The Appalachian Farmers Market Association (AFMA), a program of Appalachian Sustainable Development, is hosting their 7th Annual Conference on February 21, 2015 from 9 am – 3:30 pm.  The Conference is being held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon Virginia in conjunction with Dr. Allen Straw’s Southwest Virginia Regional Horticulture Conference.  We are excited to bring these two events together.  It’s a full day of informative workshops where growers, market managers, and consumers can network and learn about a variety of topics.  Dr. Straw will give talks on production strategies for a number of crops including pest and disease management.  There will be Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) information as well as breakout sessions on Farm Business Planning, Growing Hops for Market, Making Hand Salves, Growing and Marketing Native Fruits and Nuts, and others.

A trade show/winter market will also be a part of the event.  Representatives from seed and spray companies will be present to share their wares with attendees.  Farmers and others are welcome to set up a booth for the winter market.  Since we are joining these two events together, details are still in process.  Please check the AFMA website at for the conference brochure and other information including how to register.  Please register by January

A full calendar of events and trainings being hosted by Appalachian Sustainable Development, Appalachian Harvest, Rooted in Appalachia, and the Appalachian Farmers Market Association can be found at: ASD Agricultural Trainings/Happenings.  Here you will find dates and times on trainings for GAP and Organic Certification, Produce Quality, Farm Business Plan Writing, and other important topics for growers in the region.  We look forward to seeing and working with you in the coming year!

By Tamara McNaughton