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This session defines what agritourism is and analyzes its benefits and best practices. The A-B Tech Small Business Center (SBC) is collaborating with the Madison County Cooperative Extension office to offer a Business of Agritourism series which consists of seven seminars. This series will cover essential business elements in planning and operating an Agritourism business. Tourism and Agriculture are the top two economic drivers in North Carolina; thus it makes great business sense to combine these industries to promote our local agriculture economy.
The Agritourism training curriculum is an output of the Economic Impacts Work Group of the NC Cooperative Extension Local Foods Program Team. The combined effort with the A-B Tech SBC office is meant to raise awareness about the excellent free business planning resources available at the SBC offices located in Buncombe and Madison counties. Ideally, farmers will leave this series with a foundation for an Agritourism business plan and continue to use the resources of both the Cooperative Extension and the Small Business Center as their Agritourism businesses thrive. This series introduces agritourism to attendees and explores its many manifestations.

Speaker(s): Ross Young, CED, Madison Cooperative Extension

Co-Sponsor(s): Madison Cooperative Extension

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*New date* Experience a one-day conference developed specifically with food, beverage and agriculture based businesses in mind. Keeping pace with the agribusiness industry and the issues impacting growth and sustainability is a full-time job. Join us and reflect on how to make your existing agribusiness or idea stronger and deepen your understanding of what it takes to be successful for the long term.  See a list of workshops at

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The 4th Annual Appalachian Farm School is pleased to offer a single, eight-week agribusiness training for farmers – bringing all your resources together in one place! Learn from regional experts, meet other WNC farmer, and connect with state agency representatives. Turn your interest in growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, other crops, and livestock into a sustainable agriculture-based business. This practical hands-on approach gives you the skills needed to create and strengthen a successful business venture. You will also be introduced to resources and contacts you need to run your business more efficiently and effectively.

Dates: Tuesdays, 6-9 pm, January 8-February 26 

Co-Sponsor(s): NC Cooperative Extension, NCDA

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Join ASAP and other regional farmers at Ivy Creek Family Farm for a half-day workshop on best practices and marketing strategies for growing or establishing your agritourism ventures. Learn about consumer trends and hear how other farms are using marketing and storytelling to turn visitors into farm friends. Gain tools and strategies to safely and effectively engage visitors on your farm through hands-on activities and a farm tour led by an experienced agritourism farmer. The workshop will end with a networking lunch.

May 22, 9am-1pm
Ivy Creek Family Farm, 390 North Fork Rd., Barnardsville NC
Cost is $20 per person or $30 for two farm partners; lunch included

REGISTER ONLINE or call our office at 828-236-1282 to register over the phone.

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This workshop is being organized by Elena Rogers, Area Specialized Agent- Food Safety- Fresh Produce Western NC, Craig Mauney, Area Specialized Agent – Commercial Vegetables and Fruit, Karen Blaedow, Extension Agent- Vegetables and Small Fruit for Henderson County and Pam Jones, Area Agent Agriculture- Horticulture for Davie and Yadkin Counties.


  1. What kind of food safety audit do you need?
  2. Overview of USDA GAP GHP Audit, USDA Harmonized GAP and USDA Harmonized GAP Plus Audit.
  3. New guidelines for Harmonized GAP, changes to the Harmonized GAP Audit from 2017.
  4. Overview of sections for the USDA Harmonized GAP Audit for 2018
  • General questions
  • Field operations and harvesting
  • Post-Harvest Operation

    5. What do you need to do to comply with FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule in 2018?

If you have questions about the content of the workshops please contact Elena Rogers, Area Specialized Agent- Western NC at or (828)352-2519.


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A good time to start thinking about farm succession planning is when you have determined that running a farm operation will be your primary form of wealth building towards retirement. Whether you would like to shift your business model, transfer the farm to your children, or sell your operation intact, join area experts to learn more about your options. This half-day workshop will cover key aspects of developing a well-thought out farm succession plan, including tangible and intangible asset development, covenants and conservation easements, enterprise valuations, and the role of attorneys, CPAs, and financial advisers.

Led by: Kimberly Hunter of Mountain Bizworks and more farmers TBA
Friday, February 23, 9-1 pm
Location: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, 588 Chestnut Gap Rd. Hendersonville, NC

Registration is $20 per person and can be purchased online or by calling 828-236-1282. Includes lunch. 

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Farms of all production sizes face challenges in coordinating the needed labor to get their crops in and out of the field. Join us for a half-day workshop to hear from area farmers and agricultural professionals about the pros and cons of different labor models, strategies for connecting with and sustaining reliable labor, and regulatory issues to consider.

Led by: Craig Mauney of NC Cooperative Extension, William Shelton of Shelton Family Farm, Martha Calderon of Calderon Produce, and more.
Friday, February 23, 9 am-1 pm
Location: Buncombe or Henderson County, NC – location TBA soon

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. Register online or call 828-236-1282 to register over the phone. 

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Join Mountain BizWorks, FSA, and Tumbing Shoals Farm for a lunchtime Farm Recordkeeping Webinar.

Where does your money go? Every farm and business needs accurate record keeping to be able to keep up with tax requirements and serve as a guide for planning. This workshop is an overview to the world of record keeping, bookkeeping and accounting for farm business owners designed to demystify the subject and serve as a guide to getting started or improving the systems you have in place. Included will be examples of record keeping practices and strategies in place by Jason Roehrig of Tumbling Shoals Farm that they use to gather important information about profitability of crops and enterprises.

There is no cost to participate in this webinar. Register online or contact Kimberly Hunter at with questions. 

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Planning for Success Webinar Series: 

Part A: Farm Business Financials (February 6, 11-12 pm)

Part A: Financial success in business rarely comes by accident, this session focuses on introducing basic business financial planning and analysis techniques that are vital in creating profitability for farming enterprises.  We will look at topics such determining your cost structure, evaluating revenue streams and creating break-even analysis. Part A is a general overview of farm business financial management principles and practice.

Register for Part A:

Part B: Farm Business Financials (February 6, 12-1 pm)

Part B: Financial success in business rarely comes by accident, this session focuses on introducing basic business financial planning and analysis techniques that are vital in creating profitability for farming enterprises.  We will look at topics such as determining your cost structure, evaluating revenue streams and creating break-even analysis. Part B will look at specific examples of methods in place at Tumbling Shoals Farms to glean important financial information such as sales by product classes.

Register for Part B:

There is no cost to participate in these webinars. Contact Kimberly Hunter at with questions. 

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High Country Grower-Buyer Meeting + Planning for Profit Workshop 

Farm Business FinancialsSaturday, December 9, 2017
9:00 am -1:00 pm, including Grower Buyer Meeting
Location: Boondocks Brewing, 302 S Jefferson Ave, West Jefferson, NC
Registration: $15, or $20 for two, includes lunch

Join ASAP and Mountain BizWorks for a morning workshop and networking lunch designed to help you determine which financial aspects of your farm enterprise have worked this season and how to strategically plan for the future. Business professionals and innovative farmers will cover direct market and wholesale opportunities in the region, current marketing trends, and strategies for using your farm records for planning and decision making. Stay for lunch and meet with a variety of local buyers during our Grower-Buyer Meeting, or take advantage of individual business and marketing consulting.

Speakers: Molly Nicholie of ASAP, and Madelyn Hjertmann of Valle Crucis Lavender House & Mountain BizWorks, farm speaker TBA

Register online or call 828-236-1282. 

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