Virginia Biological Farming Conference

JANUARY 29-30 2016

W.E. Skelton 4-H Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2016 Conference!!!

Join us January 29th – 30th at Smith Mountain Lake for Virginia’s premier gathering of organic farmers, gardeners and supporters. Whether you’re an experienced grower or just starting out, you’ll find plenty to interest you. With practical learning and insights from over 30 speakers, an exhibit hall packed with useful tools and services, delicious locally-sourced meals and the very best in networking: the 17th annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference is a not-to-be-missed event!

#VABF2016 is a collaboration by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.

Plenary Speakers

John Boyd
National Black Farmers Assoc:
Agricultural Activism

Todd Haymore
Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry:
Growing Domestic and International Markets for Virginia-grown Organic Foods


Forrest Pritchard
Organic Farmer and New York Times Bestselling Author

Pre-Conference Workshops

Steve Groff:
Making Cover Crops Pay

Nazirahk Amen:
Tools and Mechanized Equipment for Successful Small Farms

Jim Adkins:
Slow Poultry Strategy Seminar

Concurrent Sessions

David Grimsley:
Appalachian –Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Rowen White:
Seed Stewardship

CJ Isbell:
Holistic Integrated Commercial Crop-Livestock System

Barbara Pleasant:
The Pantry-Driven Garden

Steve Groff:
Cover Crops and Tillage Systems

Jim Adkins:
Advanced Poultry for Commercial Purposes
& Backyard Poultry

Nazirahk Amen
Nutrient Dense Grain Production for the Small Farm
Introducing Rice

Dr. Phil Sponenberg
Sustainable Livestock Breeding and Selection

Cindy Conner:
Scaling-Up from a Homestead Garden to a Market Garden

Doug Pfeiffer:
Managing Invasive Insect Pests Organically

Rosalind Creasy & Ira Wallace
Edible Landscaping – The New American Garden

Judd Culver
Beginner & Advanced Poultry Sessions

Ramón Arancibia
Row Covers Year Round

Rick Felker
Growing Healthy Profitable Greens in the era of “food safety” and new FSMA

Marianne Cicala
Prosperity through Permaculture

Joe Cloud
USDA Meat Processing Options for Virginia’s Organic Producers

Mark Schonbeck

Mark Schonbeck
Virginia’s Organic Future: Research

Vail Dixon

Vail Dixon
The Power Beneath Your Feet:
Organic & Biological Pasture Establishment & Improvement

Gerry Cohn

Gerry Cohn
Healthy Cows, Healthy Dairy

Virginia Innovations in Tomato Growing
Designing a Cropping System Around Pepper Profits
Marketing Journeys of Successful Farms
Nurturing Pollinators
Labels, Laws and Biological Marketing

Exhibiting & Sponsorship

Show your support for biologically grown local food and Virginia’s healthy farming landscapes. Promote your products, services and values to Virginia’s organic and sustainable farm and food communities.

Sponsors & Exhibitors

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Mollie Klein at (804) 524-5960 /TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 10 days prior to the event.

The Virginia Biological Farming Conference is co-hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming


Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.