Small Farm Outreach Program
The Carver Center
In 2018, the Small Farm Outreach Program and The Carver Center began working together to develop an incubator farm and demonstration site to serve farmers in and around Culpeper County, Virginia.
Currently, at the Center, SFOP is utilizing a two-acre field plot and two hoop houses for planting demonstrations, training workshops and public events. Additional workshops take place in classroom settings to teach farmers about financial planning and management, navigating USDA requirements for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, profitable marketing strategies, and more.
With an emphasis on supporting new, beginning and veteran farmers, especially those who are minority or limited-resource, SFOP also conducts farm orientation and planning workshops to allow local prospective farmers to explore whether a farming enterprise is a good fit. For those who may need intensive assistance and practical experience, the incubator farm program is offered by application.
The Carver Center is located at 9432 James Madison Hwy, Rapidan, VA. The Carver Center is home of the former George Washington Carver Regional High School, which was built in 1948 and served as the regional high school for African American students. GWCARC is organized and operated exclusively for charitable research and education benefits in agriculture.
2019 VSU/USDA Field Day At The Carver Center
The Carver Center was the site for the VSU/USDA Agriculture Field Day on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. The field day highlighted practical applications for crop production and management from Cooperative Extension specialists and VSU agriculture research with demonstrations on high tunnels and small-garden plots; commercial rabbit production; drones/UAVs; nutrient management and weed control with cover crops, and more.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had representatives on hand from Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Food and Nutrition Service (SNAP Sign Up) to discuss the resources, services and support their agencies provide for small and beginning farmers.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Forestry, Black Farmers of America, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were also present.