On October 2 fairgoers can say "Hello!" to Small Farm Outreach Program Agents and Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 28, 2018

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu 

On October 2 fairgoers can say "Hello!" to Small Farm Outreach Program Agents and Staff

The Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) at Virginia State University (VSU) is holding its annual “Small Farm Day at the State Fair” on October 2. Twenty-five SFOP agents and staff will be on hand at the state fair to provide information about its programming and events to fairgoers from across the state. They will also speak with high school students attending the fair about careers in agriculture and the merits of pursuing studies in agriculture at VSU.

“This day at the state fair is among our top three outreach events annually,” said Michael Wooden, SFOP assistant program director. “Our agents and staff circulate widely throughout the day to meet people of all ages, answer questions and educate people about our mission. We really enjoy engaging with Virginians at the state fair.”

“Small Farm Day” is a longstanding, annual tradition and is an outstanding opportunity for SFOP representatives to network with farmers, agriculture community members, students and the general public. The SFOP will have an exhibit within the larger VSU exhibit, and agents and staff will be circulating around the fair all day. The SFOP has also invited counterparts from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service to participate in this annual day of outreach and education.

The State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 7. Held at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the fair will open at 10 a.m. each day. Ticket Plaza and building/exhibits will close at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays and Monday through Thursday. Visit StateFairVa.org for information.

The Small Farm Outreach Program, which is part of Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University, aims to encourage and assist limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers to own, maintain and operate farms and ranches independently, to participate in agricultural programs and improve their overall farm management skills. The SFOP provides outreach and assistance activities in production management, financial management, marketing, available USDA farm programs and other areas to increase farm profitability and promote sustainability. Currently, the program provides educational programming in approximately 64 Virginia counties, which have the highest concentrations of limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers in the state. For more information, visit The SFOP website.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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