WVU Extension Service offers growers workshop for local farmers

HICO, WV (WOAY) – Today at the Sunday Road Baptist Church, local farmers got the chance to learn about agriculture and farming tips from Dr. Lewis Jett, a Horticulture Extension Specialist at West Virginia University. 

The meeting served as a way to educate local farmers about what crops will be ideal to grow for the upcoming season. The WVU Extension Service has been conducting meetings like this for more than a decade and aims to educate locals on how to grow high-quality produce.

Brian Sparks, an agricultural and natural resource agent with the WVU Extension Service helped host the meeting and says that farmers have many variables to sift through when planning their crop production for the growing season.

“They look forward to coming and gathering new knowledge to take back. They’re hungry for information and farmers love to learn, and they’re willing to try new things. And that’s why they’re here today,” Sparks said. 

Sparks also mentioned how many local farmers face hefty challenges, and the weather recently has not been doing them any favors. 

“From ten degrees on Saturday to 60 degrees today, or close to it, that’s a challenge for growers.”

Sparks went on to say that one of the main reasons for the existence of these meetings is to help local farmers overcome these obstacles and bring the fruits of their labor back to the community. 

“This meeting today is for growers who are growing produce whether to sell at farmer’s markets, or sell it to schools, or for their own home consumption.”

Sparks was joined by Dr. Lewis Jett, a horticultural specialist with the WVU Extension Service. Jett says that the region is a great place for local farmers to learn more about agriculture and that there is a lot of interest for farmers to sell their produce in the area. 

“There’s a lot of interest in the new river valley to grow fresh produce. So I think, there’s a lot of interest in local sales of fruits and vegetables to farmer’s markets and also to the school system,” Jett said. 

The Extension Service’s annual meetings create an educational opportunity that local farmers may not otherwise get. The point is to help local farmers create local produce, ultimately helping the West Virginia economy thrive.

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