ASAP’s 2024 Business of Farming Conference will take place Feb. 24Jan 08, 2024 10:04AM ● By Randee Brown
ASHEVILLE — The 21st annual Business of Farming Conference, presented by ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project), will be held Feb. 24 at the A-B Tech Conference Center in Asheville from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The conference focuses on the business side of farming, offering beginning and established farmers financial, legal, operational, and marketing tools to improve farm businesses and make professional connections.
More than a dozen workshops will be led by innovative farmers and specialists. Returning workshops include topics such as “Farm Financials and Recordkeeping” and “Resources for New and Beginning Farmers.” Among several new sessions for 2024 are “Alternate Capital: Grants and Fundraising for Farmers” and “Planning for Retirement.” A full list of workshops is at asapconnections.org.
“Farmers don’t have a lot of opportunities to come together in learning or social environments. ASAP is committed to making the Business of Farming Conference that chance every year,” said David Smiley, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign Program Director. “The information conference presenters share in workshops is incredibly valuable, of course, but so is the chance for farmers to meet, network, commiserate, and share experiences and solutions with one another.”
The popular Grower-Buyer Meeting, in which farmers meet with chefs, grocers, wholesalers, and other buyers to discuss their products and potential business relationships, will be held at lunchtime. Other networking opportunities include an exhibitor hall and one-on-one sessions to ask questions around social media, photography, tax, and legal topics. An informal post-conference social gathering at Plēb Urban Winery will give conference attendees a chance to keep the conversations going. Embedded within the conference is the Farmers Market Summit, a chance for farmers market managers from across the region to come together for peer-sharing, technical assistance support, and annual planning.
Registration is now open at asapconnections.org. The cost is $75 by Feb. 1 and $95 after, with a discount for farm partners registering together. Scholarships are available for limited-resource and BIPOC farmers. The registration price includes a locally sourced breakfast and lunch. Lunch is sponsored by Farm Burger.
Support for the conference is provided in part by Dogwood Health Trust, NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, Southern Extension Risk Management Education, US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Wells Fargo.About Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project:
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more, visit ASAPConnections.org.