Over the past 13 years, the West Virginia Small Farm Conference has become a major focal point in the state for small farmers to continue their education, gain exposure to new products and opportunities, and network with other farmers to build communities. We need your help to continue to lay building blocks of infrastructure of the new West Virginia food system. Approximately 700 growers, producers, and agricultural professionals from across West Virginia are expected to attend, so sponsorships are important sources of funding to achieve our goals, while keeping costs low.
Goals of the Conference
- Unlock the potential of West Virginia small farms to produce food and make a sustainable profit.
- Help small farms transition from commodity production to food production for local consumption.
- Support West Virginia’s 22,000 small farm families by:
– providing reliable, tested knowledge about current trends, necessary skills, and latest production and operation information.
– building an understanding of how to develop a successful small farming enterprise.
- Support West Virginia farm families and local communities by encouraging local processing, sales and consumption.
- West Virginia’s small farms cannot compete in commodity agriculture; however, when they learn to change their emphasis to food production, they become profitable.
- Last year, West Virginians spent $8 billion for food, most of which can be grown and processed locally. Since 80% of that food dollar goes to everything involved in getting the food from the farm to the consumer, local food can be viewed as a valid job creator.
- Buying locally saves energy and builds communities whose citizens directly support the food system.
- This conference serves as the meeting place for West Virginia’s local food movement. It has been the birthplace of countless ideas that led to many beneficial relationships and start-ups. Add in the opportunities to learn formally in classes or informally by sharing a cup of coffee, our attendees can learn from and visit with expert farm neighbors and the top-notch university specialists from the nine-state region.