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Agriculture & Natural Resources News

WVU Extension Service specialist fuels monarch conservation efforts

Sheldon Owen speaks to crowd of people at Monarch Summit at WVU Jackson's Mill

Morgantown, W.Va. -- The future of West Virginia’s state butterfly, the monarch, is in danger. Populations have declined so much that it is at risk of being placed on the endangered species list — a move that could have regulatory and economic impacts for the state.

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WVU Extension Service offers food safety courses statewide

producer spraying water on lettuce to prepare for sale

With new safety regulations and procedures in place for farmers and agribusiness owners, West Virginia University Extension Service is helping local growers navigate these changes while providing education and training to ensure consumer safety.

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WVU Extension's Women in Ag to host statewide workshops

West Virginia is home to nearly 10,000 female farmers. To help this important group of agribusiness owners, WVU Extension Service’s Women in Ag program is hosting a series of workshops throughout the state (and online) to provide them with tools and resources needed to run a successful business.

Through a partnership with Annie’s Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational programs designed to strengthen women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise, WVU Extension experts will host the West Virginia Annie’s Project at multiple sites in West Virginia February through June. The six-session program provides training in risk assessment, business planning and decision-making. The program also provides opportunities to network with your peers and industry experts, and experts will offer mentoring and coaching for aspiring and beginning producers.

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West Virginia Small Farm Conference set to educate local farmers and equip them for success

Hands-on learning about mushrooms with instructor and students at previous conference.

Morgantown, W.Va. – With the recipes we hand down to the next generation and local specialties we pride ourselves on, food plays an important part in our lives as West Virginians. A resurgence in popularity of locally grown, quality food has led to farmers markets and food related festivals springing up all across the Mountain State.

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Alexandria Straight named Extension agent in Hampshire and Hardy counties

West Virginia University Extension Service has appointed Alexandria “Alex” Straight as agricultural and natural resources agent in Hampshire and Hardy counties, effective November 15, 2017.

Straight joined WVU  Extension Service in 2007, most recently serving as the agricultural and natural resources agent for Ritchie County. Prior to that, she served as the agriculture and natural resources Extension agent for both Doddridge and Ritchie counties. Straight began her career with WVU Extension as a research assistant where she worked on a variety of experimental projects including soil compaction, mine reclamation soils and farmland fertility on permanent restoration pastures.

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WVU Extension Service addresses critical need for livestock producers and state

Morgantown, W.Va. – Picture West Virginia’s roads winding through scenic countryside flanked by farms on either side. While beautiful imagery springs to mind, the other side of the picture is that those same roads usually leave a farmer’s animals far away from a veterinarian’s care.

It’s not a problem unique to West Virginia, with approximately 500 counties nationwide having no veterinarian that provides large-animal services and 1,300 counties only having one veterinarian per approximately 25,000 animals.

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West Virginia’s women farmers have unique opportunity to grow with WVU Extension program

Morgantown, W.Va. – There’s a growing movement in West Virginia, and at the forefront are females who are breaking out of typical gender roles. They’re leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, and they make up a growing population of women who own farms and manage all aspects of an agricultural operation.

The trend isn’t confined to West Virginia. In fact, close to 970,000 women now run 31 percent of the nation’s farms. Even more impressive is the fact that West Virginia’s women-run farms have a substantial economic impact on the state – to the tune of more than $62 million.

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WVU Extension Service offers flood recovery tips for gardeners and farmers

Morgantown, W.Va. – Floods have far reaching effects that extend past the immediate damage and danger that high water presents at the crest stage. In addition to the clean-up efforts afterwards, there are agricultural considerations for the home gardener and farmer with livestock.

The West Virginia University Extension Service has resources available and residents affected by flooding can get in touch with their local WVU Extension Service office for additional information about how to handle their land, plants and animals after a flood event.

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WVU Extension Service expert advises residents on reducing tick populations

Morgantown, W.Va. – There’s a lot of talk about ticks in the news and on social media this year after a milder than usual winter and increasing public attention to Lyme disease and Powassan virus. However, these parasitic pests are common in West Virginia and an integrated control approach can help homeowners protect themselves and their family.

According to Daniel Frank, West Virginia University Extension Service entomology specialist, West Virginia has three species of ticks that are frequently encountered. These include the American dog tick, the blacklegged or deer tick, and the lone star tick.

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West Virginia 4-H'ers capture two titles at national competition

Four Monroe County youths added to a legacy of West Virginia University Extension Service  4-H teams who have fared well in land judging and homesite evaluation contests by winning the national championship in both categories at the National Land, Range and Homesite Evaluation Contest held in Oklahoma on May 4.

Reagan Ernst, Kris Hoke, Andrew Wrzosek and Cameron Wickline practiced for more than 10 months to take home the top honors, including an extra week of practice on site in Oklahoma to acclimate to the wide variety of soils they’d be asked to judge.

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Learn to produce and market dried fruits and vegetables with WVU Extension Service workshop

Experts from the West Virginia University Extension Service are offering a one-day, hands-on workshop for those interested in producing and marketing dried fruit and vegetable products.

The workshop takes place Thursday, May 11 from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Marshall County WVU Extension Office, 126 Barn Drive, Moundsville, WV 26041.

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Ronnie Helmondollar named director of WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources programs

After a nationwide search, Ronnie Helmondollar has been named program director of the West Virginia University Extension Service’s Agriculture and Natural Resources unit, effective Monday, April 3.

No stranger to the WVU Extension Service mission, Helmondollar’s appointment comes after serving on the administration team as the interim program director since 2015 and at the county level with 26 years of experience as an Extension agent.

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