Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference

What's new on this page as of August 30, 2021?
Thanks to all for a successful conference!

Thanks for a successful conference!
Thanks to all of our attendees, instructors and event staff for a successful conference. We hope you will join us again in 2022!

Safety Statement

Updated August 11, 2021

We want to make sure that everyone is aware of our COVID safety plans as they pertain to this event.

As we all know, COVID-19 is an ever-evolving global pandemic. As such, we will follow COVID safety protocols required by federal, state, and/or local regulations at the time of the event.


This may include guidelines from one or all of the following organizations: 

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Ohio Department of Health (ODH)

Virginia Department of Health (VDH)*

Virginia Tech University and Virginia Cooperative Extension*

*ABFFC (managed through Virginia Tech) is a co-host of this event and so Virginia and Virginia Tech protocols must be considered.

Currently, there are no plans to require attendees to wear face masks or practice physical distancing.




Please note that while it is up to each individual how they handle their own personal safety, we are hosting a public event and must do what we feel is necessary to best keep this public group safe.

We would also like you to be aware of the following:

  • This conference will have indoor and outdoor sessions.

  • If we need to implement COVID safety protocols, they may include, but are not limited to:

    • Requiring all attendees to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking; even when outdoors

    • Requiring physical distancing in all sessions

    • Breaking the attendees into small groups to help limit interaction among a large group of people


If you feel the possibility of having to follow these protocols is not appealing to you, you may cancel your registration. We understand. We will honor refunds requests received on or before August 20, 2021. After that date, we will be placing final orders for food and will not be able to issue refunds.


Registration Types and Fees


Registration is now open! You can register for this event HERE.

For the great price of $80 per Conference Ticket you get a Keynote presentation, 7 field and classroom sessions, 2 panels with Forest Farming experts, 4 value-added demos and 5 meals!

Each Conference Ticket will include: Instruction and programming for 3 days with sessions on Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning; Meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast

If you would like to inquire about a scholarship, please see the "Scholarship Opportunities" section below.



The Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference will be on August 27-29, 2021. We will begin at 5:30pm on Friday evening and continue through Sunday at 11:30am.


Our workshop host, Rural Action, welcomes you to the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio.



Anyone interested in learning more about forest farming. 


The Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference will provide participants with opportunities to learn about multiple forest farming topics and strategies, including wild simulated ginseng, goldenseal, and mushroom cultivation, post-harvest handling considerations for herb producers, as well as herb walks and value-added product demonstrations. The conference has a great line-up of highly experienced teachers that will help participants gain a broad understanding of the many facets and opportunities of forest farming.

Schedule & Program

Schedule Overview with Instructors Listed

Friday, August 27

4:00-5:30pm, Registration; Vendors available

5:30pm, Welcome

6:00pm, Dinner

7:00pm, Keynote Presentation: Bob Beyfuss

7:45pm, Q&A with Bob Beyfuss, Eric Burkhart, Chip Carroll, Rick Felumlee, Chris Chmiel

8:30pm, Adjourn


Saturday, August 28

7:30am, Breakfast; Vendors available

8:00am, Plant Walk with Ed Fletcher (optional)

8:30am, Registration


9:00-11:00am, Rotating Field Stations

Propagation with Chip Carroll

Wild-simulated Ginseng with Bob Beyfuss

Mushroom cultivation with Rick Felumlee

Forest farming goldenseal with Eric Burkhart


11:15am, Post Harvest Handling and GAPs for Herb Growers with Robin Suggs

12:15pm, Lunch

1:00pm, Concurrent Session 1

Ramps with Tanner Filyaw

Pawpaws and Persimmons with Chris Chmiel

2:15pm, Panel Discussion: Current Gaps in Supply Chains & How Industry can Help Support Forest Farming

Moderator: John Munsell

Panelists: Chip Carroll, Ed Fletcher, Robin Suggs, Ed Daniels, Carole Daniels

3:30pm, Concurrent Session 2

Business Planning for Botanical Forest Farmers with Ed and Carole Daniels

Business Planning for Mushroom Cultivators with Rick Felumlee

4:30pm, Break; Vendors available

5:30pm, Dinner

After dinner, Vendors available


Sunday, August 29

7:30am, Breakfast; Vendors available

8:00am, Morning Herb Walk with Ed Fletcher (optional)


9:30-11:45am, Rotating Value-added Stations

Tincture Making with Andrea Miller

Elderberry Products with Maureen Burns

Forest Edibles with Chris Chmiel

Salves with Katey Patterson

12pm, Adjourn

​Download the complete schedule HERE




Bob Beyfuss, Independent Agroforestry Consultant

Eric Burkhart, Penn State

Maureen Burns, Herbal Sage Tea Company

Chip Carroll, United Plant Savers

Chris Chmiel, Integration Acres

Ed and Carole Daniels, Shady Grove Botanicals

Rick Felumlee, Mayapple Farms

Ed Fletcher, Native Botanicals, Inc.

Tanner Filyaw, Rural Action

Andrea Miller, Rural Action

John Munsell, Virginia Tech

Katey Patterson, United Plant Savers

Robin Suggs, Appalachian Sustainable Development

You can view Instructor bios HERE.

Lodging & Travel


The United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary (UpS) is located at 35703 Loop Rd, Rutland, OH 45775.  

Lodging options are listed below by location. Please note that we are not endorsing or promoting any of these properties but rather offering options in the area.

Camping at UpS

Camping will be available at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary (event location). The fee is $15 per night. You would need to bring all of your own camping equipment your own food for the meals not provided by the conference. You would have the option to purchase tickets for these meals when you purchase your conference ticket: Saturday breakfast, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast.

Camping reservations will be made through HippCamp HERE.

Lodging options in Rutland (the same town as the UpS Sanctuary)

Airbnbs near Rutland

Lodging options in Athens (about a 30-minute drive to the UpS Sanctuary)

Airbnbs near Athens

The Hilton Inn

Holiday Inn Express

The Fairfield Inn 

Athens Central Hotel (Downtown Athens)

The Ohio University Inn, Hyde House

Lodging options in Gallipollis (about a 30-minute drive to the UpS Sanctuary)

The Hampton Inn

The Downing House

The Lowe Hotel

Travel Lodge

Riverside Motel

Quality Inn

Super 8 


Scholarship Opportunities


If you would like to inquire about financial assistance to attend this event, please email Tanner Filyaw at tanner@ruralaction.org


General Questions


If you have any questions about this event, please email Tiffany Brown at tiffany.brown@vt.edu