Small Farm Conference Aims to Help New Farmers Succeed

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – First-generation farmers are on the rise in West Virginia and the Small Farm Conference is geared to help them succeed.

One goal of the recent conference was teaching farmers ways to get a bigger percentage of the money spent on food. Currently, West Virginia farmers only get about 11 cents on the dollar, while processors get about 35 cents.

West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick says the state has good quality land. He says West Virginia used to produce almost all of its own food. Now the growth of the farm-to-table movement is providing a lot of new opportunities for farmers.

For example, one of the classes at the conference taught farmers how to approach local school systems about selling produce to them.