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NC State Extension

2017 NC Farm School Summit

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Events Schedule

NC Farm School Summit Pre-Tours

Thursday, September 14th, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Pre-Tour Check in 12:45


Animal Operation Pre-Tour:

Tour Stop 1: Hickory Nut Gap Farm

SUCH A TREAT! This 90 acre farm is a must see if you are planning to have animals as a part of your farming operation. They have an on site kitchen, u-pick sales, and they include agri-tourism into their operation. You don’t want to miss this!

Tour Stop 2: To be decided

We have something special up our sleeve so don’t think you are going to miss out here. There will be a good surprise for anyone who wants to join us for this tour. We promise it will be worth it!!

Horticultural Operation Pre-Tour:

Tour Stop 1: Sierra Nevada Brewing Organic Small Farm Tour

This is a unique opportunity to get a tour of a part of the Serra Nevada Brewery most others don’t get to see. The brewery has a working small farm on site that the farm manager will give us a personal tour of the what they have going on right at their back door…don’t worry you can come back here to hang out later on your own.

Tour Stop 2: North River Farms

North River Farms is a diversified farming operation that incorporates agritourism in a very creative way. We can’t wait to feature this farm and for you to experience just how they do it on the farm. Check them out at

On Your Own:

Sierra Nevada Brewery Meet up, 5:30-UNTIL:

This is not a part of our tour or the official events of the summit but you are already here so take the time to make a friend and head to the brewery for dinner. We will see you there!

Location: 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC 28732

Stay the night:

Below are a few hotels in the area and the links to their website. You will want to book a room early and go ahead and make your plans in advance because the fall leaf season is not far away.

NC Farm School Summit

Friday, September 15th, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Check-In 8:30 a.m.


Opening Group Session 9:00-9:30

We will kick off the morning together with an opening speaker

Session 1 9:45-11:15

Track A: Marketing on Social Media, Annie Baggett, NCDA Marketing Division

Annie Baggett

Baggett brings an impressive and unique array of experiences to her new role, including experience in marketing and on-the-farm experience at her family’s business, Sunshine Lavender Farm in Hurdle Mills. “My husband and I started the farm in 2000. At first we wanted to have a community vegetable garden, but soon discovered that deer were our “community,” Baggett said. “The idea to grow lavender came from friends, and the fact that it is a deer-resistant plant.”

Check out her story

Check out her farm and how she markets

Track B: Poultry Health- Richard Goforth, NCCE

Richard Goforth is the local expert in Union County, a county that is known for its poultry production. If farmers who have millions on the line can trust him I know you can look forward to hearing what he has to add to helping you understand poultry health. This is a key factor for beginners and veterans alike to know before starting their own flock for laying or meat birds.

Check out one of Richard’s articles

Track C: High Tunnel Crop Selection- Keith Wood, NCCE

Keith hails as an extension agent from Cherokee County and has put on many seminars and workshops for high tunnel growers in North Carolina. You won’t find a county agent in the state who is more qualified to give you the run down on getting a high tunnel started and learning what to grow. If a high tunnel is a key part of getting you started this workshop is where you want to be.

Lunch 11:30-12:30

We all have something in common…we are passionate about farming. Lets sit down together, grab a good meal, and chat about it.

Session 2 12:45-2:15

Track A: Vegetable Grafting- Dr. Frank Louws

Dr. Frank LouwsDr. Louws is Director of the NSF Center for IPM. The Center manages International, National, Regional and Local IPM projects. Dr. Louws and his group also conduct research and extension programs in the following areas: soilborne diseases of vegetables (mainly solanaceous crops); strawberry diseases;tomato diseases; vegetable and strawberry organic/farming systems.

Check out his work at the Center for IPM

Track B: Plasiculture- Adam McCurry, A&T Agriculture Technician

Adam knows what it takes to get a row of plastic down. He is the Agricultural technician for the Yancey County Center. When it comes to hands on experience you can expect that Adam knows what to do and how to do it. We are glad to have his knowledge working for you to make this informative session possible.

Track C: Pastured Pork, Lee Minus, Wild Turkey Farms

Lee Minus & familyWho better to explain pastured pork than a guy who is doing it and has a back ground in research work to accompany his on farm practical knowledge. You will enjoy Lee’s no-nonsense style to helping you understand the basics if you are considering pastured pork.

Check out Lee’s Farm Website

Group Session Farmer Panel 2:30-3:30

Let’s close out the day together by having some experienced farmers tackle your questions. We will have a link you can use to enter questions you need answers to throughout the day and we will have our farmer panel tackle the ones we have time for.

On-Site Tour 3:45-4:45

Take a tour of the research station and see the latest and unique studies taking place on site.

Event Directions

All Events, including pre-tours and summit sessions will meet on site at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759

Un-Official meet up

Sierra Nevada Brewing, 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC 28732- this location is just next door to the research station

**Please note** Events may be subject to change outside of the control of the summit host and planning. We will do our best to inform you of any changes prior to the event.

FOR ANY ACCOMMODATIONS for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, call (828) 652-8104  or email Molly Sandfoss-

Written By

Derek Washburn, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDerek WashburnNC Farm School Associate Call Derek Email Derek Agricultural & Resource Economics
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 7 years ago
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