West Virginia University SARE Coordinator Projects

Current Project

Enhancing Social Agripreneurs’ Viability and Profitability through Education, Agribusiness “Clustering” Partnerships and Networking Opportunities

This project, coordinated by West Virginia University Cooperative Extension, is conducting professional development from 2017 to 2020 to train agricultural service providers in principles of entrepreneurship, with the goal of helping farmers develop farm-to-table businesses that are both profitable and aligned with their social values. The education will include entrepreneurship training using the Ice House Entrepreneurship program; study of emerging farm-to-table opportunities, business readiness and innovative marketing strategies; managing legal liability, food safety, and event and emergency planning; and hospitality training and management. Instruction will be provided via in-person workshops and online trainings. Service providers will learn how to assess opportunities for cluster, or cooperative marketing, study cases where farm businesses have clustered to enhance marketing potential, and learn how to help interested farmers network with others to explore these opportunities.

See the project report for more information.

Recently Completed Project

Enhancing Farm Viability and Profitability through Improved Risk Management

A WV state program needs assess of ag service providers and revealed that, generally, producers require continued training and support in whole-farm business planning and risk management to help them identify and mitigate production, financial, marketing, legal and human resource risks.

This 3-year initiative, begun in 2014, provided a holistic business planning and risk-management educational program and support network for ag service providers and farmer leaders focusing on priority topics they identified. These topics included farm financial management, marketing and business planning, farm and food safety planning, and networking and partnership opportunities.

See the project report for more information.