Farmer-author Forrest Pritchard to headline WV urban ag conference

Forrest Pritchard
Forrest Pritchard

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Best-selling author Forrest Pritchard will headline the third annual West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference April 30 on the campus of West Virginia State University in Institute, W.Va.

A seventh-generation farmer, Pritchard will provide the conference’s keynote address and sign copies of his new book, Growing Tomorrow, a behind-the-scenes look at sustainable farms from across the country.

“What an opportunity — and a legacy — we have in West Virginia to promote sustainable and urban farming,” said Pritchard, whose first book, Gaining Ground, was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, and NPR’s The Splendid Table.


The daylong conference will feature workshops on a variety of urban agriculture topics, including horticulture, homesteading, conservation, marketing, adaptive gardening and livestock. The event will culminate in a local foods reception and book signing by Pritchard and other conference speakers.

West Virginia University Extension Service, WVSU Extension Service and the Capitol Conservation District are hosting the event.

“We are showing that people in urban areas can participate in the food system and help combat issues of food access, hunger and health,” said WVU Assistant Professor and Extension Agent John Porter. “We are helping to show that locally grown food is a possibility, whether you have a 100-acre farm or a backyard raised bed.”


Registration is available through April 23 at a rate of $45. A full schedule and online registration is available at

Additional conference partners include the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.


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