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Workshop Set for Low-Budget, Beginning Farmers
Beginning farmers and those with limited resources who need help in marketing, finances and resource management can get that help for free.

Team Agriculture Georgia is offering a free workshop for small, beginning and limited-resource farmers Aug. 1 at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

The TAG partnership is made up of leaders from government agencies, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and other academic institutions and community-based organizations. Together, they work to create broader and easier access to agriculture-related programs and services.

Timely Topics

Workshop topics will include:

  • Techniques and strategies for identifying and selling specialty crops to niche markets.
  • Financing available for small farmers, including direct and guaranteed loans through the Farm Service Agency.
  • How to benefit from the growing trend of using computers to find information for your enterprise and markets for your products.
  • The current situation, outlook and opportunities for Georgia's green industry, including nursery, greenhouses, floriculture, sod and turf.
  • How to produce and sell organic products. It's a lot more than simply omitting pesticides.
  • The basics of federal crop insurance and its value as a risk management tool.
  • How to select, operate and maintain an irrigation system. And how to decide when and how much to irrigate.
  • An overview of the vegetable industry in Georgia: the basics of vegetable production, including crop and variety selection, soil and fertility management, cultural practices, pest control and special production systems.
  • The ABCs of poultry. A representative from the poultry industry and a grower will discuss each step of the poultry business from beginning to end.
  • Exploring alternatives to traditional crops and their special management, marketing and financial considerations.
  • Time, Place, Registration

    The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Russell Union Building on the GSU campus. Lunch and a luncheon speaker are provided by the Georgia Farm Credit Association. An exhibit area will also be available for gathering information.

    The workshop and lunch are free. Organizers ask that participants sign up beforehand, though, so they can know how many to prepare lunch for.

    To sign up, or to learn more about the program, contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at (800) 282-5852. For information about exhibiting at the workshop, contact Marc Thomas at (912) 825-6269.

    (Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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