Intensives and Tours

All held on Monday November 10, 2014

Monday Pre-Conference Tours

All tours leave from the Hyatt Hotel parking lot.  Buses will leave promptly at 1pm.


Tour Clemson University Organic Farm and Homestead

Members $40, Non-Members $55

This tour has it all:  examples of microclimate modification, passive heating and cooling, compost heating, soldier fly digesters, aquaponics, solar/compost heated ponds, hydronic heating systems, mushroom log flood basins, wet/dry rainwater harvesting systems, poultry integration, rotational grazing, manure flushing systems, keyline design and farmscaping.  We will learn about the most innovative techniques in sustainable agriculture on this scenic working farm and then visit the farm manager’s homestead for even more great ideas.


SOLD OUT – Fabulous Foods Restaurant Crawl

Members $60, Non-Members $75

Don’t miss the tastiest tour of the conference!  If artfully prepared local food is your passion, this is your chance to experience five of Greenville’s favorite farm to fork restaurants.  Sample food, meet the chefs and owners, and socialize with like-minded food lovers. The tour will visit Roost, Lazy Goat, Nose Dive, Soby’s and High Cotton, and your admission fee includes generous food samples at each location.

Note: This tour is by foot.  Meet in the Hyatt lobby. 



Diversified Farms Tour

Members $45, Non-Members $60

Visit three inspiring diversified farms!  Our first stop is Happy Cow Creamery, where Tom and Linda Trantham run a unique on-the-farm milk bottling operation. Learn how they successfully transitioned their farm from a conventional dairy operation into a thriving pasture-based grazing system that has been chemical free for over 22 years. They will tell you about their 12 Aprils grazing system for their 29 paddock operation, which contributes to optimal health and milk production of their Holsteins. Next, we will travel to Hurricane Creek Farms, where Jesse and Debbie Adkins will show us how their state-of-the-art hydroponics systems produce organically-grown lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers year-round. The Adkins also grind both yellow and white cornmeal and grits on their newly installed grist mill and sell fresh Angus beef from their own herd. Finally, we will visit Patient Wait Farms, an Animal Welfare Approved farm where the Cooley’s will give an informative tour focusing on their production of pastured heritage breed turkeys,  Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats, heirloom vegetables, and honey.


Monday Pre-Conference Intensives

All Day Intensives

Slow Poultry: Sustainable Poultry Production
8:30 – 4:30

$75 Members, $90 Non-Members

Presenter: Jim Adkins, founder of the Sustainable Poultry Network (SPN), and other SPN instructors

If heritage poultry is part of your farm business or homesteading model, you won’t want to miss this new, comprehensive workshop offered by Jim Adkins, nationally recognized poultry expert and founder of the Sustainable Poultry Network.  This 8-hour intensive workshop will provide you with everything you need to know to produce healthy, profitable, heritage breed poultry.  Learn about poultry breeds, how slow growth birds are healthier and tastier, and the fundamentals of improving the birds through breeding.  This intensive will teach you how to maximize production with the proper husbandry skills and pastured environment.  We will cover all the practical pieces you need to know to raise poultry successfully, including facilities, feed, finances and pasture foraging. A training manual and lunch are included with your workshop registration.


Organic Certification Workshop
9AM – 4PM

$60 Members, $75 Non-Members

Presenters: Karen McSwain, Eric Soderholm and Keith Baldwin of CFSA’s Farm Services Team, plus special guests

Organic certification allows you to take full advantage of great price and market opportunities, especially wholesale markets. But, you may be concerned about the paperwork and other challenges of certification. This workshop is designed to walk you through the certification process and minimize the hassles. We’ll cover the National Organic Program (NOP) standards, working with certifiers, and your organic farm plan. You will learn about record-keeping templates, approved materials and cost-share opportunities. This interactive and fun class is taught by experienced growers, with special guests to add valuable information. Lunch is included in the affordable fee.



An Integrated Approach to Co-Manage Food Safety and Conservation Practices
9AM – 4:30 PM

$60 Members, $75 Non-Members

Presenters: Patricia Tripp, CFSA’s Local Produce Safety Coordinator and Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance and the lead author of Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmer’s Guide

Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) certification can open the doors to new markets for your produce.  But some production and conservation practices, such as collecting surface water runoff for irrigation, making and applying compost, conserving vegetative buffers for erosion control, and planting habitat for beneficial insects can make it harder to pass a GAPs audit.  Learn how to more effectively advocate for your farming practices with food safety auditors! We’ll take you through how to use risk assessment strategies to identify risks and make necessary corrective actions and you’ll learn how to communicate management decisions that address those risks to your auditor. Following lunch, we will carpool to BioWay Farms, a farm with a huge focus on conservation practices, where owner Chris Sermons will host us as we conduct a Mock GAP Audit on his farm. This all-day, two-part workshop will provide you with the skills you need to pass a GAPs audit. Lunch is included.



Monday Morning Intensives

Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers
9 AM-12 PM

$60 Members, $75 Non-Members

Presenter: Mark Shepard, New Forest Farm and Author of Restoration Agriculture

Learn innovative approaches to permaculture and restoration agriculture from Mark Shepard, author of the bestselling Restoration Agriculture, owner of New Forrest Farms –one of the most ambitious permaculture projects in the US and our Conference keynote.  Worldwide, most people get their calories from annuals – plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Interestingly, every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can utilize all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems to create agricultural systems that imitate nature while still providing for our food, building, fuel and other needs – all in your own backyard, farm or ranch. Mark’s teaching, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.



Fundamentals of Organic Seed Production
9 AM-12 PM

$30 Members, $40 Non-Members

Presenters: Micaela Colley, Executive Director, Organic Seed Alliance and Edmund Frost, Manager, Twin Oak Farm and Director, Commonwealth Seeds

Learn the fundamental skills needed to produce seed and adapt varieties to your organic farm conditions. Join expert seed growers and Organic Seed Alliance’s seed specialists for a workshop that will provide practical farm-based knowledge and cover the basic skills necessary to begin growing seed on a professional scale on your organic farm. Topics will include the fundamentals of seed production, seed harvest and cleaning; maintaining the genetic integrity of varieties; and basic on-farm breeding techniques.



Farming is a Risky Business: Risk Management for Small Farmers
9 AM-12 PM

FREE with advance registration – This workshop is for farmers only. 

Presenters: Joe Schroeder, Director, Farm Sustainability Program and Jean Willoughby, Project Director, Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund – Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)

Do you have a plan for managing financial risk on your farm? Did you know that there are incredibly helpful tools and resources available online for managing the multitude of risks specific to agriculture? The presenters of this workshop are developing an online platform for farmers to help them easily access and use these resources. Join RAFI staff members in discussing crucial risk management issues and develop a plan to better address risk on your farm. This workshop will focus on a handful of topics related to farm finance and risk management. Attendees will come away with the knowledge necessary to assess their credit readiness and an understanding of the different types of agricultural lenders. Access to relevant federal farm programs and crop insurance will also be discussed. Small-scale and beginning farmers are particularly encouraged to attend. Workshop attendees will receive free publications from RAFI including The Farmers’ Guide to Agricultural Credit and The Farmers’ Guide to the Development of New Farm Enterprises. Attendees will also receive access to RAFI’s online platform and a free account.



Monday Afternoon Intensives

Growing a Healthy Economy with Local Foods
1PM-4:30 PM

$35 Members, $50 Non-Members

Presenters: Joanna M. Lelekacs, NC State University / CEFS; Becky Bowen, NC Cooperative Extension, NC State University; Susan Jakes, NCSU/ NC Cooperative Extension; Noah Ranells, NCAT State University; and Extension Agents, Bryan Cave, Paige Burns, and Debbie Cox

Many local governments, business groups, and economic developers are considering the potential value that agriculture, including local foods, can bring to a community. A healthy local food economy can maintain rural character, create jobs (both rural and urban), and spark business entrepreneurship as various as value-added agri-foods and agritourism. This workshop will increase your understanding of the language of economic developers, provide tools to support your community conversations and activities around the economic development potential of local foods, and provide examples of successes from Cooperative Extension.  Support for this training is provided in part by Southern SARE and CEFS NC Growing Together project.

NOTE: This workshop is geared toward extension agents, but is open to the general public.



Introduction to Biodynamics

NOTE: Extended time!  This workshop runs until 6 PM.

Presenter: Hugh Lovel, Quantum Agriculture

$60 Members, $75 Non-Members

Learn about biodynamic farming from one of the nation’s leading experts, Hugh Lovel, author of A Biodynamic Farm and the newly published, Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond.  Hugh has broad experience in biodynamic farming; he spent over 35 years operating a market farm and the first CSA in Georgia. His farm was home to the annual South-East Biodynamic Conferences for a decade. Use of Biodynamic preparation greatly improves soil health resulting in:  healthy humus formation; mineral retention and availability; improved crumb structure and tilth; beneficial soil microbes, including nitrogen fixers; rhyzobial activity (nodulation) on legumes; soil animal life from protozoa to earthworms; improved absorption and retention of water; fine, highly developed, robust root systems; and improved nutrient uptake by plants. Hugh will cover this and more in this not-to-be-missed workshop!


Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune-up your Business and Increase Your Net Profit

1PM-4:30 PM

$45 Members, $60 Non-Members

Presenter: Richard Wiswall, owner operator of Cate Farm and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit

Find out your farm’s profit centers – which parts of your farm make the most money and which may actually lose money. Learn about efficient farm planning and analysis, how to determine your costs of production for various farm enterprises, and how to figure the cost/benefit analysis and payback period when purchasing tools and machinery.  Set aside the afternoon to finally work on these and other important farm business concerns.  The workshop will address: 1) Planning for Profit: a step-by-step guide to increase your net profit; 2) Making a Profit on YOUR farm: what is making money and what isn’t; 3) Your marketing strategies and 4) Quick business fixes.



Monday Pre-Conference Off-Site Learning

Edible, Medicinal and Other Useful Mushrooms
1-5 PM

$50 members, $65 Non-Members

Presenters: Tradd and Olga Cotter, Mushroom Mountain

Mushroom Mountain is not just a farm, it is a research facility leading the country in innovative cultivation techniques and developing new fungal-based products for food, medicinal compounds, and biopesticides derived from native isolates of fungi. Escorted personally by Tradd Cotter, visitors will be able to view the lab, outdoor cultivation and gardening with mushroom techniques, as well as fruiting room, production, and mycoremediation research modules that are designed to remove chemical and biological pollutants from soil and water. Tradd and Olga Cotter were CFSA’s Young Farmers of the Year in 2012.


Workshop participants meet at the farm which is located 30 minutes southwest of Greenville.
Address: 129 Merritt Road, Liberty SC 29657, Home: (864) 855-2469




Greg Judy on Mob Grazing at Greenbrier Farms


$75 Members, $90 Non-Members

Presenter: Greg Judy, renowned mob-grazing expert

Learn from celebrated Mob Grazing expert Greg Judy onsite at Greenbrier Farms, a 300-acre sustainable farm offering grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and organically grown vegetables. This half-day workshop will go into detail about the art and science of optimal grazing for grass-based herds.  With mob grazing, growers can make a profit every year, heal their soils and raise healthy food.  Mob grazing focuses on feeding the livestock and the soil life. This intensive will teach you how to give back to the soil daily; this ensures that you will always have grass in the future. Topics covered include: how to monitor to ensure that our grazing operation is successful; fencing, water, animal performance, trampling, wildlife management, plant diversity, winter stockpiling, and recovery periods.

Workshop participants meet at the farm which is located 22 minutes west of Greenville.
766 Hester Store Rd, Easley, SC 29640
(864) 855-9782

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