2023 West Virginia Small Farm Conference
For nearly nineteen years, the WVU Extension Small Farm Conference has offered the most authentic and inclusive view of agricultural opportunities for West Virginia small farmers.

Registration Information

We are excited to welcome you to West Virginia Small Farm Conference in February.  You will have the opportunity to learn, network, and have fun all at the same time.  We have a wide variety of sessions and topics to meet your needs. Annually, the conference boasts a variety of useful topics, unique events and informative speakers across dozens of sessions. Learn how to improve production, understand more about marketing, and find out ways to feed local communities and beyond. 

Online registration deadline is Monday, February 20, 2023.  Walk-in registration will be available at the event.  

Goals for Conference

- Unlock the potential of West Virginia small farms to produce food profitably.
- Help small farms transition from commodity production to food production for community and local consumption.
- Support West Virginia's 23,000 small farm families by:
    - Providing reliable, tested knowledge about current trends, needed skills, and latest production and operation information
    - Building an understanding of how to develop a successful small farming enterprise.
- Support and further develop West Virginia's food system and local communities by encouraging local production, processing, wholesale and retail marketing, and consumption.

Conference Scholarship

If you are a first-time conference attendee you may be eligible for a scholarship.  Our conference scholarship program prioritizes beginning farmers and completely covers the cost of registration.

Winter Blues Farmers Market

The annual Winter Blues Farmers Market will be held Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 1-5 pm at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center located at 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV.

This indoor event is held in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to showcase the bounty that West Virginia can produce during winter months.  During the four hours of operation, thousands of shoppers from the Kanawha Valley and beyond shop a diverse array of products - fresh vegetables, maple syrup, meats, soaps, salsa and more!  This event is free to the public, included live music, and activities for children.  Shoppers will have the chance to talk to vendors and find out how they grow, make or produce their goods.  Many vendors will also be sampling their products.

The Winter Blues Farmers Market has been proven successful with sales topping $69,000 in 2022.  If you would like to become a vendor for this event, the application is available online.  Winter Blues Farmers Market is a producer-only market, we do not permit resale or consignment.

8:30 AM - 11:20 PM
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
12:45 PM - 4:30 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Refreshments and snacks available - Grand Hall Visit Exhibitors
12:00 PM - 1:20 PM
12:00 PM - 1:20 PM
- Local Lunch - Opening Remarks - Sponsor Welcome - Speaker Address
Experience with whip and tongue grafting is required for this session
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Refreshments and snacks available - Grand Hall Visit Exhibitors
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Experience with whip and tongue grafting is required for this session
Learn from the state experts on what Agritourism is, how to enter the industry, and how to protect yourself from all the risks that you take opening your farm to visitors.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Refreshments and snacks available - Main Lobby and Grand Hall
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Panelists within the industry describe what worked for them to spread their income across multiple agritourism seasons. Learn from their mistakes, use their tips, and gather ideas on how to scale up your operation.
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
- Local Lunch - Welcome - Sponsor Remarks - Keynote Speech
Help identify attainable ways to make education the core of your tours and experiences on your farm. Using things we do every day on the farm, we can teach others and children STEM activities.
A multi-agency resource panel comprised of NRCS , FSA , WVDA, and the WVCA will discuss pollinator programs and cost-share options available to both new and experienced beekeepers.
Assistance through REAP program is available to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. Under the IRA, REAP provides guaranteed loans of up to 75% of the cost of eligible projects and grants covering up to 40% of project costs.
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Great West Virginia Pop-Off Popcorn Competition - Refreshments and popcorn available - North Hall Pop-Off Competition People’s Choice Awards
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Networking event offsite
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
A brief overview on beekeeping basics. We will be discussing what you see in a hive, equipment, choosing your apiary site, and how to get bees.
What you'll want to think about before you begin an Ag Action group.
An in-depth presentation on the Varroa mite and methods/treatment options that can be integrated into a management plan to help protect your honey bee colonies.
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Seed Swap Event & Morning Break - Refreshments and snacks available - 2nd Floor Hallway
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Sam Sheets

Conservation District Supervisor from Roane Co.

Paul Ronk

Maple and Sycamore Producer, President of WV Maple Syrup Producers Association, Treasure of Lincoln County Farm Bureau and Active member of Lincoln County FFA Alumni.

Marion Ohlinger

A twelfth-generation West Virginian, Chef Marion Ohlinger was raised on his family’s ancestral farm in Mason County. After two decades cooking around the country, he opened West Virginia's first fully farm-to-table Appalachian-centric restaurant in 2009.

Candace Nelson

Candace Nelson is a marketing professional living in Charleston, W.Va. She is the author of the book “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll” from WVU Press. In her free time, Nelson blogs about Appalachian food culture at CandaceLately.com.

Mark Peiffer, RPO

Mark Peiffer, RPO serves as Program Manager at Community Markets Inc., a nonprofit in Charles Town, WV, whose mission is to connect locally grown food to families in need.

Nicole Gerard

Operation Welcome Home is a Veterans Support Facility at Mylan Park in Morgantown, WV. We serve the North Central West Virginia population of Service Members, Veterans, and families by providing essential support to empower them to live their best life.

Chris Yura

Chris Yura is the Chief Executive Officer of WV Harvest. West Virginia Harvest is a family business that celebrates the uniqueness of Appalachia by offering delicious Farm & Forest-to-Table Specialty and Institutional Food Products.

William Ferris

USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) Regional Office, Raleigh, NC.

Dave McGill

Dr. Dave McGill is the Forest Resources Extension Specialist at West Virginia University. Since 2001, he has developed programs in forestry outreach education for private forestland owners in WV and conducts a broad range of applied forestry research.

Abbey Hart

Abbey Hart is a Business Programs Specialist for USDA Rural Development. Her main work is in the Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, Rural Business Development Grant, and Value-Added Producer Grant.

Adam Hudson

Adam Hudson, is the Senior Director of Agriculture at Coalfield Development. Adam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2017 from Berea College in Kentucky and has worked at Coalfield since the summer of 2017.

Anthony Pappas

As a West Virginia University alum, owner Anthony Pappas has years of experience managing public land for the benefit of both wildlife and the eventual realization of economic returns on timber.

Sarah Geurkink

Sarah Geurkink does Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) outreach as an Extension Associate at the University of Kentucky (UK) Department of Agricultural Economics.

Bruce Loyd

Participants will be trained in all areas related to beef quality and will obtain Beef Quality Assurance certification.

Mahfuz Rahman

Dr. Rahman conducts applied research and provides leadership for statewide educational/informational programs in plant pathology that include disease identification, management recommendations, and integrated disease management.

Tommye Lou Rafes

Improving Geothermal High Tunnel Design through SARE grant research

Jesse Gandee

Through its three major program areas of Housing, Business & Cooperatives, and Utilities, USDA Rural Development finances affordable loans and grants for the improvement of the quality of life in the communities that serve our agricultural sector.

Kate Fotos

Kate Fotos works with the maple syrup industry across Appalachia, raising consumer awareness, increasing production, and fostering new producers.

John Fike

John Fike is a professor in Virginia Tech's School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. He primarily focuses on forage-livestock systems and he has a long history of work on temperate silvopastures.

Bill Whipple

35 years experience propgating, growing, breeding, and value adding fruits and nuts for adaptability and financial feasibility for the Appalachain region.

Megan Webb

Dr. Webb is a 4th generation beef producer & resides on her family's operation, Flying W Farms in Burlington. She enjoys creating educational opportunities in the Potomac Highlands Region & is proud of newly developed ag workforce training programs.

Joell Eifert

Joell has over 25 years of food science experience within the industrial, regulatory and academic sectors. Currently, she is works with the food processors to provide technical assistance for producing high quality, safe, and innovative food products.

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USDA Rural Development

Through its three major program areas of Housing, Business & Cooperatives, and Utilities, USDA Rural Development finances affordable loans and grants for the improvement of the quality of life in the communities that serve our agricultural sector.

The Fertrell Company

Fertrell is a manufacturer of natural and organic feed supplements and fertilizers.

USDA NASS WV Field Office

The USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) a statistical and data collection agency that is the official source of comprehensive data on farms in the U.S.

Refresh Appalachia

Refresh Appalachia is the Agriculture Program of Coalfield Development.

Davis Insurance Group / WV Agri-Women

Davis Insurance and the WV Agri-Women are sharing a booth. Stop by to learn about the resources offered by both organizations for you and your farm!

WV Agricultural Land Protection Authority

The Agricultural Land Protection Authority seeks to preserve West Virginia's abundant natural resources by conserving farmland.

Capitol Conservation District

We are committed to leading the way in development & initiative for the conservation of soil & water resources. Serving all of Kanawha County, providing unique programming to urban producers, and traditional farming operations.

Dutch Miller Ram of South Charleston

Sales in farm vehicles such as flatbeds, dump beds and service bodies along with 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton trucks

Sugar Bottom Farm

Full service honey bee farm 7 varieties of Hawaiian and West Virginia honey Beeswax products Veteran Owner Eric- Retired Army, wife Mary and daughter Abigail

No records found.

Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV 25301
Location: Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV 25301