Regional Virtual Workshops to Benefit Small Farmers

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Agricultural producers make decisions in a risky environment every day. With the Coronavirus Pandemic currently sweeping the globe, producers are faced with decisions which could have major impacts on their farm operations. One question they will be asking is, “How can we better manage risk?”

Risk has always been a part of agriculture, but farming in America has changed drastically over the past few years. Increasingly, farmers are learning that it is now a game with new risks. The most successful farmers are now looking at a deliberate and knowledgeable approach to risk management as a vital part of their plan. For them, risk management means farming in a more rapidly changing world. It is the ability to deal with risks that come with new farming opportunities.

Any production-related activity or event that is uncertain is a production risk. Agricultural production implies an expected outcome or yield. Variability in outcomes from those expected create risks to your ability to achieve financial goals.

Growers have three choices in dealing successfully with production risks: 

  1. They can control or minimize risk through management practices by doing a better job of what they currently do.
  2. They can reduce production variability by making changes such as diversifying, integrating, applying new technology, etc.
  3. They can transfer production risk to someone else through contracting, purchasing insurance, etc.

Small farmers will have two opportunities to learn about new production practices and technologies. Extension specialists from N.C. A&T State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension staff will conduct two Virtual Regional Small Farmer Production Workshops on February 22 and 26, 2021. The workshops will begin at 9:30 a.m. each day and end around 3:00 p.m. Growers will have the opportunity to learn a number of production innovations and alternative systems. Topics on February 22 include High Tunnel Production 101, Sanitation Best Practices to Prevent Contamination, Keeping your Farm Profitable and Safe During the Pandemic, and Ergonomics in High Tunnels. The February 26 topics will include High Tunnel Production 102, Ginger Production, The Benefits of Pollinators on the Farm, and Hemp Production and Regulations. Farmers will have the opportunity to register for one or both workshops. With these tools, local farmers can build the confidence they need to deal with both the risks and the exciting opportunities for the future.

For more information, or to register for the workshops, please contact Nelson Brownlee Extension Area Small Farms Agent, at 910-671-3276, by email at Nelson_Brownlee@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.