2018 Forum for Rural Innovation

The purpose of the annual Forum for Rural Innovation is to showcase new and exciting projects and programs that enhance farm or rural business profitability. Nearly 200 farmers and business owners gathered from around the region to discuss best practices with experts on everything from social media marketing to industrial hemp legislation, event business best practices to agricultural land preservation.

The day was filled with exhibits and panels, offering opportunities for networking and education.

Here are the presentations from speakers and panelists:

Industrial Hemp: Crop of the Future

Glenn Rodes
Riverhill Farm

Marty Phipps
Old Dominion Hemp


Michael Renfroe, Ph.D.
James Madison University


Social Media for Your Business

Brian Tinsman
Loudoun Economic Development


Protection of Pollinators

Tim McCoy
Virginia Tech Entomology


Innovation Awards

Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture
Powers Farm & Brewery
Shepherd’s Whey Creamery


Challenges & Risks with an Event Business

Linda Campbell
Khimaira Farm


Cut Flower Business Best Practices

Julie Abrera
Beaumont House Flowers

Iman Hawkins
FireFly Flowers



Agricultural Land Preservation

Jeremy Criss
Montgomery County Office of Agricultural Services