Southwest Arkansas Small Farms Conference Topics Announced

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences    

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The Southwest Arkansas Small Farms Conference gets underway at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 6, in Hempstead Hall at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH). Participants can select from among two breakout sessions – one targeting vegetable producers and the other for landowners and livestock producers.

Those interested in vegetable production will hear presentations on Farm to School Opportunities: The Arkansas Grow Healthy Study; Arkansas Garden Corps; the Eastern Arkansas Farm to School Program and MarketMaker.

The second half of the session will feature tips on preparing for spring planting; tunnel houses, EQIP conservation practices; Winrock International Programs and the Learning Farm.

Those at the landowners and livestock producers session will learn about wildlife programs for landowners; forage management and EQIP programs to help landowners and ranchers; feral hog damage and disease management; beef cattle outlook and biosecurity on the farm.

Charlie Williams, USDA Strikeforce coordinator, will be the luncheon speaker. He will discuss the economic and health benefits of a thriving local food economy. The afternoon session will be devoted to community and economic development and a town hall meeting to discuss rural issues and identify resources to address them.

The conference will feature a youth component featuring financial management activities, the University of Arkansas Center for Advance Spatial Technologies (CAST) mobile unit activities, and texting and driving simulators. Career opportunities, banking basics and student financial aid will also be covered.

The conference is free, but preregistration is requested. For registration or exhibit space, contact Kandi Williams at (870) 575-2427; fax, (870) 898-2908 or email silashhuntcdc@yahoo.com. For more information, call (903) 280-8471. Hempstead Hall is located at 2500 S. Main Street, Hope, Ark.

The conference is sponsored by the Silas H. Hunt Community Development Corporation, supported by the Office of Outreach, U.S. Department of Agriculture Award NO. 59-2501-11-031s, in cooperation with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Small Farm Program.

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