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Hands-On Learning

Learning at the Catawba Sustainability Center takes place through a variety of workshops, classes, and demonstrations of sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry, and land management. Virginia Cooperative Extension has dedicated a specialist to the center that will conduct sustainable agriculture education and demonstration programs.


Maximizing Daily Animal Performance for High Profits

May 17, 2024, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Catawba Sustainability Center

Join us for a one-day grazing school with Greg Judy, the Regenerative Rancher. Animal performance depends on them getting what they need to prosper daily. Learn from Greg about what to look for in your animals and your grass to dramatically improve daily gains and profit potential on your farm. This event is presented by a collaboration of Catawba Sustainability Center, the Virginia Tech Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation, and several community partners. 

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Adam Taylor at or 540-588-0283 during regular business hours at least 10 days prior to the event.

Please register to attend.

Demonstrations, workshops, and educational programming

In an effort to create more diverse and healthy land use, the center has incorporated several species of trees onto the property. 

Through funding from an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant, the center established and maintains a propagation center for goldenseal, ramps, and black cohosh in order to help forest farmers produce and market medicinal herbs. The sustainable production of medicinal herbs can provide additional or supplemental income for many farmers and is an efficient way to use steep or marginal agricultural land and maturing woodlots.

Another project include a community growers' plot for mushrooms.

Over 40 acres of pasture host a mature stand of Native Warm Season Grass, including switchgrass, big bluestem, and Indian grass. These grasses serve as ground bird nesting habitat in the spring, livestock forage during the summer, and biofuel feedstock in the winter.

Silvopasture is a land management conservation practice where trees are integrated into pasturelands for environmental and economic benefits. Currently 12 acres of silvopasture have been installed.