Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Athens Land Trust presents the

Sustainable Agriculture Conference

February 9-10, 2018

Athens and Watkinsville, GA

Registration Deadline: Saturday February 3rd, 5:00pm
Late Registration: February 4th-10th *Ticket Price will increase to $25
*Note: Some sessions may be filled by this time​

Athens Land Trust’s second Sustainable Agriculture Conference will be held February 9-10, 2018 at the Oconee County Civic Center in partnership with UGA Cooperative Extension and USDA agencies. This two-day conference will feature farm tours, inspiring stories, hands-on demonstrative workshops and networking with national agencies, local extension offices, and community partners.

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference will offer the opportunity for new and beginning farmers, ranchers, foresters, agricultural producers, and landowners to learn more about farming skills and techniques, developing business plans, and land conservation and land equity issues.

Topics covered include:

Farm Business Development

Land Equity

Urban Farming

Value-added Production Strategies

Farming and Technology

Next Generation Farmers

USDA Programs (FSA, NRCS)

Farming as a Career

Farm Business Opportunities for
Socially Disadvantaged Groups

Conference Tracks

Conservation & Land Ownership


Track Topics:

Learn about the legal and economic aspects of land ownership from nonprofit leaders in conservation. Topics include conservation easements, land loss prevention, affordability, and productivity.

Featured Speakers Include:
Krisztian Varsa, Athens Land Trust; Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project; Stacy Funderburke, Conservation Fund; Victor Harris, Owner of Minority Land Magazine

UGA Extension


Track Topics:

Agents from the University of Georgia’s Extension Office and College of Family and Consumer Sciences will provide expertise on agricultural techniques, including composting, food safety (both at the farm and market), and farm equipment usage.

Featured Speakers Include:
Amanda Tedrow, UGA Extension; Monte Stephens, UGA Extension

Farm Business Development


Track Topics

Learn how to develop your farm business from nonprofit, government, and academic experts. Topics include business planning, marketing, financing tools, and local development resources.

Featured Speakers Include:
Brennan Washington, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE); Vanessa Shonkwiler, UGA CAED; Brittany Criswell, FSA; Yyokkia Lawson, Athens Land Trust; Matthew Epperson, Georgia Cooperative Development Center

Sustainable Agriculture


Track Topics:

Practice sustainable agriculture by learning about beekeeping, value added products, hoop house construction, and modern food safety practices from a wide variety of experts.

Featured Speakers Include:
Keith Fielder, UGA Coordinator; Mandy Latimer, Latimer Luck Acres Farm; Don Wardlaw; Billy Mitchell, Global Growers

Mobile Information Technology Center


Track Topics

Bring your farm business into the modern era by learning how to utilize social media and current record keeping technologies.

Featured Speakers Include:
Terrence Wolfork, Assistant Administrator for Communications, Conferencing and Technology

Keynote Presentation

Sophie Ackoff of the National Young Farmers Coalition

Sophie Ackoff, National Field Director of National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC)

Sophie Is the National Field Director at NYFC and leads grassroots campaign work, helping young farmers across the country make their voices heard in the federal policy process. Sophie studied biology and environmental studies at Wesleyan University and has farmed on several CSA farms in the Hudson Valley of New York.


Pre-Conference: Farm Tours and Field Trips

Transportation will be provided

Meet at West Broad Market Garden for Tour (10:00AM)

 Visit and Tour Williams Farm (10:15AM-11:00AM)
 Tour led by Seth Nivens, Willams Farm Manager

Return to West Broad (11:15AM-11:30AM) 

Lunch (on your own) (11:30AM-12:30PM) 
Meet back at West Broad for shuttle to next site 

Field Trip 1 (12:45PM-1:45PM)

Field Trip 2 (2:00PM-3:00PM) 
Farmland Protection Project

Field Trip 3 (3:15PM-4:15PM)
UGA Durham Horticultural Farm (Oconee County) and UGA Bee Lab

 Return to West Broad (4:30PM)

Conference Schedule

Registration (8:00AM-9:00AM)
Coffee and Light Breakfast Served

Welcome Address (9:00AM-9:15AM) 

Panel Discussion (9:15AM-10:15AM) 
The State of Georgia Small Farm Economy (Tas Smith, FSA Statewide Director; Terrance Rudolph, NRCS State Conservationist)

Break (10:15AM-10:30AM)

Breakout Sessions 1 (10:30AM-11:30AM)
Farmland Conservation Easements & ACEP-ALE
Farm Business Planning Basics
Social Media to Market Your Business

Break (11:30AM-11:40AM)

Lunch and Keynote Presentation (11:30PM-12:45PM)

Keynote speaker, Sophie Ackoff, National Field Director of National Young Farmers Coalition

Breakout Sessions 2 (12:45PM-1:45PM)
Land Loss Prevention and Heirship Property
Enhancing the Safety of Locally Grown Produce At the Farm
Marketing & Pricing Strategies
Value-Added Products and Goat Rearing
Record Keeping Techniques and the MITC

Breakout Sessions 3 (2:00PM-3:00PM)
Access to Affordable Farmland
Enhancing the Safety of Locally Grown Produce At the Market
Farm Business Financing Tools
Hoop House Construction
Social Media to Market Business

Breakout Sessions 4 (3:10PM-4:10PM) 
Productivity, Profitability, and Maintaining Landownship
Use of Farm Equipment
Cooperative Businesses and Development in Georgia
Food Safety & Food Safe Modernization

Closing Remarks (4:10PM-5:00PM) 
Raffle Prizes and Last chance to see exhibitors

Conference Ends (5:00PM) 

Click below to see the full schedule, including workshop descriptions

Conference Location

Oconee County Civic Center
2661 Hog Mountain Road | Watkinsville, GA 30677
Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EST)

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Any Questions?

Contact Briane Davis at, or call the Athens Land Trust office at 706-613-0122 for more information. 

Special Vendors

Lunch will be Catered by Athens Land Trusts’  West Broad Farmers Market vendors. The west broad farmers markets is a  community-driven, education-oriented, weekly farmers market that supports local economic development & community wellness.

Ms. Ethel

Soul Food With a Twist




Rashe's Cuisine


Abrahim's Parlor