombe County community garden that has been the subject of stories in Time and Forbes.
The keynote speaker at the Small Farmers Appreciation Luncheon on March 25 will be Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the director of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The crowning finale at the Small Farmers Appreciation Luncheon will be the introduction of the 2015 Small Farmer of the Year.