This introductory workshop is designed for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations through whole farm planning programs.
Instructors from Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach program include agents Derrick Cladd, Alvin Adkins and Patrick Johnson. Together, they are very familiar with most agricultural education opportunities across Virginia and can show new farmers where to get the help they need for any farming enterprise.
The 7th National Small Farm Conference, “Creating and Sustaining Small Farmers and Ranchers,” will be hosted by Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 20 – 22, 2016, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
This conference will consist of short courses, oral and poster paper presentations, exhibits, success stories and educational tours in and around Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay.
Extension, research and hospitality management faculty in Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture have partnered in efforts to increase consumer awareness of lamb meat including its local availability and ways to prepare it.
Small ruminant extension specialist Dr. Dahlia O’Brien says the month of January is being called Lambuary, a project which also aims to connect Virginia sheep producers with potential customers.
Freshly harvested ginger from VSU’s Randolph Farm.
Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture is hosting its annual Ginger and Turmeric Field Day on November 5 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at VSU’s Randolph Farm, located at 4415 River Road, Petersburg, VA 23803.
The workshop will include VSU’s Cooperative Extension Specialists explaining about the health benefits of ginger and turmeric, as well as how to grow, harvest, and clean these spice crops. Ginger and turmeric have been used widely throughout history in many different types of cuisines for their spice and flavor. Not only are these spices culinary, but they are also medicinal and cater to a number of health conditions, including gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
These tropical plants are a high-value crop that until recently had been exported from outside the United States. “It’s considered a high-profit niche market opportunity,” said Dr. Reza Rafie, VSU’s Cooperative Extension horticulture specialist. “The going rate for fresh ginger in Virginia right now is $10 a pound, and turmeric is selling for about $12-$15 a pound.”