Skip to content

WV Urban Agriculture Conference 2020

Welcome to the 2020 West Virginia Urban Agriculture DIGITAL Conference! While the COVID-19 pandemic hindered our plans to host our annual in-person event on the campus of West Virginia State University, we are pleased to offer many of our planned sessions – and some fresh ideas, too – virtually! The links below include several video-based presentations by our friends and partners, plus downloadable handouts. You can also watch the videos through our YouTube Playlist. We’ll be adding additional content in the days ahead, so check back often!


Happy Arbor Day! WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins proclaims May 1, 2020, Arbor Day at West Virginia State University in this special video message to kick off our virtual conference, and to announce WVSU’s designation as a Tree Campus USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Farming in the City presented by FarmersGov: Did you know 15 percent of the world’s food is grown in urban areas? From backyard community gardens to vacant lots, and along highways and on rooftops, urban farmers are bringing people closer to their food.

Strawberries 101 presented by Angela Born, co-owner of Country Road House and Berries in Clendenin, West Virginia: Angela offers a brief overview of strawberry production. She discusses the equipment and supplies needed to harvest a successful strawberry crop and their expense and also delves into planting and avoiding harmful, costly strawberry funguses.

Maple Syrup – From Tree to Table presented by Kate Fotos, Field Coordinator for Future Generations University and Maple Coordinator for Experience Learning: Maple syrup is a great backyard activity that combines tree science and agriculture. This talk will walk you through a brief overview of the tree science: why maples, and why does sap flow in spring. Kate then moves into how to make maple syrup in your backyard, talking about sap collection, evaporation and bottling. At the end of the video, she touches on the more commercial side of maple syrup, looking at marketing and value-added products. By the end of the talk, you’ll have enough information to get started on your own backyard maple adventure.

How to Build a Hydroponic Wick System presented by WVSU Extension Agent Nikki Honosky: Nikki discusses the basics of a hydroponic system. The wick system process is explained as you’re shown how to make one by using a mason jar. The assembly is discussed and some of the steps are shown. Learn how to make your own mason jar wick system and enjoy the fresh produce that you can produce with it.

High Tunnels presented by USDA NRCS: Growing All Seasons — An Overview of NRCS assistance with high tunnel production.

Arkansas High Tunnel Feature presented by USDA NRCS Arkansas: See how four Arkansas producers are growing to new heights with their seasonal high tunnel.

Minnesota High Tunnel Feature presented by USDA NRCS Minnesota: This video is about a high tunnel that was built in St. Paul, Minnesota, by Urban Roots during the summer of 2018, with financial and technical assistance from USDA NRCS. The video demonstrates the step-by-step procedure for building a high tunnel in an urban setting. The advantages and methods for growing vegetables, including pest management in a high tunnel system, are discussed.

Farming is Risky Business; Do I Need Farm Insurance? presented by Katie Luckini, Associate Agent with Davis Insurance Group: As a small farmer, do you need farm insurance or is your homeowner’s policy enough? In this presentation, Katie covers some of the basics of farm insurance and gives you some pointers to help you navigate insuring your home and business. Learn about possible gaps in coverage and how the right insurance can safeguard your assets, your family and your farm.

Crop Insurance Options for West Virginia Farmers presented by Dr. Kole Swanser with Focused Agriculture Research, Analysis, Education & Information Solutions: Kole discusses crop insurance options for West Virginia farmers. Funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Your Snakes of West Virginia: WV DNR Wildlife Biologist Jim Fregonara discusses the types of snakes you’ll find in West Virginia in this episode of the WV Division of Natural Resources’ Your DNR television series, hosted by Hoy Murphy and airing on the WV Library Television Network.

Pruning Evergreen Trees presented by WVSU Extension Agent Liz Moss: Early spring is the perfect time for pruning evergreen trees, and Liz Moss shares the proper tools and techniques!

West Virginia Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture presented by Dane Gaiser, Program Coordinator: Dane provides an overview of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program, including what members receive and how you can participate.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) presented by Jesse E. Gandee: Jesse Gandee, Rural Business Service Specialist and Energy Coordinator, discusses REAP, a USDA program providing financial assistance in the form of grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency.

Apple Grafting presented by Bruce Murphy, owner of Murphy Mountain Farms and Special Programs Coordinator with the WV Department of Agriculture: Bruce discusses the why and how of grafting apple trees.

Building an Economical Cold Storage Trailer presented by Ed and Becky Morgan of Quicken Farm in Shanks, West Virginia: Ed and Becky discuss building an economical cold storage trailer. In the clip, the couple works on the last bit of insulation in their cooler trailer and discuss how it was built, an estimate of the cost involved, and how a Coolbot served as a game changer for their farming enterprise Presented for the 2020 West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference.

Global Trade Digital Footprint Road Map presented by Melissa Hill, Founder and CEO of Go Journey Inc.: Melissa discusses creating a digital footprint for your business, including information on branding, marketing, e-commerce and funding.

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change presented by WVSU Extension Agent Liz Moss: In this presentation, Liz discusses how urban and community trees help mitigate the effects of climate change.

A REAL CHICKEN: An Introduction to Raising Sustainable Poultry presented by Jim Adkins, Founder/President of SPN-USA: Learn about poultry that fed our grandparents and great grandparents and how the poultry industry has drastically changed over the last 75 years! Learn about industrialized poultry and the transition from traditional, slow-growing poultry. You will also learn what sustainable poultry looks like; birds that can naturally reproduce, be genetically maintained, capable of enjoying outdoor pasture and grow at a normal, slow growth rate! Slow growth means strong skeletal structure, normal organ development, more muscle and texture to the meat, more nutrient and genetic strength with strong immunities. Great for beginners and the farmer who raised many!


Find Your Local Conservationist: A contact list for USDA NRCS offices throughout West Virginia

5 Steps to Assistance: How to get assistance from USDA NRCS for farms, ranches and forests

Make Your Own Hydroponic Container: Grow fresh herbs and flowers with this simple, easy-to-make hydroponic container.