Monthly Archives: February 2013

3rd Annual Beginning Farmer & Rancher Conference – Raleigh, NC

3rd Annual Beginning Farmer & Rancher Conference

Start2Farm Together

Start2Farm Together is the 3rd Annual Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference and will take place on March 17-18, 2013 in Raleigh, NC. In contrast to previous years, this conference will be a forum for the improvement of beginning farmer and rancher development.  This forum will feature a national conversation about the needs and opportunities of beginning farmers of all types throughout the country.  The ultimate purpose of this conversation will be to share best practices, resources, and ideas nationwide about the effective development of successful beginning farmers and ranchers.  We also hope to find common ground among varying types of agriculture that will provide a focus for efforts that will ultimately benefit all farmers.

Benefits of conference attendance include:

·         Opportunity to share and take away ideas and best practices for beginning farmer and rancher development.

·         Participation in a national conversation about the needs and opportunities of beginning farmers of all types.

·         Develop relationships and collaborative efforts with other beginning farmer and rancher educators and service providers.

Topics for exploration include:

·         Land Access

·         Farm and Ranch Profitability including marketing and enterprise analysis

·         Purpose, function, and future of the Project- website and conference

·         Engaging farmers new and old- getting young people interested in agriculture and preserving the knowledge that already exists

Outcomes from this event will be posted to

The Start2Farm Together conference will be of value to all participants seeking to create collaborations for the future.  We hope you will be a part of this event.

For more information contact us at

To exhibitors and sponsors-

Many people and organizations have contacted us with an interest in supporting the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference.  Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm.  The nature of this year’s meeting will not provide an opportunity for us to host exhibitors.  However, we hope to include opportunities in the future for exhibitors and sponsors to show their support for beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and/or show conference attendees what services and products they have to offer.  You are welcome to attend the meeting this year but there will not be exhibitor booths.

If you are interested in sponsoring this or next year’s meeting please contact: Dan Durheim, Executive Director, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (202) 406-3632


Sunday, March 17, 2013 (All day) to Monday, March 18, 2013 (All day)


    North Carolina Farm Bureau 5301 Glenwood Ave Raleigh, NC 27612

    Registration LInk

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Partial Farm Lease Available in Nelson County, VA

Partial Farm Lease Available

Opportunity to lease portions of a diverse, 300-acre Nelson County farm, including access to extensive infrastructure and equipment – irrigated land for vegetable production, greenhouse access, fenced pastures and barns for livestock, aquaculture infrastructure, specialized farm equipment, and on-farm housing available. Woodridge Farm is looking for innovative farmers to complement their whole-farm, integrated approach – focused around a developing Farm Brewery that promotes a “dirt to glass” approach – producing  barley and hops, sourcing spring-fed water directly from the farm and utilizing by-products such as spent grain and waste water for animal feed and irrigation. With grain harvested and stock-piled, 2013 will begin the development of an on-farm Malting Facility. There are limitless opportunities for farm entrepreneurs to operate an independent business while taking advantage of this resource-rich farm and mutually beneficial production systems.

For more information, contact:  Barry Wood at Woodridge Farm: cell: 434-531-7362email:

For additional details and photos: http://woodridgefarmva.blogspot


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Soulstice Farm in Bedford County is offering volunteer opportunities now

Soulstice Farm in Bedford County is offering volunteer opportunities now!

About the Farm:  Soulstice farm is located at the base of the beautiful Peaks of Otter.  The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail are close neighbors of the property.  There is an acre of garden space in production with hopes of expanding.  The focus, as of now, is to continue to create a farm that has little need for outside inputs.   With thoughtful design we feel this can be accomplished.  We strive to take steps beyond organic standards to create a healthy and balanced ecosystem.   Will Rutherford, the farm manager, have been influenced by many different agricultural methodologies and philosophies including permaculture and biodynamics.  He has recently spent the last year and a half in Asia with A Growing Culture”( doing small scale sustainable agriculture projects in rural communities.  Soulstice farm is a young farm with lots of potential and ambitious ideas.  Come help and learn through hands on experiences   Volunteers will become familiar with the processes of starting a small-scale farm.  This may be a good opportunity for folks who are interested in starting their own agricultural enterprise.

The Garden: The garden is about an acre.  The fence surrounding the garden is made from bamboo off of the property.  There is a small greenhouse in the garden and a small vegetable processing station outside for quick rinses.  A beehive is close by to help with pollination of our diverse selected crops.  About one third of the garden is on sloping land.  You will see swales dug on the slopes to help with water conservation.  We have also been experimenting with hugelkultur in our beds to help maximize the beds water retention.  Shiitake logs are close by with hopes to fruit at the end of the summer.  We are in the process of redesigning some of the beds so that irrigation will be cheaper and more effective.

What Volunteers can expect In exchange for your work and time we would love to support you in anyway possible.  We have stacks of literature and computer files that are up for grabs if you are interested.  Of course the vegetables from the garden will be available and seeds as well.   We would love to share all the knowledge we have for your gracious efforts.

  •  Unfortunately there are no paid positions available at this time however volunteering could possibly turn into paid work in the future.

If this is of interest to you please call and leave a message at (540) 586-0033 for further inquiry.

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Abingdon Organics is Hiring for the 2013 season

Abingdon Organics has employment/learning opportunities available or the 2013 Season. 

Seeking aspiring farmer or farm couple in Abingdon, VA

More info can be found at:

Abingdon Organics, a small, diversified organic farm in southwestern Virginia, is seeking an individual or couple for the 2013 season to help with all phases of our farming operation.  Abingdon Organics and its owners, Anthony and Laurel Flaccavento, have been  leaders in the  local foods and sustainable farming movement in the region for nearly two decades.  Their farm produces more than 50 different types of vegetables and fruits which are sold at the farmers market, to local restaurants and other outlets.  The farm has many innovations, including several high tunnels and hoop houses, cover crops and beneficial insect habitat, and ongoing trials of varieties, soil improvement and insect control.  The farm is located 3 miles from Abingdon, a town with a strong art, music and local food scene.  Even a local brewery!

Qualified individuals should have at least one season of experience as WWOOFers, farm interns or apprentices on a produce farm.  You will be involved in greenhouse production, all phases of field and high tunnel production, marketing ,and planning and tracking production and profitability.  A certificate will be provided detailing the skills and knowledge you’ve built during your time here.  In addition to the learning opportunity, compensation includes comfortable lodging in our home, wonderful food and a small stipend.  No pets, please.  If interested, email Anthony at or call 276 698-8956.   Position is open beginning February 18th.

More info can be found at:


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Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project Webinar: “Exploring Farm Credit Programs Available Through the Farm Service Agency”

 Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project Webinar

Exploring Farm Credit Programs Available Through the Farm Service Agency

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Presenters will include Pete Adamson, Chief, Farm Loan Programs and Kim Depasquale, Farm Loan Manager

To participate in this webinar please go to:

Summary: Interested in learning more about farm credit programs? Thinking about borrowing money to start or expand your farm operation and business? Then this webinar is for you! The purpose of this webinar is to help Virginia beginning farmers and ranchers and other agricultural service providers learn more about farm credit programs available through the Farm Service Agency. Join webinar presenters Mr. Pete Adamson, Chief, Farm Loan Programs for Virginia and Ms. Kim Depasquale, Farm Loan Manager in the Fredericksburg FSA Office as they discuss different farm credit options that are available for diverse Virginia beginning farmers and ranchers. Following their presentation, you will have an opportunity to ask Pete and Kim your questions as they help guide you through the farm loan planning process. Please join us for this exciting learning and networking opportunity!

More information: For more information about the webinar or questions, please contact webinar organizers Matt Benson ( or Kim Niewolny (

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project is sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Award # 2010-49400-21720.


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Butchering Workshop in South Boston, VA

Butchery Craft for the Farmer — Friday March 1, 2013

Are you interested in home butchering?

 As the demand for local and niche meats grows, farmers considering entering this market need to have a working knowledge of their products.  Come experience traditions of old and learn how to butcher on your own farm!

 Hosted by:  Hudson Heritage Farms, LLC                                                                                      Note: Hudson Heritage Farms is a working farm and participates should not bring their dogs or small children to this event.

A demonstration butchery class by expert butcher and chef Justin Meddis (Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop). During this course participants will view the breakdown of a side of beef, learn about the common cuts of meat and where the cuts of meat come from on the carcass, and discuss value added products. Although beef will be used for the demonstration the information is transferable to pork, lamb, goat, and large species of game.


8:30 am – Begin registration at Hudson Heritage Farms

Snacks and coffee complimentary of Halifax Farm Bureau

9:00 am – Begin butchery workshop

Demonstration side of beef provided by Strange Farms

12:00–1:00 pm – Lunch

Meat provided by Hudson Heritage and Misty Meadows Farms

5:00 pm – Conclusion

Participates are encouraged to dress for weather conditions and are welcomed to bring their own folding chair.

Location:  Hudson Heritage Farms  14242 River Road South Boston, VA 24592

Non-refundable registration fee: $20.00

Space is limited so registration must be received by February 20, 2013

–          Checks should be addressed to “Virginia Cooperative Extension – Halifax”

–          Registration and fee should be mailed or dropped off at:

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Halifax Office

171 South Main Street

Halifax, VA 24558






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Farm Manager Position Available

The Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA is currently accepting applications for the position of farm manager for The Harvest Table Farm. This is a salaried and full-time position, and requires that the person occupy the residence at the farm. The position has three primary responsibility categories. First, to operate the 3-acre sustainable farm to grow produce in coordination for the needs of the Harvest Table Restaurant. Second, to coordinate and help organize tours of the farm. The Harvest Table Farm is designed not only to supply our restaurant with produce, but the facility also operates as a demonstration farm, serving an education and visitation role in our community. Third, the farm hosts WWOOFers and interns on a seasonal basis, and short-term day volunteers, and the farm manager would be responsible for supervision of these workers.

Harvest Table Farm is located in Meadowview, VA on a rolling 3-acre plot about 2 miles from the restaurant. The job requires a person skilled in modern ecoagriculture, with a strong sense of the changing seasonal needs of a human-scale farm.

Position:  Full-Time, Salaried. Position open immediately.

Qualifications: Defining the qualifications of the perfect farm manager would best be done by saying that we seek a person who is energetic, self-motivated, works well with others in difficult situations, and is experienced and dedicated to the modern ethic of small-scale sustainable agriculture. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual or couple who wants to launch a career in sustainable agriculture.

The position and requirements are more complicated than can easily be conveyed in a simple job description. If interested, please contact Steven Hopp at For a more detailed job description or for farm information, please visit our website:

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