Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference

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Event Overview



The Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference will be on August 27-29, 2021. We will begin at 5:30pm on Friday evening and continue through Sunday at 11:30am.


Our workshop host, Rural Action, welcomes you to the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio.



Anyone interested in learning more about forest farming. 


The Southern Ohio Forest Farming Conference will provide participants with opportunities to learn about multiple forest farming topics and strategies, including wild simulated ginseng, goldenseal, and mushroom cultivation, post-harvest handling considerations for herb producers, as well as herb walks and value-added product demonstrations. The conference has a great line-up of highly experienced teachers that will help participants gain a broad understanding of the many facets and opportunities of forest farming.

Schedule & Program

Schedule Overview with Instructors Listed

Friday, August 27

4:00-5:30pm, Registration

5:30pm, Welcome

6:00pm, Dinner

7:00pm, Keynote: Bob Beyfuss

7:45pm, Q&A with Bob Beyfuss, Eric Burkhart, Chip Carroll, Rick Felumlee, Chris Chmiel

8:30pm, Adjourn


Saturday, August 28

8:00am, Plant Walk (optional)

8:30am, Registration


9:00-11:00am, Rotating Field Stations

Propagation with Chip Carroll

Wild-simulated Ginseng with Bob Beyfuss

Mushroom cultivation with Rick Felumlee

Forest farming goldenseal with Eric Burkhart


11:15am, Post Harvest Handing and GAPs for Herb Growers with Robin Suggs

12:15pm, Lunch

1:00pm, Concurrent Session 1

Ramps with Tanner Filyaw

Pawpaws and Persimmons with Chris Chmiel

2:15pm, Panel Discussion: Current Gaps in Supply Chains & How Industry can Help Support Forest Farming

Moderator: John Munsell

Panelists: Chip Carroll, Ed Fletcher, Robin Suggs, Ed Daniels, Carole Daniels

3:30pm, Concurrent Session 2

Business Planning for Botanical Forest Farmers with Ed and Carole Daniels

Business Planning for Mushroom Cultivators with Rick Felumlee

4:30pm, Adjourn


Sunday, August 29

8:00am, Morning Herb Walk (optional)


9:30-11:45am, Rotating Value-added Stations

Tincture Making

Elderberry Products with Maureen Burns

Edibles with Chris Chmiel

Salves with Ed & Carole Daniels

12pm, Adjourn

​Download the complete schedule HERE




Bob Beyfuss, Independent Agroforestry Consultant

Eric Burkhart, Penn State

Maureen Burns, Herbal Sage Tea Company

Chip Carroll, United Plant Savers

Chris Chmiel, Integration Acres

Ed and Carole Daniels, Shady Grove Botanicals

Rick Felumlee, Mayapple Farms

Ed Fletcher, Native Botanicals, Inc.

Tanner Filyaw, Rural Action

John Munsell, Virginia Tech

Robin Suggs, Appalachian Sustainable Development

You can view Instructor bios HERE.

Registration Types and Fees


Registration will open on July 15. Please check here for registration link. 

The cost of a Conference Ticket will be announced soon. Each Conference Ticket will include all instruction, dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday.

Participants will have the option of purchasing meal tickets for breakfast on Saturday, Dinner on Saturday and/or breakfast on Sunday. This option will be available on the event registration form.


Lodging & Travel


The United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary (UpS) is located at 35703 Loop Rd, Rutland, OH 45775.  

Lodging options are listed below by location. Please note that we are not endorsing or promoting any of these properties but rather offering options in the area.

Camping at UpS

Camping will be available at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary (event location). The fee is $15 per night. You would need to bring all of your own camping equipment your own food for the meals not provided by the conference. You would have the option to purchase tickets for these meals when you purchase your conference ticket: Saturday breakfast, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast.

Camping reservations will be made through HippCamp and the reservation link will be added here by July 1.

Lodging options in Rutland (the same town as the UpS Sanctuary)

Airbnbs near Rutland

Lodging options in Athens (about a 30-minute drive to the UpS Sanctuary)

Airbnbs near Athens

The Hilton Inn

Holiday Inn Express

The Fairfield Inn 

Athens Central Hotel (Downtown Athens)

The Ohio University Inn, Hyde House

Lodging options in Gallipollis (about a 30-minute drive to the UpS Sanctuary)

The Hampton Inn

The Downing House

The Lowe Hotel

Travel Lodge

Riverside Motel

Quality Inn

Super 8 


Scholarship Opportunities


If you would like to inquire about financial assistance to attend this event, please email Tanner Filyaw at tanner@ruralaction.org


General Questions


If you have any questions about this event, please email Tiffany Brown at tiffany.brown@vt.edu 


Safety Statement


COVID-19 is an ever-evolving global pandemic. As such, we will follow Center for Disease (CDC) and/or Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and/or Ohio Department of Health (ODH) guidelines for COVID-19 at the time of the event. This may require participants to socially distance and/or to wear a face mask. Official guidelines will be shared with registrants a week prior to the event.