Submitted by Brandy Brabham of WVU Extension, Roane County
Whole Farm Field Day
Whole Farm Field Day at Berea Gardens in Minnora, WV on Monday, September 15, 2014 from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM. If you can’t come until a little later….please STILL Come! This event is sponsored by WVU Extension & Northeast SARE & Mid Ohio Valley Edibles “Ready for Market” training series at Bob & Lynnita Gregory’s place (Berea Gardens) in Calhoun County. A local foods dinner will be provided; so, we do need an RSVP by Friday, September 12th. The goal of the event is to understand the farm as a system, factors influencing the farmers’ decision-making, how changes in farm management might affect the whole farm, and practical recommendations for farmers to improve farm sustainability.
Bob Gregory will explain the steps he and his family have made to change production, marketing and economic approaches in an effort to reduce labor requirements and provide higher value production and overall sustainability. Participants will be asked to complete an assessment and suggest action steps for the producer to consider incorporating as part of this event. Topics to be discussed include small fruit production, soil fertility, season extension, post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables, cold storage access, and orchard management.
Poultry Processing Workshop
We are having a poultry processing workshop on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 beginning at 5 PM at the Camp Sheppard 4-H Grounds in Gandeeville, WV (off Rt. 119 South, Between Spencer & Walton, toward Clendenin, WV). This workshop will teach home processing of poultry. The State of WV offers a home processing for direct marketing exemption up to 1,000 birds/year on farm without bird-by-bird inspection. With this exemption producers can sell home-processed poultry at Farmers Markets to the general public. This workshop will be hands-on showing how to kill, pluck, eviscerate, and make retail cuts. We will have a beginner set up of home processing tools at this workshop for examples. There will also be informational pamphlets and factsheets provide to detail how to process poultry at home, as well. We won’t conduct this workshop unless we had adequate interest; so, pre-registration is required by Friday, September 12, 2014. There is no cost to participate, but you must call the office to register at 304-927-0975 or email me at email@example.com.
I hope you can attend this workshop, because in the future, farmers may be able to home process up to 20,000 birds/ year. Currently, if a farmer wants to sell more than 1,000 birds in a calendar year he or she must use a commercial processor. However, the state has no commercial processor serving small farmers. Farmers must either take a long and costly trip across state lines or limit their production to 1,000 birds. After hearing from farmers throughout the state, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture submitted a rule change to the Secretary of State that would allow farmers and small processors to slaughter up to 20,000 birds per year without needing an inspector present. This 20,000 bird exemption has been allowed for some time by USDA, but WV was not taking advantage of it. The State legislature still needs to process this rule change in 2015.