Agriculture and Home Gardening

Cooperative Extension has historic roots in agriculture and the environment from helping commercial farmers and growers (through Agricultural Extension Agents) to home lawn and garden enthusiasts (through the Master Gardener program), Extension has knowledge and expertise to share.

Regional Farmers’ Cooperative

Tyler, Ritchie, & Doddridge county farmers are combining to form a new Farmers’ Co-operative to share quantity discounts, marketing assistance, CSA potential, and much more. The 2nd meeting will be held at the Ritchie Co. 4-H grounds on Feb. 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Calling all Farmers!

Would you like to make a little extra money this year? Think about planting a few extra rows of crops for either the Farmers’ Market or to sell to 4-H camp. The Farmers’ Market runs from June to September. Crops needed for 4-H camp (held in June) include fresh fruits and veggies for roughly 120 people. We would love to purchase as much as we can fresh from local producers! Let us know if you are interested.

WV Small Farm Conference

WV Small Farm Conference, March 1-3, 2012 at Waterfront Conference Center in Morgantown, WV

2012 Aquaculture Forum

You are cordially invited to attend the 2012 Aquaculture Forum. This annual meeting is designed to inform people about growing fish to eat, as ornaments, to control aquatic vegetation, or to sell.

Each year, aquaculture enthusiasts and pond owners from West Virginia and adjacent states gather for this event. The 2012 Aquaculture Forum will be held Saturday, March 3, at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The day will consist of presentations on a variety of topics, a showcase of West Virginia aquaculture products, posters describing the latest aquaculture research, door prizes, a business meeting of the West Virginia Aquaculture Association, and an opportunity to meet and speak with fish folks from the region.

This year, the Aquaculture Forum will be held at the same time and place as the West Virginia Small Farm Conference. Individuals registered for either event on March 3 are free to attend sessions at the Small Farm Conference and/or the Aquaculture Forum.

The Small Farm Conference boasts three days of classes. Thursday, March 1, features intensive workshops on cheese making, high- and low-tunnel construction and management, hands-on poultry production and processing, grant writing, alternative energy management, food businesses, and youth entrepreneurship. Friday and Saturday offer 72 different classes, including the Aquaculture Forum to help farmers meet the many challenges and opportunities they face every day, such as reaching new markets, extending growing and marketing seasons, regulations, wildlife, demands through better production, business planning, and risk management methods.

Cost of a one-day registration for the Aquaculture Forum on Saturday, March 3, is $70, which will include meals and a membership waiver for the West Virginia Aquaculture Association. To get this benefit, you must sign up for WVAA membership at the meeting. Although walk-ins are welcome on the day of the meeting, participants can assure a place at the noon meal by registering by February 28.

Online registration can begin at the WVU Aquaculture Extension web page http://aquaculture.ext.wvu.edu/events or on the Small Farm Center web page http://smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/.

Information about the Aquaculture Forum may also be obtained from Ken Semmens (304 293-2657 or email Ken.Semmens@mail.wvu.edu). You may also contact your county WVU Extension Office or Becky Casteel (304-293-2565; Becky.Casteel@mail.wvu.edu ).

The Aquaculture Forum is sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service, the West Virginia Aquaculture Association, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

Please consider joining fish folks and other farmers in Morgantown in March. It’s a great networking opportunity and a time to savor locally grown and prepared West Virginia foods.