By Matt Browning, Director of Communications
“Gorgeous, delectable and fascinating.” “…the book that will inspire farmers, chefs, and consumers to do the right thing.”
These are some of the words used to describe the work of New York Times best-selling author and organic farmer Forrest Pritchard.
Pritchard will headline the third annual West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference, happening on the WVSU campus Saturday, April 30. The event will feature workshops on topics such as horticulture, homesteading, conservation, marketing, adaptive gardening and livestock. Pritchard will provide the keynote address.
“I think it is wonderful that Mr. Pritchard is able to come to the conference and share his story of realizing his farm dream,” said West Virginia University Extension Agent and Conference Coordinator John Porter. “I think it is important for people to realize that it is possible not only to save money by growing your own food, but it could be a full-time job and provide for economic stability for you and your family. It’s a message we haven’t heard enough during the economic crisis – that farming is a business and you can become an entrepreneur by doing something that you love.”
WVSU Extension Service is partnering with WVU Extension Service and the Capitol Conservation District to host the event, which stemmed from an increasing interest in urban agriculture planners were seeing in their workshops and trainings.
“This conference is the result of many people coming together to support the agricultural community, both urban and rural, in West Virginia,” Porter said. “Not only are we providing much-needed information and education, we are also helping to build a network here in the Mountain State centered on people producing food for themselves and their neighbors.”
In addition to workshops, the event includes a post-conference local foods reception and vendor exhibits. Beginning gardeners to expert agriculturalists are invited to attend.
Registration is available through April 15 at a rate of $45. A full schedule and online registration is available at urbanagwv.com.
Additional conference partners include the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).
Register for the conference by Friday, April 8, for a chance to win a free copy of Forrest’s book “Growing Tomorrow.” Five lucky winners will be randomly chosen among all conference registrants. Forrest will be signing copies of his books during the post-conference reception.