UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Prospective and part-time farmers as well as operators of small farms can benefit from the “Starting and Improving Farms Conference” to be held by Penn State Extension April 1-2 at Wyndham Garden in Boalsburg, Centre County.
“This conference will help you begin your farm venture or provide information if you are seeking to diversify your existing farm,” said Lynn Kime, senior extension associate in agricultural economics, sociology and education.
The first day will include a tour of Penn State facilities and farms in the State College area. Participants can choose to join a tour featuring agritourism, horticulture or livestock enterprises. Each tour will highlight research at several Penn State facilities.
On the second day, a plenary session will cover the business aspects of beginning or diversifying a farm. Participants will learn about marketing their production, planning for their business and financing. Breakout sessions will allow for discussion of the previous day’s tours and speakers. Extension specialists and educators will share details about their programs and work. Participants can network with other farmers and specialists specific to their area of interest.
Ashley and Larry Latta, the owners of Tuckaway Tree Farm, will deliver the keynote speech. Other speakers include Lewis Jett, associate professor and extension specialist with West Virginia University Extension; Kim Tait, owner of Tait Farm Foods; and Eric Burkhart, associate teaching professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Participants can register through March 27. The registration fee of $150 includes breakfast, dinner and snacks Saturday, as well as lunch both Friday and Saturday. The early registration price of $150 ends Feb. 28 and will increase to $175 March 1. More information is available on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/starting-and-improving-farms-conference-2.
–Penn State Extension