College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Small Farms Week 2021 Program

March 21-27, 2021
“35 Years: Resilience. Strength. Diversity.”

 Farmers and interested members of the public are invited to sign up free of charge at the Small Farms Week registration webpage.

Friday, March 19
Small Farms Week Kickoff
9-10:30 a.m. 

Presiding

  • Jerry Moody, Avery County Extension Director

The kickoff will highlight agriculture in Avery County, the home of 2020 Small Farmers of the Year Amos and Kaci Nidiffer. The event will include a presentation about farming in Avery County, a panel of local farmers and recognition of the Nidiffers for their award.

Monday, March 22
Educational Forum
10-11:30 a.m.

Presiding

  • Donna Holland, Personnel Coordinator, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Maintaining Your Health, Naturally

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to get adequate sleep, practice self-discipline, exercise and avoid emotional eating. To reduce stress, we can take deep breaths and get some fresh air. This session will cover some fun, natural ways to continue on the healthy track, because you are worth it!  

  • The Health Benefits of Community Gardening – Alyssa McKim, Community Gardens Coordinator, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T
  • Boosting Your Immune System During the Pandemic – Randy Fulk, Extension Associate – Horticulture, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Tuesday, March 24
Educational Forum
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

8:30-11:30 a.m. – Plant Production (concurrent session)

  • 8:30-10 a.m. – Hemp
  • 8:30 –9 a.m. – Hemp Regulations – Paul Adams, Industrial Hemp Program Manager, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • 9-9:30 a.m. – C. A&T Hemp Research – Arnab Bhowmik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, N.C. A&T; Research Team, N.C. A&T
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – NCSU Hemp Research – David Suchoff, Ph.D., Alternative Crops Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, NC State
  • Survey – Hemp
  • 10:15-11 a.m. – Ginger

Sanjun Gu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Guochen Yang, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, N.C. A&T

  • 11-11:30 a.m. – Purple Carrots

Sanjun Gu, Ph.D.

8:30-11:30 a.m. – Farm Management (concurrent session)

  • 8:30-8:45 a.m. – Heir Property Challenges – Sam Cook, Executive Director of Forest Assets, NC State, Vice President, BOD, NC State Natural Resources Foundation
  • 8:45-10 a.m. – Climate Change Impacts on N.C. Small Farmers – Rebecca Ward, Interim Associate Director/Assistant State Climatologist, NC Climate Office
  • 10:15-11:30 a.m. – Grants Panel: What Grants Are Available and What Is the Application Process? – USDA, NRCS and FSA representatives

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Lunch Break

1-3:30 p.m. – High Tunnel Winter Production (concurrent session)

  • High Tunnel Winter Vegetables – Sanjun Gu, Ph.D., and N.C. A&T Horticulture Unit Team
  • C. A&T Horticulture Resources available
  • High Tunnel Production Survey 

1-3:30 p.m. – Livestock Production (concurrent session)

  • 1-1:45 p.m. – Poultry Production, Anthony Hooks, Research Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, N.C. A&T
  • 1:45-3:30 p.m. –  Swine Production
  • 1:45- 2:35 p.m. – COVID-19 Impacts on State and National Scale, Swine Breeds – Derrick Coble, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, N.C. A&T
  • Survey – How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Business?
  • 2:35-3:30 p.m. – Alternative Swine with Rearing – Derrick Coble, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, N.C. A&T

1-2 p.m. –Student Panel Discussion: Oh, The Places You Can Go with AGRICULTURE! 

Presiding

  • Shannon Wiley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Panelists

  • Students in Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Collegiate Farm Bureau

Many young people fail to consider the numerous options available within agriculture when choosing a college major. They often lack familiarity with the opportunities for diverse and rewarding careers that these majors provide. During this panel discussion aimed at middle and high school students, N.C. A&T students in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences will share insights about majoring in an agricultural discipline and their plans for the future.

Wednesday, March 24
Small Farmers’ Appreciation Day
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

8:30 a.m.-Noon – Educational Forum

8:30-11 a.m. – Marketing and Agribusiness

  • 8:30-9:30 a.m. – Marketing and Business Planning for Specialty Vegetables – Kathleen Liang, Ph.D., Kellogg Distinguished Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, N.C. A&T State University.
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Discovering Your Niche Market – Michael Fine, Former Agricultural Extension Agent – Rowan County
  • 10:15-11 a.m. – Value-Added Production for Small Farms
    • Selling to the University System – Ed Hunt, Sustainability Coordinator, Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub, University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
    • Connie and Millard Locklear, New Ground Farms, LLC

11 a.m.-Noon – N.C. A&T College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Small Farms Update

  • Small Farms Resource and Innovation Center (SFRIC) in the CAES – Gregory Goins, Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, N.C. A&T
  • Small Farms Task Force – Fletcher Barber, Jr., Ph.D., Small Farmer Recruitment Specialist, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T; James Oliver, Ph.D., Small Farm Coordinator, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T
  • How to be the Small Farmer of the Year – Michelle Eley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Community and Economic Development, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T 

Noon-1 p.m. – Small Farmers’ Appreciation Program

Presiding

  • Mark Blevins, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T 

The Small Farmers’ Appreciation Program will feature greetings from leaders including Rosalind Dale, Ed.D., Administrator, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T; Rich Bonanno, Ph.D., Director, NC State Extension; Mohamed Ahmedna, Ph.D., Dean, N.C. A&T College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; Harold L. Martin Sr., Ph.D., Chancellor, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The highlights of the event will be the keynote address by Jimmy Gentry, president of the North Carolina Grange, and the announcement of the 2021 Small Farmer of the Year.

Thursday, March 26
Student Panel Discussion: Learning & Leading in Agriculture: Choosing Your Path to a Career in the Field of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences 
1-2 p.m.

Presiding

  • Shannon Wiley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Panelists

  • Students in Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Collegiate Farm Bureau 

Choosing a career can be difficult. Choosing a career in the field of agriculture can be even more so difficult because there is so many options from which to choose! During this panel discussion, youth participants will discuss careers in agriculture and the preparation needed to obtain the position!