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Contact: Kathlyn Terry Baker
Executive Director

Appalachian Sustainable Development to provide Innovative Agriculture Forum and Skill Swap

ABINGDON, Va. – Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) and the Thompson Charitable Foundation will hold an Innovative Agriculture Forum and Skill Swap, November 8 and 9 at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in Cedar Bluff, Virginia. The purpose of the event is to boost agricultural entrepreneurship by informing the public about creative farming opportunities. Tickets are $15 for each day or $25 for the entire event and can be purchased online at:

Those attending the forum on November 8 will have the opportunity to attend a variety of panel presentations, including discussions on livestock, medicinal herbs, valued added products and hemp. The panels will feature speakers experienced in pastured poultry, rotational grazing, goldenseal cultivation, meat processing and the emerging hemp industry. Registration for the forum will be from 8 to 9 a.m. in Dellinger Hall, and lunch will be provided by Your Grate Escape. Dr. Tommy Wright, SWCC president, will deliver the opening remarks and Sandy Ratliff, assistant vice president at Virginia Community Capital, will close the forum. There will be a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring music by Coaltown Dixie Trio.

On November 9, Skill Swap participants can choose from a wide variety of hands-on workshops to learn both traditional Appalachian practices and innovations on those skills. Whether participants want to propagate ginseng, make goat cheese, inoculate a mushroom log or prepare a fire cider, the Skill Swap will provide a knowledgeable instructor to teach those crafts. Materials are included in the ticket price and participants will take home their creations. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration for the Skill Swap will be from 8 to 9 a.m. in Dellinger Hall.

About Thompson Charitable Foundation
The Thompson Charitable Foundation was established in 1987 by B. Ray Thompson, Sr., a leader in the U.S. coal industry and developer of the Thompson non-recovery coke oven process. The Foundation supports projects that seek to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Specifically, the Foundation supports non-profit organizations in the areas of health services and sciences, education, human services, and quality of life.

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Nationally known and respected for its commitment to local farmers, Appalachian Sustainable Development is transitioning Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food.

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working in 15 counties in Central Appalachia. ASD’s reach has since expanded to include partners in eastern WV and KY and southeast Ohio. ASD uses six strategies to accomplish its work: education, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity. For more information about ASD go to, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.


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