PROJECT LEADER(S): Jeff Vance, Jerry Moody, and Stanley Holloway
Small and limited-resource farmers in the tri-county area of Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties have a need for information on alternative agriculture opportunities available to sustain the viability of their farms. With the present uncertainty surrounding the tobacco program, many growers are looking for crops to replace income received from tobacco. To meet the need for education regarding opportunities with specialty crops and alternative agriculture avenues, the Cooperative Extension Centers in Mitchell, Avery, and Yancey Counties organized an Alternative Agriculture Workshop.
The Alternative Agriculture Workshop was held at Mayland Community College. Presentations were made on agritourism, marketing through a local tailgate farmers market, and production of organic vegetables, native ornamentals, galax and ramps. Each participant received a notebook with proceedings of the meeting as well as other publications on alternative crops.
Participants responded that they had gained knowledge of new marketing techniques and of new alternative crops. Participants also responded that they would incorporate the information gained into their production practices.
The program was a success and the funds made available through the Specialty Crops Program allowed us to reach more people and provide them with educational materials that we normally could not afford to purchase.
Updated February, 2005