MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College continues its initiative to strengthen the agriculture economy in the Potomac Highlands with the addition of a new food co-operative project, funded by a three year grant from the USDA.
The co-op project will form collective sales system for farmers of consumable products to local and regional businesses and institutions which need products on a consistent and larger scale basis. It joins the new programming offered by the college in agricultural education and networking efforts, such as the annual Ag Showcase.
To that end, it will hold an initial kickoff informational meeting on March 25 at 6 p.m. on campus at Eastern, 316 Eastern Drive, Moorefield, WV. This meeting is for anyone interested in the project, but attendance is not considered a commitment to join the initiative. The meeting agenda is outlining the project, its goals, its timeline, roles of farmer participation, and to allow opportunity for attendees to give suggestions. This will be a farmer-based project, and will only be successful if there is participation from the Ag community.
“This project will strengthen the local food system on a number of levels,” said Dr. Charles Terrell, president of the college. “It will build a solid collective sales, marketing and distribution system while providing the resources, training and coaching needed for the Ag community which will allow for consistent, reliable local products to buyers.
“It’s also an integral part of our Ag initiative. The College’s focus is a response to recent studies that showed that Ag is one of the top economic drivers and opportunities for growth of the Potomac Highlands Region. We want to support the workforce development and build the economy on this important strength.”
In addition, Eastern is excited to announce the appointment of Amanda West as the Coordinator for Potomac Highlands Co-Op project. West comes to the job with experience in local food systems, and has a background in project management. She joins the efforts of Tina Metzer, who has spearheaded the project up to this point with local farmers.
For more information about the project, contact West at firstname.lastname@example.org.