Follow a Chicken Named “Stu” to the West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
March 19, 2014
Follow a Chicken Named “Stu” to the West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference to Be Held April 11-12
INSTITUTE, W.Va. –A chicken named “Stu” is tweeting, or rather clucking, his way from the farm to the city to attend the first West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference April 11-12 at West Virginia State University (WVSU) in Institute.  People interested in urban agriculture can follow Stu on Twitter, @StuUrbanAgWV, and then join him at the conference to gain knowledge and insight from industry professionals.

 “Whether you are a farmer, gardener or consumer, this conference will help you discover more ways to grow and buy your food while supporting sustainable agriculture in West Virginia,” said Dr. Barbara Liedl, a WVSU associate research professor and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) co-state coordinator.

Following an increasing interest in urban agriculture, WVSU Extension Service partnered with WVU Extension Service and Northeast SARE to develop the conference to meet the community’s desire for more information.

The event will feature workshops on urban agriculture topics such as gardening, beekeeping, raising chickens, farmers market management, agricultural business operation, sourcing local foods, rainwater harvesting and others.

In addition to workshops, the West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference will provide community members with a local foods dinner, vendor exhibits and a plenary session conducted by Sean Hayes of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio.
“We want to provide people who are interested in urban agriculture the knowledge and confidence they need to be successful,” said John Porter, West Virginia University (WVU) extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.

“We at West Virginia State are excited about the opportunity to co-host this conference on campus, collaborate with our fellow land-grant university in the state and work toward our common goal of educating urban farmers,” said Melissa Stewart, assistant program director at WVSU Extension Service. “Ideally, participants will be empowered to explore agricultural practices on their land and embrace the true notion of urban farming.”

Additional conference partners include the Capitol and Elk Conservation Districts, West Virginia Farmers Market Association, West Virginia Conservation Agency, SARE in West Virginia, Charleston Area Alliance and the Kanawha Urban Agriculture Alliance.

Full registration costs $40, with one-day attendance available each day. Other options, including a kid-friendly activity and a rain barrel workshop, have an additional fee. A full schedule and online registration is available at
Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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