Friends of Ag Helps Growers and Community  Members Learn from Each Other,

by Veronica Limeberry

The dawn light creeps through the open door of the Washington County Farm Bureau office on the early morning of May 15. In the kitchen, ARC&D volunteers are cooking up local sausage and eggs, while farmer Arland Johnson prepares his presentation on his experience with the NRCS hoop house cost share program. This is the last of a season of breakfasts that highlight and share local resources for producers in the region. From October to May the Appalachian RC&D Council hosts a monthly series of workshops and discussions that enables growers, community members, and agricultural resource providers to share their special skills and knowledge with each other.

This year featured breakfasts focused on hoop house cost-sharing programs, NRCS grant funding, new economic opportunities for growers, connecting local businesses to local producers, and more. On the third Thursday of each month, volunteers show up bright and early at 6 am to begin cooking a locally-sourced breakfast for attendees. The workshop or talk begins at 7, and everyone is out the door in time for work by 8 am.  This year, beginning October 16, Friends of Ag will return with an all-new schedule of workshops and resources to help growers in the Washington County area find innovative new tools to improve their products and profits.

To learn more about the ARC&D’s Friends of Ag origin and program, please follow this link. If you are interested in volunteering for a breakfast, contact the ARCD at or Veronica at . Stay tuned for our upcoming schedule for the 2014-2015 season!


Attendees enjoy a locally-sourced breakfast! Eggs, sausage, and cinnamon buns.


Arland Johnson shares his experiences with the NRCS cost-share hoop house program