Small-acreage farmers are encouraged to mark their calendars for a day-long conference on Jan. 21, 2006 in Kenansville, N.C., where they can explore innovative marketing methods and new product alternatives to increase profitability on their farms.

Speakers at the conference, called “Putting Small Acreage to Work,” will cover a variety of agri-business topics such as: Evaluating markets, natural pork production, market development, culinary herb production, and ethnic/niche markets.

Farmers will also learn about growing and investing in other types of commodities, such as freshwater shrimp, heirloom vegetables, muscadine grapes, and goats.

Many farmers with small plots of land are unaware of the good profit potential many have experienced after exploring alternatives. We encourage those who can to take advantage of this unique opportunity and investigate the options to make the most of their farms.

The conference will be held on Jan. 21, 2006 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Duplin County Cooperative Extension Center.

To register, farmers should contact Ed Emory at 1-910-296-2143 or Ed_Emory@ncsu.edu. Registration fees, including lunch and an informational CD, are $45 per person.

For additional information, please visit the Web site: www.cals.ncsu.edu/smallacreage/

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is organizing the conference.