29th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Nov. 10-12, 2014 in Greenville, SC
There is no place like the Sustainable Agriculture Conference to learn from the experts about cutting-edge techniques and innovative programs. Connect with others who are passionate about rebuilding a healthy, local foodshed from seed-to-plate.
Check out these unparalleled opportunities to network with sustainable ag farmers, non-profits, extension agents, higher ed. experts, exhibitors, activists, and more:
* 55 Workshops in 2 incredible days, including a First-Time Conference Attendee Program and workshops to take seasoned veterans to the next level
* 3 Pre-conference Tours take you to some of the Upstate’s most innovative farms and restaurants
* 9 Hands-on Intensives and 2 Get-Your-Hands-Dirty Off-site Learning opportunities
* 56 Table Exhibitor Hall
* CFSA’s Annual Meeting
* Regional and Topical Meetings
* Meeting Space you can reserve for your meetings, plus nice, long breaks for connecting and networking
* Speed Networking and Topic-based networking tables at lunches
* Literature Table and Message Board
* Seed Exchange
This year’s conference features exciting tracks devoted to growing organic produce, pastured livestock, urban farming, soils, beginning farmers, food and culture, policy and community, and a ‘You Make It – Outdoors and Hands-on’ track. The Conference showcases renowned speakers, such as Greg Judy, leader in the mob-grazing movement; Jim Adkins, nationally recognized poultry expert and founder of the Sustainable Poultry Network; Southern culinary historian, David Shields; Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit, and Hugh Lovel, biodynamics expert.
One of the highlights of the event is the Local Food Feast and Keynote, to be held on Nov. 10 starting at 6:30 PM. This magical meal is made with only the best in-season, sustainably grown ingredients supplied by local farms. This year’s keynote is Mark Shepard, the author of Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers, and the owner and farmer at New Forest Farm in Viola, Wisconsin, which is considered one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the country. Mark will speak about how to grow the food, fiber, medicine and fuels we need in a perennial agriculture ecosystem and share his vision for a truly sustainable and resilient food system — don’t miss this thought-provoking discussion!
Meals, Pre-conference intensives and Tours will sell out.
For all the details and to register, visit carolinafarmstewards.org/sac or call 919-542-2402.
Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities
USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
Application due date: July 7 for grants; July 31 for guaranteed loans
USDA’s REAP provides grant and loan assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. Eligible agricultural producers are individuals or entities directly engaged in the production of agricultural products whereby 50 percent + or greater of their gross income is derived from the operations; eligible small businesses are defined in accordance with Small Business Administration’s Small Business Size Standards. The maximum award per grant is $500,000, and more information can be found on the program’s website.
USDA Rural Business Investment Program
Deadline: July 29, 2014
A USDA press release on April 21st announced the “creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will now allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses.
"This new partnership will allow us to facilitate private investment in businesses working in bio-manufacturing, advanced energy production, local and regional food systems, improved farming technologies and other cutting-edge fields."
For more information about grant eligibility, check out the program’s website.
Hands on Canning Class
Saturday, Aug 23 1-4 PM Ag. Conference Center
252 Poplar Grove Rd. Boone, NC
The N.C. Cooperative Extension is offering a hands-on canning class. We will learn how to safely can using a pressure canner and a boiling water bath. Space is limited, so register by paying $10.00 in advance at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, 971 W. King Street, Boone, NC. For questions, contact Margie Mansure at 828-264-3061 or
ASU Edible Schoolyard Harvest Dinner Fundraiser
September 24 (tentative)
This event is to help raise funds for the Edible Schoolyard by donating old cookbooks, kitchen items, or a potluck dish. Music will be performed by Appalachian Studies Graduate Students.
Adults: $10 suggested donation
Children and students: $5 suggested donation
Find out more about the ASU Edible Schoolyard HERE
CFSA Educational Video Series on GAP Certification
CFSA recently launched a series of videos to supplement the “Good Agricultural Practices for Small and Diversified Farms: Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit” manual. This video series continues to document real-world examples of how small, diversified farms can employ these tips and strategies to meet GAP certification requirements. We hope you find this video series useful, and be on the lookout for future GAPS workshops throughout the Carolinas.
Hospitality House: Stories of Change
Watch this wonderful video that highlights the hospitality house of Boone and one mans story of personal growth through working in the on-site educational gardens. It's a beautiful story. Thank you Hospitality House!