The 35th annual celebration of Small Farms Week will be held virtually Mar. 21-27. Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University is sponsoring a series of virtual events and educational programs to inform the public and provide research-based information to support small farmers.
This year’s theme is “35 Years: Resilience. Strength. Diversity” and will begin with a kick-off event on Friday, Mar. 19, according to information from the Greensboro-based university. The programs are “designed for farmers with limited incomes and acreage and will provide them with information to become more resilient and more profitable,” according to the statement. Although focused on small-scale farmers, the public is also invited to attend.
The USDA census defines a small farm as “a farm that is 179 acres or less in size, or earns $50,000 or less in gross income per year.
The Mar. 19 event will feature agriculture in Avery County, located in western North Carolina. This session also will recognize Avery County’s Amos and Kaci Nidiffer, the 2020 Small Farmers of the Year. A panel of local farmers will discuss farming in that part of the state.
The virtual activities continue on Monday, Mar. 22, with sessions on the health benefits of community gardening and ways to boost your immune system during the pandemic. A virtual education forum on Tuesday, Mar. 23 will cover plant production, farm management, high-tunnel winter production and livestock production. A panel of N.C. A&T students will discuss the wide variety of career opportunities available in agriculture and related fields.
Wednesday’s program includes information on marketing and agribusiness, as well as a small farms update by members of A&T’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The day also includes one of the highlights of the week: the virtual Small Farmers’ Appreciation Program. Keynote speaker is Jimmy Gentry, president of the North Carolina Grange. The 2021 Small Farmer of the Year will also be announced.
The final event of Small Farms Week 2021 will be a panel discussion among A&T students on Thursday, Mar. 25 about opportunities for young people in agriculture.
The registration link is