Last week Karen Dial and I attended the 2012 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference and Trade Show in Lexington Ky. The conference was attended by many commercial farmers as well as some small private farmers. This gave us a opportunity to hear the issues farmers faced in 2011 and what corrective action they planned to make in 2012.
We touched based with two of our local Cooperative extension office agents, Jeff Casada (Clay County) and Stacy White (Bell County) as well as speaking with David Cooke, Director of the Berea College Appalachia Fund and Louie Rivers,Jr. ( Small Farmer Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Program ) SFOTTAP Director from Kentucky State University.
There were several concurrent sessions at the conference allowing us to split up and take in a lot of very beneficial information to bring back and share with our Grow Appalachia participants. There were sessions on Farmers Markets, vegetable Production, Agritourism and social media, Organic Farming and gardening, Small fruit production, Tree Fruit production and a few Grape and Wine short courses. There were also many exhibits set up for the Trade Show Offering suppliers for nearly anything farm related. This allowed us a chance to collect information on resources available to our program and our participants such as organic supplies, local seed distributors and contacts specializing in Agricultural technical assistance.