Thursday, December 9, 2010

Putting Small Acreage to Work is a Success!

On December 4th, Gaston County Cooperative Extension hosted a "Putting Small Acreage to Work" Conference where 65 participants learned how to make a living or supplemental income off their land. The amazing thing is that 55 of the particpants (85%) were from my four county area, verifying that local Extension progaming is still needed and appreciated! Topics discussed at the conference included: tree fruit production, use of high tunnels for season extension, grass-based sheep production, small scale rabbit production, successful vegetable gardening, small ruminant herd health, small acreage rotational/intensive grazing, mushroom production, selling to restaurants & independent retailers, understanding sales tax issued on agricultural products, and internet & social media for farmers. Fifty-six percent of the participants indicated that they were already actively engaged in an agricultural enterprise, and 54% of those individuals had intentions of expanding or diversifying their operations in the next 12 months. Fourty-two percent of the participants were not actively engaged in agriculture, but after attending this conference, they all stated that they intend to implement an agricultural enterprise within the next 12 months!

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