2019 Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference

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Registration is open for the 9th Annual Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference, presented by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and North Carolina State University. Join us at this training event for commercial-scale growers and livestock producers and learn how to improve the productivity and profitability of your farm.


Thursday, February 7, 2019
9 a.m.–4 p.m.

McKimmon Conference and Training Center | NC State University
1101 Gorman Street · Raleigh, NC 27606


  • Includes light breakfast and lunch
  • Deadline: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
  • Cost:
    • $50 CFSA Member
    • $60 Non-Member


(This link automatically logs into your account, making registration a breeze!)


  • Industrial hemp
  • Pasture-based livestock systems
  • Sweet potato disease management & production
  • Tobacco disease and pest management & production
  • Organic certification for crops and pasture
  • Small grains disease management
  • Weed management
  • Soil health
  • More coming soon


Denise O’Brien, Rolling Acres Farm

Denise O’Brien has been farming and building the agricultural community in Iowa for 42 years. With her husband, she maintains 17 acres of the original Harris Farm—five of which are in USDA Certified Organic fruit and vegetable production incorporating high tunnel production. They also raise turkeys and chickens for meat and egg production. Through farming, O’Brien has had numerous opportunities to work within the agricultural community on policy development on the state, national, and international level and has become involved in the community of women in agriculture, organic production, local food systems, and conservation issues.

O’Brien serves as an Assistant Soil and Water Commissioner in Cass County. She is a founder of Women Food and Agriculture Network and was a Food and Society Fellow, a W.K. Kellogg funded program, from 2001 – 2003. She currently serves as President of the Board of the Pest Action Network and is Co-Chair of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT). In 2012, O’Brien completed a year assignment with the United States Department of Agriculture as an Agriculture Adviser in Afghanistan.

Faylene Whitaker, Whitaker Farms

Whitaker Farms, located in Climax, NC, started with 10 acres of rented land, one tractor, and a $40 tobacco setter. Faylene & Richard Whitaker purchased the original farm in 1977. The main operation is still located on this land today, though the farm has grown to 650 acres in crop rotation, including 240 acres of organic tobacco, 30 acres of tomatoes and greenhouse tomatoes, flowers, strawberries, and organic sweet corn. Aside from crops, the operation has a landscape division and two garden centers. Faylene has always had an active role in the operation and has been there to guide the farm as it grows. Her focus now is transitioning the farm to the next generation, including both of her sons’ wives and their children.

Faylene is serving a 5-year appointment to the North Carolina Board of Agriculture and had held numerous roles in agricultural leadership in the state. In 2015, the Whitakers were named the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s “Tobacco Farm Family of the Year.”