The 13th Annual OAK Conference Adopting Practices, Increasing Resilience, and Strengthening Systems agenda with session titles and speaker details is below. You can also choose the Agenda-at-a-Glance to plan your time at conference. The 2024 Conference offers Pre-Conference workshops on January 25, followed by two full days of sessions on Friday January 26 and Saturday January 27. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


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Agenda At-A-Glance


Header for Thursday Pre-Conference Workshops

Five Steps to Your Regenerative Resilience Plan: A Workshop for Farmers  (9:00am - 12:30pm ET)

Corn flower with pollinators
Laura Lengnick - Cultivating Resilience / Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming 

**This workshop is the first event of a five-part series.** For many farmers, changing weather patterns make existing farm management challenges more difficult and create new ones. In this workshop, participants will learn more about reducing their farms' risks and capturing new opportunities associated with changing weather patterns to build resilience in their farming systems and farm businesses. This workshop, the first of a five-part series, will guide participants through the five steps of creating a regenerative whole farm resilience plan. Participants will learn to generate a plan by exploring how climate change is present on their farms, what "best fit" adaptation options are for their operations, how to choose the best adaptations for their farms, and what resources are available to help them design and implement those options.


Participants will craft a climate resilience plan that is practical, effective, and tailored to their farm and family goals. With Laura Lengnick and a community of Kentucky farmers from small and mid-scale diversified operations, participants will gain adaptation resources from farmer case studies, short lessons, small and large group discussions, and independent activities thinking about their unique farm operations.


**This workshop is the first event of a five-part series, "Five Steps to Your Regenerative Resilience Plan: A Workshop for Farmers." Part two, "Adaptation Options for Diversified Organic Farmers," is on the Saturday Conference agenda from 1:15–2:45 p.m. The remaining sessions are at Noon (Eastern Time) of February 1 (2 hours), February 15 (2 hours), and February 29 (1.5 hours). Participants must attend all five workshops and spend about 20 hours outside workshop meetings to complete their farm's regenerative climate resilience plan. Participation is limited. Farms are encouraged (but not required) to register two participants.**  

*Before registering for this incredible opportunity to learn with Laura Lengnick, read more about this five-event series here*



No-Till Cover Cropping Strategies on a Small to Medium Scale (9:00am - 12:30pm ET)

Potatoes planted in straw representing no till growingJesse Frost - Rough Draft Farmstead; Susana Lein - Salamander Springs Farm; Joel Dufour - Earth Tools; Shawn Lucas - Kentucky State University

Cover cropping has various benefits, from soil retention to nutrient management. However, cover crops are not without their nuances and complications, especially in a no-till system where terminating the cover crop is key. In this session, Susana Lein of Salamander Springs and Jesse Frost of Rough Draft Farmstead will discuss the ways they have evolved and improved their use of cover crops for a variety of purposes and crop rotations throughout the year on two different farms. Using a mixture of classroom description, in-the-field demonstrations, and hands-on discovery, participants will learn tools and techniques for seeding, managing, and terminating cover crops. Shawn Lucas and Joel Dufour will broaden the suite of tools on demonstration. This workshop is for participants just getting into cover cropping or those simply hoping to fine-tune their cover crop approach, and participants will leave prepared for cover crop success in the 2024 season.


**This workshop will include time outdoors for field demonstration and observation. Prepare for the weather and for periods of walking and standing.*



Introduction to Seed Growing in the Southeast (9:00am - 12:30pm ET)

Dried okra and seedsChris Smith - Utopian Seed Project

This pre-conference workshop aims to build a deeper understanding of seed growing in the Southeast and is structured to address the primary concerns and barriers around saving seeds as a farmer. Participants will learn that some common opinions are urban myths, some challenges are easily overcome, and some aspects of growing seeds in the Southeast are just downright hard! Through farmer case studies, personal experiences, and tried and tested methods, this workshop will explore two on-farm seed-saving paths farmers can take -- contract growing (for seed companies) and seed saving (for personal use) -- and give participants an understanding of how to incorporate on-farm seed saving into their operation. This workshop offers small seed-cleaning demos and show-and-tell with low-tech seed-cleaning equipment. Participants will learn about contracts and working with seed companies, practical on-farm seed saving, the importance of seed saving and cultural preservation, as well as knowledge, information, and stories of seed growing and seed saving from different regions around the country. At the end of this workshop, participants will feel informed and inspired to consider saving seeds on their farm!



High Tunnel Production - The Science and Practice of Off-Season Organic Production (*Off-Site*) (1:30 - 5:00pm ET)

Tony Silvernail - Beyond the Bridge Farm; Joel Dufour - Earth Tools; Krista Jacobsen - University of Kentucky; Nathan Lind - National Resources Conservation Services; Shawn Lucas - Kentucky State University
 High tunnel structures extend the crop production season and winter-growing opportunities for Kentucky farmers while reducing common pest and disease pressures. These advantages have led to the installation of more than 1,500 structures across the state since 2010. Kentucky farmers and researchers leading this workshop have a wealth of knowledge about the best practices and efficiencies for these covered structures in organic production systems. This workshop will explore Beyond the Bridge Organic Farm's winter production in four high tunnels. Participants will:
  • Explore the science of soil nutrition in a certified organic covered environment with Shawn Lucas
  • Discuss structural, technical and financial assistance opportunities for tunnels with Nathan Lind
  • Observe production practices of high tunnel management: flipping beds, seeding, rotations, and crop varieties with Tony Silvernail
  • Investigate options and view demonstrations of the applications, ergonomics, proper use/care of walk-behind tractors & handheld gardening tools with Joel Dufour
  • Examine cover crops in a high tunnel rotation for soil health and as a tool for managing insect and disease pressure with Krista Jacobsen
*This fully outdoor tour requires a 12-minute drive to Bridgeport. Transportation is not provided, but carpooling will be encouraged/facilitated.*



Foundations of Regenerative Grazing Ecosystem Function and the Tool of Livestock (1:30 - 5:00pm ET)

Two angus cattle grazing in forageJ. Dylan Kennedy - Ketelwood; Adam Jones - USDA NRCS; Michael Wilson - Kentucky State University; Annie Woods - Organic Association of Kentucky

Modern regenerative grazing requires knowledge of ecosystem function and holistic management tools to be profitable in an organic context. Through presentation, facilitated discussions, and in-field practicum, this workshop explores using livestock as a management tool and how ecosystem function relates to a successful grazing business. Participants will learn how to evaluate ecosystem function and health on a landscape based on its water and mineral cycles, community dynamics, and energy flow and have the opportunity to assess ecosystem processes on a field walk within Kentucky State University's cattle pastures. They will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the tools available to land managers and how these tools can be used to meet the ecological, economic and social needs of land stewards managing viable grazing operations. This workshop will also share a suite of resources farmers can access to improve their grazing and livestock management practices. This workshop will include walking over hilly terrain to access the pastures.


*This workshop will include time outdoors for field demonstration and observation. Prepare for the weather and for periods of walking, standing on hilly terrain.*



Want to Grow Fruit? Small Fruits for Kentucky (1:30 - 5:00pm ET)

Elderberries representing small fruitsBlake Cothron - Peaceful Heritage Nursery

Kentucky farmers have a strong interest in small fruit production to meet consumer demand and need to build their practical understanding of growing small fruits and berries successfully and profitably. This workshop will dive into Kentucky-oriented strategies, organic pest and disease management, and considerations for Kentucky’s challenging fruit-growing climate. Participants will learn the species and varieties that have the best success rates and marketability within a wide range of small fruits: blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, honeyberry, gooseberry, elderberry, black currant, passionflower, grapes, Aronia, and cold hardy figs. Through demonstrations and a hands-on opportunity to start an elderberry cutting, participants will leave with both the knowledge and plant material to begin their own fruit-growing endeavor. This workshop will equip participants with the skills to become organic fruit producers.



Raising Goats in Kentucky (1:30 - 5:00pm ET)

GoatsVon Barnes - Kentuckiana Backyard Farms; Emily Clement - Jefferson County Public Schools; Fatima Jackson - Action Jackson Farms; Holly Robinson - Hallow Springs Farm; McKinley Stonewall - Kentucky State University 

Designed for those interested in raising goats but with questions about how to get started, to those who have already added goats to their farming enterprise and want guidance, this workshop offers a range of expertise from veterinary experience to small farm experience in rural and urban goat management. Presenters will share steps on getting started in the business of goats, how to maintain a healthy and happy herd, and how to make a profit off of a herd. Through demonstrations with the Kentucky State University goat herd and classroom knowledge-sharing, this workshop covers pasture health, herd protection, and the purchasing and selling of flocks. This workshop offers a brief overview of goat health through life stages and production needs, recognizing common illnesses, implementing preventative health measures, and basic record keeping to ensure a happy and robust herd. Presenters will discuss the goat breeds best suited for various settings, how to set up fencing and handling facilities, what to expect from a herd throughout the season, how to maintain herd health, and considerations from birth to breeding to the end of a goat’s life cycle. Participants will learn hands-on skills from hoof trimming to parasite checks and disease monitoring and will leave this workshop prepared for improved success as a goat herder in Kentucky.


*This workshop will include time outdoors for field demonstration and observation. Prepare for the weather and for periods of walking and standing.*




Header for Friday Conference Sessions

Are Tomatoes Worth It?!? Evaluating Profitability in High Tunnels, Crop by Crop (9:00 - 10:30am ET)

Liz Graznak - Happy Hollow Farm

What makes a crop worth growing? As any farmer can attest, some crops are reliable, easily managed profit centers, while others take a lot of time and attention for low profit. And every farmer has a crop they don’t like to grow. Enterprise budgets provide helpful answers but may not give the whole picture. This session will explore farmer Liz Graznak's decision framework for evaluating what she can grow, what makes money for her farm, and what she really wants to grow.


Exploring Organic Small Grain Production in Kentucky  (9:00 - 10:30am ET)

Michelle Ajamian - Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative / Shagbark Mill; Chelsea Askew - Johnnie Dew Farm; John Bell - Elmwood Stock Farm; Lauren Brzozowski - University of Kentucky

For farmers currently growing small grains in Kentucky or interested in learning more about small-grain production, this session will give an overview of organic small-grain production in the state and region. Presenters will highlight small-grain production for food and feed and facilitate a round-table discussion about opportunities and barriers to expanding organic small-grain production on Kentucky farms. Join the conversation to learn the challenges and market potential, current research in Kentucky and the region, and peer network possibilities for expanding small grain production on Kentucky farms.


Growing Community Through Seeds: Stories of Grassroots Organizing & Growing Shared Resources (9:00 - 10:30am ET)

Florentina Rodriguez - Flora Seeds

Structural change is needed to address seed systems issues in the U.S., such as corporate consolidation, unjust practices, and biodiversity loss. For people and communities impacted by these issues, strategies for grassroots organizing and growing shared resources can fill gaps in meeting needs and create free spaces to nurture change, development, and economic empowerment. In this workshop, Community Seed Educator Florentina Rodriguez will share her experiences with rural and urban farmers/growers, helping seed-based organizations adopt fair practices and building collective resources like seed libraries and community garden networks to center and preserve forms of Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK), including methods developed by long-standing historical communities through Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Local Knowledge (ILK).



KEYNOTE: Cultivating Community, Wellness and Purpose Through Food and Farming (10:45 - 12:00pm ET)

Ardis and Henry Crews - Conference KeynotesArdis and Henry Crews - Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO)

When a farmer plants a seed, its future growth is unknown, and its full potential can only unfold when nurtured. When Ardis and Henry Crews started a community garden in 2014, they planted seeds with a modest vision of personal and community health. The garden flourished into a certified organic micro-market farm, and the neighborhood became an agri-hood. A decade later, those early seeds of intention have expanded into a multi-county development initiative that serves its rural community with affordable healthy food, nutrition education, economic development, and health services. In this keynote presentation, Ardis and Henry will share their inspiring story of growing with purpose: tackling critical issues within their community, building farmer networks and partnerships to serve the community's most vulnerable members, and revitalizing local economies with farming as the foundation.


Saving and Savoring Traditional Southern Crops (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

Chris Smith - Utopian Seed Project

The Utopian Seed Project has taken a deep dive into the varietal diversity and crop potential of many traditional southern vegetables. This session uses okra and collards to explore crop trialing, seed saving, culinary evaluations, regional and community seed work, climate adaptation, and crop development. The session showcases the importance of regional seed sovereignty and seed saving as a simple and accessible technology for climate resilience that all gardeners and farmers can use. Participants will go on an inspiring journey into the world of okra and collards and apply lessons from this session to any crop at any scale.


Food Insecurity and Access in Kentucky: Panel Discussion (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

LaToya Drake - University of Kentucky; Jann Knappage - University of Kentucky; Taylor Ryan - Change Today Change Tomorrow; Martin Richards - Community Farm Alliance; Sharon Stone - Two Suns Farm / Woodhill International Market

Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians live with food insecurity, from the urban centers to the rural corners. Join this conversation with food system professionals working in Kentucky's communities to broaden access and build systems that support more sustainable and equitable distribution of fresh food. This session will explore how farmers can help support these efforts and play an active role in the solutions to the ongoing epidemic of food insecurity.


Using Ecological Practices and Appalachian Ingenuity to Grow Year-round in a Challenging Environment (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

Sara Martin - Sustainabillies

Join this session to learn about how a small market farm expanded its production by growing in a non-traditional setting and embracing year-round growing. This session will explore season extension in a challenging climate--3,600 feet of elevation in a mountain cove--including crop selection, low tunnels, high tunnels, and greenhouses. Participants will learn about the victories and failures of attempting to work with natural systems in the face of extreme temperatures and weather on uneven ground. Participants will leave this session with the knowledge to increase the productivity and profitability of their farm and build a more secure community food system in creative ways.


Introduction to Working with Livestock Guardian Dogs (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

Bree Pearsall - Rootbound Farm

Livestock guardian dogs can be critical to raising livestock and protecting them from predators. Still, these dogs require care and knowledge to make them successful on the farm. This is an introductory-level session about breeds of dogs, management, training, and care for livestock working dogs. Participants will learn whether livestock guardian dogs are suitable for their farm.


Digging into Sustainability Data with Farmers: Lessons from the Field for Incentivizing Climate-Smart Practices (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

Annie Woods - Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK); Robin Verson - Hill and Hollow Farm / OAK

In 2023, over 20 OAK member farms trialed an innovative farm sustainability assessment tool built off the Global Farm Metric framework created by the Sustainable Food Trust, but adapted for use on Kentucky farms. This farmer-driven tool collects data through several lenses to tell a holistic story about a farm's tradeoffs in their journey toward sustainable outcomes for soil health, economic viability, energy consumption, community involvement, and more. During this session, we will dive into lessons learned from the farm trials, highlighting the journey of one of the participating farmers, Robin Verson of Hill and Hollow Farm. We will also share how this tool can help farmers access incentive payments to improve on-farm resilience and soil health through organic or conservation practices that qualify as "Climate-Smart" practices through new OAK programming in 2024.


Practical Climate-Risk Management (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

Laura Lengnick - Cultivating Resilience / Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

Changing weather patterns create a new kind of agricultural risk - called climate risk - that already is far beyond the weather-related challenges faced by previous generations of farmers and ranchers. This means that today’s farmers will need to add some new tools to their risk management toolbox that past generations of farmers did not need to be successful. Participants will learn how to use adaptive whole farm planning to cultivate the adaptability of their land, the people who care for it, and the communities they depend on so that their farm can thrive no matter the weather, both now and into the future.


Resource Share (4:15 - 5:30pm ET)

Partner Organizations

Join this session to hear from resource providers with programs and support available to Kentucky farmers, including educational programs, support with conservation, nutrient and water quality management plans, weather forecasting and reaching limited-resource Kentucky customers.


Funding / Financial Forum (4:15 - 5:30pm ET)

Partner Organizations

Join this session to learn about funding opportunities available to Kentucky farmers, including business incentives, tax credits and grants.


Farmer Hacks and Skillshare (4:15 - 5:30pm ET)


Join this session to learn on-farm hacks to improve systems and practices, including demos of Coolbot low-cost refrigeration systems, DIY poultry farming tools and structures, and more!



Header for Saturday Conference Sessions

KEYNOTE: Organic Farmer Panel (9:00 - 10:30am ET)

Image for farming panel with a sign pointing toward past, present, and future
WB and Lynn Brown - Brown's Place Farm; Liz Graznak - Happy Hollow Farm; Anna Raines - Rains and Sun Hilltop Farm; Mac Stone - Elmwood Stock Farm  
Moderator: Bree Pearsall - Rootbound Farm 

Since the National Organic Program began in 1990, much has changed in the regulations, standards and markets for certified organic farms. This panel of organic farmers, representing five Kentucky and regional farms, will highlight their experiences with the changes - and consistencies - of consumers, policies, practices, and food systems within their decades of farming. Building on their farms’ journeys and audience interests, this keynote conversation will share past and current realities in organic agriculture and explore the community’s future as we build a growing movement together. 


Silvopasture Opportunities and Challenges For Kentucky Farmers (10:45 - 11:45am ET)

Sid Brantly - 3-Cross Farms; Douglas Hines - Hines Farm

This session highlights some historical and modern concepts of grazed woodland, silvopasture, and just turning livestock into the woods. After a brief discussion of the expected outcomes of each, Bath County farmer Sid Brantly will propose possible opportunities and unique challenges. Bourbon County farmer Douglas Hines will relate his observations and experiences in incorporating trees into his cattle pasture and hay fields over the past three decades. Douglas will discuss the potential benefits of combining trees and livestock, the difficulties of adding trees to pastures, and review the resources, tools and tree species needed for implementation.


Organic Transition: Resources for Success (10:45 - 11:45am ET)

Kenya Abraham - Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK); Brooke Gentile - OAK 

With demand for certified organic foods growing faster than certified organic acreage, new and expanded programs and partnerships are now available to support success as more farms transition operations and pursue organic certification. This panel conversation includes insights from OAK staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and farmers, and is for those interested in learning about a new Organic Farmer Mentorship program, accessing organic transition technical assistance and hearing about financial resources available for farmers in Kentucky through NRCS, including a new Organic Management practice standard. Organic transition and certification questions will be answered. This session is supported by Midwest Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP).


Organic Strawberries: Propagation to Market (10:45 - 11:45am ET)

Bryce Baumann - Lazy Eight Stock Farm

Strawberries are known for being difficult to grow commercially, especially using organic practices. Bryce Baumann from Lazy Eight Stock Farm draws on 15 years of experience in certified organic strawberry production. This workshop shares all the details about how and why he grows his own strawberry transplants from tips. Join this session to learn about bed preparation, soil fertility, cultivars, planting, pest and disease management, and markets for certified organic strawberries. Participants will walk away with the practical knowledge to propagate, grow, and sell certified organic strawberries.


Adaptation Options for Diversified Organic Farmers (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

Laura Lengnick - Cultivating Resilience / Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

Farmers in Kentucky and beyond say that the changing weather patterns caused by climate change are making it more difficult and expensive to farm. These damaging changes in weather have increased over the last two decades and are expected to worsen in the coming years. Some of the most effective ways to reduce weather-related disruptions to farm operations are familiar to organic farmers who use climate resilient practices like enhancing soil health, increasing biodiversity, and promoting on-farm ecosystem services such as pest suppression, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. Participants will learn how some of America’s best organic farmers are reducing climate risks and cultivating the climate resilience of their farms. This session is required for farmers taking the "Five Steps to Regenerative Climate Resilience Workshop" five-part series.


Addressing Plastics in Organics (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

Ben Abell - Rootbound Farm; John Bell - Elmwood Stock Farm; David Gonthier - University of Kentucky; Amber Sciligo - The Organic Center; Alejandra Warren - Plastics Free Future

Organic farmers rely on plastic as an important tool to help manage weeds and insect pests, control soil moisture and temperature, and expand the growing season, among other functions. This session will highlight the importance of reducing plastic in organic production with a presentation describing plastic’s life cycle from production to disposal and the many ways plastic and its components escape and contaminate the environment and our bodies. This session will discuss how plastic is currently used and potential non-plastic alternatives. Farmers will also share their stories of their challenges and successes in reducing plastic in their operations.


The Black Farmer Blight and Planting Seeds of Solutions (1:15 - 2:45pm ET)

Michael Carter Jr - The Carter Farms / Africulture

This session will tell the story of the historical and present-day Black farmer experience from a Nigerian spinach (celosia) seed perspective. The session will look at financial, emotional, environmental and social costs resulting from systemic racism, conventional agricultural practices/policies, laws, acts, social traditions, and cultural norms and values beyond racial discrimination and quantify these costs through academic research to show how they amount to a significant tax that puts Black farmers (farmers of African descent) at least two to four generations behind when it comes to achieving farm viability. The session will explore steps that farm professionals can take in their own organizational structures and policy and in the design and delivery of programs, policies and practices that serve Black farmers and the communities they represent. The session will analyze the soil and environment (history and overlying culture), share what amendments and practices need to be applied to the soil, and provide seeds for planting in this soil once these practices have been administered. This will be a racial soil test/assessment and share regenerative, reparative practices that can be utilized to create a climate change in our agricultural paradigm.


Alley Cropping for Climate Resiliency, Farm Diversification, and Cropping System Services: The ‘What’ and The ‘Why’ (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

David Butler - University of Tennessee;  Jody Thompson - Kentucky State University

Alley cropping is an agroforestry practice where agricultural or horticultural crops are grown in the alleyways between widely spaced rows of woody plants. Alley cropping can diversify farm income, increase crop production, enhance nutrient cycling, improve landscape aesthetics, enhance wildlife and pollinator habitat, and provide crop protection and conservation benefits. Alley cropping may also offer a viable solution to mitigate crop stress and improve the sustainability of organic crop production amid climate extremes in the Southeast. Participants will learn about the history and basics of alley cropping, how research projects in Kentucky and Tennessee are exploring agroforestry's on-farm use and benefits to this region, and whether alley cropping could be a helpful practice for their farm. This session is part one of a two-part series and is followed by a panel discussion with farmers.


From Soil to Fork: The Importance of Microbes in Agriculture (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

Kendall Corbin - University of Kentucky; Carlos Rodriguez Lopez - University of Kentucky; Shawn Lucas - Kentucky State University; Mark Williams - University of Kentucky

One of the core principles of organic farming is “feed the soil, let the soil feed the plants.” A central tenet of this approach is that organic practices positively impact soil microbes, and they, in turn, directly and indirectly affect plant health. This session will present a holistic overview of how the soil microbiome can be nurtured through farming practices, how microbes interact with plants to allow them to adapt to their environments, and how soil microbes can enter plants and ultimately influence human health. Three researchers from the University of Kentucky and one from Kentucky State University will present cutting-edge information on what is currently known about the soil microbiome to human health spectrum.


Navigating Labor Challenges and Opportunities on a Small-Scale, Diversified Vegetable Farm (3:00 - 4:00pm ET)

Liz Graznak - Happy Hollow Farm

Farming often requires many hands to share the workload during the harvest season, yet finding and keeping good crew members can be one of the most challenging aspects to running the businesses. Liz Graznak shares her experiences as an employer for the last 13 years on her small-scale diversified vegetable farm, overseeing apprentices, volunteers, CSA members, WWOOFers, numerous employees, and a new crew of H-2A Visa workers. Hear Liz's journey and lessons learned on being a good boss, including organizational strategies, the importance of setting clear goals and expectations and developing the best team possible for her expanding farm business.



Agrivoltaic: Solar Grazing with a Regenerative Approach (4:15 - 5:15pm ET)

J Michael Moore - Shaker Village

As industrial-scale solar continues to grow across our commonwealth, a new opportunity is on the horizon in the form of agrivoltaic systems that blend with this expanding industry. Over the past four years, Shaker Village has pioneered the path forward using sheep to manage native and non-native vegetation at one of Kentucky's largest solar farms. This session will look at the operations of the first regenerative solar grazing project in the state of Kentucky and its further potential moving forward.



Alley Cropping for Climate Resiliency, Farm Diversification, and Crop Health: The “Why’ and The ‘How’ (4:15 - 5:15pm ET)

David Butler - University of Tennessee; Taylor Malone - Fauna Forest Farm; Oakes Routt - Grandview Farm; Brian Shobe - Echo Hallow Farm; Jody Thompson - Kentucky State University

Alley cropping combines annual and perennial crops to yield multiple products and profits at different times, allowing a farmer to use available space, time and resources more effectively. Nearly limitless planting combinations for alley cropping systems enable farmers to design and install those that best serve their land and operation. This session will highlight three farms’ beginning experiences with alley cropping design, purpose, and installation. The three alley cropping combinations are: elderberries, cut flowers, and native seed production; elderberries and vegetable production; and hazelnuts and mixed grains for poultry feed production. This farmer panel is the second part of a two-part series on alley cropping.


Forest Farming 101 (4:15 - 5:15pm ET) 

Andrea Miller - Rural Action; Clint Quarles - Kentucky Department of Agriculture 

Interested in producing non-timber forest products (NTFPs) but don't know where to start? This session is for beginners who are interested in producing NTFPs, which are products that come from the forest that have a commercial value but aren't timber. Commonly produced NTFPs include ginseng, goldenseal, log-grown mushrooms, ramps, pawpaws, maple syrup and more. The session will cover the basics of forest farming, from site selection to current market trends and opportunities for market access. Participants will also learn of Kentucky's updated ginseng regulations.