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New crop preparation facility opens in Huntington

Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe Potatoes are washed, dried and prepared for packaging during a demonstration at the opening of the new WVDA Huntington Aggregation Center on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, in Huntington.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe
Potatoes are washed, dried and prepared for packaging during a demonstration at the opening of the new WVDA Huntington Aggregation Center on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s first crop aggregation facility officially opened Tuesday in Huntington’s West End, giving area farmers a glimpse of how it could help them prepare their products for marketing.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Huntington Aggregation Center hosted a ceremony that included guest speakers and a demonstration of several pieces of new equipment that will be used at the facility, where farmers can now bring potatoes to be cleaned, dried and prepared for packaging. It also is being equipped to handle other crops in the future.

“Farming has always been, and always will be, a part of West Virginia’s heritage and history,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick. “This new facility represents an approximately $475,000 investment to help small farmers reach larger customer bases, and to leverage existing agricultural resources as one way of diversifying West Virginia’s economy.”

Helmick said the facility will serve as a crop aggregation point for farmers in a region that includes Cabell, Mason, Putnam, Lincoln and Jackson counties…

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