On December 7, 2017, Southwestern NC RC&D Council hosted their second annual Farm Services Expo coordinated by Christina Newhouse and Jessica Kervin. The Expo took place at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. The purpose of the Expo was to create an opportunity for farmers as well as the public to meet various farm service providers in Clay, Cherokee, and Graham Counties. Farms from each of these counties were also present during the Expo.
In addition to the great networking opportunity for farms and farm services providers, three workshops also took place during the event. Microgreens 101, taught by Christina Newhouse, was the first workshop of the day. Newhouse taught attendees about how to successfully grow, care for, harvest, and sell various types of microgreens. Next, Randy Collins, Graham County Cooperative Extension Director, presented information on raising meat goats. This workshop session taught attendees everything from basic care to how to market your final product. Lastly, Lauren Greene, Wilkes County Area Specialized Agent Agribusiness-Poultry, taught the final workshop about backyard poultry. This workshop focused on how to properly raise a healthy flock of various poultry breeds. “I think that these workshops added a great element to this year’s Expo,” said Jessica Kervin, Southwestern NC RC&D Council’s Conservation Program & Outreach Coordinator. “Our attendees were so eager to learn more about these topics that aren’t typically talked about.”
This Expo wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many generous donations from organizations like Carolina Farm Credit, Southwestern Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and Cherokee County Farm Service Agency (FSA). These organizations not only donated money for lunch that was provided at the event but they also donated their time to attend this event and educate farmers as well as the public about what each organization does for farmers. Special thanks are also extended to Tri-County Community College and the Small Business Center for providing the space to hold this event.