WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBOY) — Two programs in West Virginia will receive more than $1 million to help support farmers and ranchers, including agricultural research at West Virginia University.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced $1,061,671 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on Tuesday. According to a release from Manchin, the investment will help ensure every West Virginian has access to quality, affordable fresh produce.
“Every West Virginian should have access to healthy, affordable food. I am pleased USDA is investing in WVU and the Williamson Health and Wellness Center to support our local farmers and ranchers, bolster our agricultural industry and provide food assistance to West Virginians in need,” Manchin said.
WVU will receive $749,999 to evaluate three manure management strategies: liquid cow manure, dry-stacked cow manure, and composted cow manure and its effect on weeds, pathogens, insect pests, yield and profitability.
Williamson Health and Wellness Center in Mingo County will receive $311,672 to support the Fresh Choice Prescription Produce program, which provides fruits and vegetables to adult patients who are Medicaid or SNAP eligible and who are at risk of or diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes. This funding will also encourage healthy eating choices and nutrition classes.
The funding comes from the NIFA Organic Transitions Program (ORG) and the NIFA American Rescue Plan Produce Prescription Program (PPR) and will support research into organic agricultural practices at West Virginia University (WVU) and the Fresh Choice Prescription Produce program at the Williamson Health and Wellness Center.