When and where will West Virginia grow the next generation of farmers?
To answer those questions, we are working with Downstream Strategies to investigate the feasibility of the Sprouting Farms & Food Production Center, which will be based in the Greenbrier Valley. The Center could combine a learning and land-leasing program, a farm resource sharing program, a production program and shared facilities with the goal of jumpstarting local food development as well as create a model that can be replicated in other areas of West Virginia.
Right now, we are releasing and gathering feedback on this overview of the project to help us craft the final feasibility study.
Submit your feedback to Annie Stroud at Downstream Strategies by email or by calling her at 304-445-7200.
The feasibility study will be completed by October 2015 and will be followed by a formal business plan.
This is separate from the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation Sharecrofting Project. We see these as separate but complementary projects. The Sprouting Farms & Production Center does not incorporate land-ownership, but will provide resources and experienced participants for the Sharecrofting program. The Sprouting Farms project could help develop new farming participants in the first year or two and prepare them for a permanent transition to the Sharecrofting project once it is up and running.