ASHEVILLE, N.C.—ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) is kicking off the 2018 farm planning season with their annual Business of Farming Conference, February 24, 8-4 pm at the AB Tech Conference Center in Asheville, NC. The conference focuses on the business side of farming, offering beginning and established farmers financial, legal, business, and marketing tools to improve their farm businesses and make new professional connections.
“The Business of Farming Conference offers a way for farmers to inspire one another, learn from one another, gain technical and adaptive skills to implement into their farm businesses, and make connections and collaborations. This ultimately helps farmers to grow their operations and build more sustainable business models,” says, Jodi Rhoden, a Business Coach at Mountain BizWorks. Rhoden will teach at the conference as part of the farm business planning track led by Mountain BizWorks.
The conference offers over 15 business, marketing, and management workshops led by innovative farmers and regional professionals. Many workshops will return this year including “Crafting Your Farm Story” and “Improving Sales at Your Farmers Market,” along with several new sessions including “Legal and Insurance Implications of Agritourism,” “Managing Farm Lodging and Rentals,” and “Community Supported Agriculture Options and Opportunities.” The popular Grower-Buyer Meeting also returns with a chance for farmers to meet one-on-one with local buyers from area restaurants, grocers, and distributors. Farmers can also start their conference on Friday with a half-day workshop intensive on “Farm Succession Planning” or “Labor Challenges and Strategies” led by Mountain BizWorks and NC Cooperative Extension.
Registration for the conference and Friday workshops is now open at asapconnections.org or by contacting ASAP at (828) 236-1282. Attendance is $75 per person by January 31 and $95 beginning February 1, with a discount for multiple farm registrants. The Business of Farming Conference is made possible with support from Buncombe County Service Foundation, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Farm Service Agency, Southern Risk Management Education Center, and Ward & Smith, P.A., and other community support. Breakfast and lunch featuring local farm products will be provided by main sponsors Ingles Markets and Farm Burger.
ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.
–Robin Lenner Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
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