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Track 1: Farmers Marekts and Community Supported Agriculture

Branding your business can assist you with marketing your farm products. This track will benefit anyone that is direct marketing products through a farmers market, CSA, a farm stand or any type of marketing outlet. To Start a CSA, farmers need a lot of support for their customers and fellow producers. This track will also provide tips on successfully starting a CSA, explore the different types of CSAs, and discuss considerations needs as a CSA is developed. Seasoned CSA operators will be available in this track for a Question and Answer Panel as well. Participants will be provided with sample documents needed to develop a strong branding program and a successful CSA. Participants will also leave this track with a firm understanding what branding is and how to develop a brand for their farm business.

Instructors: Kelly Crane, WV Farmers Market Association, Mary Oldham, Value Chain Cluster. Steve and Sunshine Vortigern, Round Right Farm CSA, and Terry Hudson, Hudson Farms and Kanawha Valley CSA.

Courses offered within this track

Branding and Merchandising
Session 1: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Presenter: Kelly Crane

Kelly Crane, WV Farmers Market Association Executive Director, coordinator@wvfarmers.org. Kelly has worked for the WV Farmers Market Association since 2012. She also contracts with several other agricultural development projects, including the WV Food and Farm Coalition and the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship (SAGE) Initiative. Additionally, she is a small scale producer herself, and previously co-owned and operated the Kanawha Valley Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture, a multi-farm CSA providing sustainable produce in the Charleston area. Kelly has an academic background in English and Organic Agriculture from the University of Georgia, as well as professional experience working as a Policy Analyst for the West Virginia Legislature. Kelly has a microfarm at her South Charleston home, but is proud to note that she can grow enough greens, tomatoes, herbs and garlic to feed her own family and sell the surplus in that space alone.


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Session 2: 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Presenters: Kelly Crane and Maryl Oldham

Kelly Crane, WV Farmers Market Association Executive Director, coordinator@wvfarmers.org. Kelly has worked for the WV Farmers Market Association since 2012. She also contracts with several other agricultural development projects, including the WV Food and Farm Coalition and the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship (SAGE) Initiative. Additionally, she is a small scale producer herself, and previously co-owned and operated the Kanawha Valley Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture, a multi-farm CSA providing sustainable produce in the Charleston area. Kelly has an academic background in English and Organic Agriculture from the University of Georgia, as well as professional experience working as a Policy Analyst for the West Virginia Legislature. Kelly has a microfarm at her South Charleston home, but is proud to note that she can grow enough greens, tomatoes, herbs and garlic to feed her own family and sell the surplus in that space alone.

Mary Oldham, Value Chain Cluster Initiative Regional Coordinator, maryoldham@vc2.org. Mary works as a regional coordinator for the Value Chain Cluster Initiative or VC2. She and her husband also actively farm both a market and CSA operation in Monongalia County, WV. She is familiar with production planning both through her own operation and also through working with producer groups both in the US and abroad. In her work for VC2, Mary tries to educate farmers and agribusiness owners about the technical assistance that the three year grant-funded project designed to respond to emergent food and farm business needs in four regions of West Virginia provides. Mary’s organization provides hands-on business development and coaching services. After a request for assistance is made, if approved, Mary and her colleagues work to match farmers and food-based business owners up with the expertise they need – for free.


CSA Producer Panel Question and Answer
Session 3: 2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Presenters: Terry Hudson, Steve & Sunshine Vorigern, Dale Hawkins and Mary Oldham

Terry Hudson, Hudson Farms in Big Chimney, WV Terry co-owns and operates a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation selling produce to individuals, retail outlets and restaurants. Terry is also a regular vendor at the West Side Farmers Market in Charleston, WV. In 2009, he was inspired to build his own low-cost high tunnel as an alternative to “off-the-shelf” kits, using mostly locally available materials. He has provided technical assistance to numerous growers throughout the state as part in partnership with West Virginia State University’s horticultural research department on low-cost season extension. He has been a featured speaker at the West Virginia Small Farms Conference and the Tri-State Food and Farm Conference in the past.

Mary Oldham, Value Chain Cluster Initiative Regional Coordinator, maryoldham@vc2.org. Mary works as a regional coordinator for the Value Chain Cluster Initiative or VC2. She and her husband also actively farm both a market and CSA operation in Monongalia County, WV. She is familiar with production planning both through her own operation and also through working with producer groups both in the US and abroad. In her work for VC2, Mary tries to educate farmers and agribusiness owners about the technical assistance that the three year grant-funded project designed to respond to emergent food and farm business needs in four regions of West Virginia provides. Mary’s organization provides hands-on business development and coaching services. After a request for assistance is made, if approved, Mary and her colleagues work to match farmers and food-based business owners up with the expertise they need – for free.