Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College announces that it is the recipient of a USDA Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). The program is designed to develop and expand local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products and expand market opportunities for farm operations. As part of the program implementation, $285,805 will be used to develop a Potomac Highlands Food Co-Op.
“Eastern is honored to be selected for the LFPP grant,” said Dr. Chuck Terrell, President of Eastern WVCTC. “The Potomac Highlands Food Co-Op seeks to not only meet the demands of the growing agriculture industry in West Virginia but will also provide an opportunity for our Agribusiness students to have hands-on experience outside of the classroom. We are also thrilled that this grant will allow us to provide valuable resources including coordination and educational opportunities for our regional farmers and growers as we work to increase and improve the market for our region of West Virginia.”
This project seeks to develop a local farm products co-operative to operate in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. The goal is to select the right co-operative model based on needs and resources available, develop member educational and business support services, and start operation of the co-operative by year three of the project.
The LFPP program will strengthen the local food system on a number of levels including building a solid collective sales, marketing and distribution system while providing the resources, training and coaching needed for the Ag community.
The LFPP will be used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise. A Food Co-op Coordinator will be recruited in 2020 to lead and manage grant activities. For more information about this project, call Eastern at 304.434.8000 for Dr. Megan Webb, Dean of Advancement and Innovation. To learn more about Eastern’s Workforce Opportunity Regional Center contact Dr. Chuck Terrell, President, at (304) 434-8000 ext. 9230.