Gardening – it’s just so citified. Or, it can be, according to West Virginia University Extension Service experts helping to organize the first West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference, April 11-12 in Institute, W.Va.

The conference will feature workshops geared toward new gardeners, as well as seasoned green thumbs. Topics include small space gardens, edible landscapes and revitalization. There are also workshops on food business operations, sourcing local foods and rainwater harvesting.

“City residents are interested in everything from raising chickens to farmers market vending,” John Porter, agriculture agent for WVU Extension Service’s Kanawha County office, said. “The opportunities in our urban areas have changed. We can provide research-based education and resources to keep up with the trends and stay ahead of the game.”

Full registration costs $40, with one-day attendance available each day. Other options, including a kid-friendly activity and a rain barrel workshop, have an additional fee. A full schedule and online registration is available at

According to Porter, conference attendees can expect to leave with knowledge they need to grow food and raise animals in an urban area or on a small-scale plot.

In addition to workshops, the West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference will provide community members with a local foods dinner, vendor exhibits and a plenary session conducted by Sean Hayes of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio.

Attendees and ag enthusiasts can also follow the conference online. In addition to the website, the Conference information is available on Facebook at Or, follow the conference’s mascot, “Stu the Chicken” on Twitter, @StuUrbanAgWV.

The conference is a partnership between West Virginia University Extension Service, West Virginia State University and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

Additional conference partners include the Capitol and Elk Conservation Districts, West Virginia Farmers Market Association, West Virginia Conservation Agency, SARE in West Virginia, Charleston Area Alliance and the Kanawha Urban Agriculture Alliance.

Connecting the people of West Virginia to the University’s resources and programs is the primary goal of WVU Extension Service and its 55 county offices. Local experts, like WVU Extension’s agents, work to improve the lifestyles and well-being of youths, workforces, communities, farms and businesses through trusted research in the communities where they serve.

To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.



CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.