Growing Grant Writing and Management Capacity with WV Agricultural Service Providers to Support our Agricultural Community
Both service providers and farmers in West Virginia have identified “accessing funding opportunities/grant writing” as a gap in their competencies. This project, coordinated by West Virginia State University, is addressing this gap with training conducted from 2017 to 2020 for a cohort of individuals willing to make a commitment to developing grant writing skills and become resources in West Virginia for helping secure funds to advance sustainable agriculture. Working in production subgroups (e.g., sheep producers, beef cattle producers, vegetable growers, tree fruit growers, dairy, etc.), service providers will identify pressing farmer questions, concerns and needs that may be addressed via grant-funded projects, and potential sources of funding to address the concerns identified. During this process, the service providers will identify potential farmer partners for their future grants. The service providers will learn grant writing skills and apply them immediately in the development of grant proposals to the targeted funders. The project will include opportunities for the service providers to discuss their success or lack of success from submissions, and learn from the feedback they receive from funders.
Recently Completed Project
Enhancing farm viability and profitability through improved specialty crop production and handling
In a 2014 needs assessment survey of WV ag service providers and farmers, both groups indicated that their knowledge of specialty crop production was lacking and they wanted to learn more.
Focusing primarily on ag service providers, this initiative, begun in 2014, provided comprehensive training on specialty crop production and handling. Topics included markets, crop choices, schedules, enterprise budgets, facility and equipment needs, and a full suite of production management practices and pest control practices.