CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Partners who seek to grow the state’s agriculture economy are encouraging residents to attend community meetings in their area in October to help develop strategies over five years that could shape the future of agriculture in West Virginia.
Based on survey results from more than 500 stakeholders, the West Virginia Agricultural Advisory Board identified eight key opportunity areas. They are: Increasing access to farmland through preservation, restoration and affordability; increasing agritourism; boosting the pool of qualified farm labor; increasing access to higher-value markets (big cities, restaurants, institutional purchasing); boosting the number of processing facilities and commercial kitchens; increasing local demand for West Virginia-grown products; placing more emphasis on new farming techniques (forest farming, high tunnels and hydroponics) and evaluating the efficiency of existing operations (such as fencing or liming); and increasing the pipeline of new farmers through education and training.
Meetings are being held at 14 locations across the state. During those meetings, guests can help turn the opportunity areas into strategies. Please visit www.wvagadvisory.org, where there is a link to register for a meeting. Those who register also can take a short survey to choose the key opportunity areas they wish to focus on during their area meeting.
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