ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The 18th annual Business of Farming Conference, presented by ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project), will be held virtually this year, Feb. 25–27. The conference focuses on the business side of farming, offering beginning and established farmers financial, legal, management, and marketing tools to improve their farm businesses and make new professional connections.
“Networking is a key element of the Business of Farming Conference, and we’re building that into this online format,” says conference coordinator Amy DeCamp. “It’s so important to connect and form supportive relationships right now. ASAP is excited to offer an interactive space for the farming community to learn, to reflect, to celebrate triumphs, and to plan for the season ahead.”
The conference will offer more than a dozen workshops led by farmers and regional professionals, including several that address the continued effects of COVID-19 on the industry, such as Direct Marketing in the Time of COVID, Optimizing Your Online Store, and Planning for Meat Sales in 2021. The conference also includes a business planning track in collaboration with Mountain BizWorks. The popular Grower-Buyer Meeting will return in a virtual format, giving farmers the chance to meet individually with grocers, distributors, and chefs. Farmers can receive one-on-one support on legal, recordkeeping, marketing, and production planning issues.
Registration is now open at asapconnections.org or by contacting ASAP at (828) 236-1282. The cost is $95 per person by Feb. 1 and $115 beginning Feb. 2, with a discount for farm partners registering together. Appalachian Grown certified farmers are also eligible for a 30 percent discount. A computer and internet access are required to attend.
Support for the Business of Farming Conference comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Buncombe County Strategic Partnership, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the Pisgah Health Foundation.
–Sarah Hart, ASAP