Published on 03/29/17

Two-day organic agriculture workshop in Athens April 22-23

By Merritt Melancon

The University of Georgia’s organic agriculture faculty members are hosting a two-day crash course in organic certification and sustainable growing practices April 22-23 in Athens, Georgia.

The event is geared toward beginning or established farmers who are pondering organic certification.

Business planning, marketing and certification process details will be covered in this short course, which will also include hands-on organic insect and disease management sessions. 

More Georgia farmers are seeking organic certification for both ecological and business reasons, said workshop organizer and UGA Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist George Boyhan. Consumers are willing to pay more for organic-certified vegetables and fruits, which translates into higher profits for farmers. 

“Organic production has seen tenfold increase in production in Georgia over the past 10 years,” Boyhan said. “There continues to be unmet demand for organically produced vegetables. This course will focus on how to grow organically, but also how to grow an organic vegetable business.” 

Sections of the course will be taught by Boyhan, UGA Extension disease management specialist Elizabeth Little, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) integrated pest management researcher Paul Guillebeau, CAES horticulturist Cecilia McGregor, and Vanessa Shonkwiler, a business development specialist with the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.  

Registration for the two-day event is $150 and includes all study materials, meals and snacks. The course will be held at the greenhouses on South Milledge Avenue near UGA’s student-run farm, UGArden. The deadline for registration is April 10.

To register, contact Boyhan at 706-231-4137 or

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension before joining Terry College.

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