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2024 Gather to Grow 
Forest Farming Conference
A Conference to Honor the Past and Shape 
the Future of Forest Farming
March 22 - 24th, 2024
Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, 

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Thank you for an amazing 2024
Forest Farming Conference!

Conference Summary

2024 Gather to Grow Conference Summary

Who: Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition 

What: 2024 Gather to Grow: A Conference to Honor the Past and Shape the Future of Forest Farming

Where: Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, VA, USA

When: March 22-24, 2024

The Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition's (ABFFC) Gather to Grow multi day Forest Farming Conference will be held in Roanoke, Virginia from March 22-24, 2024 and feature learning, networking, and strategic planning programs that will shape the future of forest farming of woodland crops such as botanicals, mushrooms, and decorative products in Appalachia and beyond.


Keynote speakers, working group meetings and panels, field tours, expo, exhibitors, breakout presentations, flash talks, a youth program, poster presenters, great food, socials, and a classic hotel in Appalachia are included. Reasonable prices and access by trains, planes, and automobiles make for a highly accessible event. 


Keynote Speaker:
Olivia Watkins, Black Farmer Fund & Oliver's Agroforest
Olivia Watkins is a social entrepreneur and impact investor. For the past eight years, she has financed, developed, and operated environmental and social impact projects across the US. She currently serves as a co-founder and President of Black Farmer Fund. She also serves as a board member for a Real Estate Investment Trust, Iroquois Valley, that has invested $100M into transitioning conventional farmland to organic farmland. Prior to founding Black Farmer Fund in 2017, Olivia worked in several farm production roles at Soul Fire Farm Institute and Kahumana Organic Farms and financial research analysis positions at Croatan Institute and NC Idea, leveraging her environmental biology background to manage and grow environmentally regenerative and socially impactful business operations.

Keynote Speaker:
Jeanine Davis, NC State University
Dr. Jeanine Davis is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. She is located at a research and extension center in western NC near Asheville. For over 30 years, she has researched medicinal herbs, forest farming, new crops, vegetables, and organic agriculture and shared her knowledge on these topics with farmers and gardeners across the country. Her current efforts are focused on native woodland botanicals, hops, truffles, organic vegetables, and hemp. She is the lead author of the book “Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals”. Jeanine and her family operate Our Tiny Farm where they raise and board mini-donkeys.

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Special thanks to Traditional Medicinals for sponsoring

the Gather to Grow Keynote Speakers!

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Conference Media

2024 Forest Farming Conference: Gather to Grow Printable PDF Flier

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