MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Operation Welcome home hosted a free workshop Thursday for veterans and community members who are interested in learning about the business of agriculture.
In collaboration with West Virginia University Extension Service attendees were able to learn about high tunnel irrigation as well as crop planting. Attendees were able to get their hands in the dirt by planting peanuts, sweet potatoes, and herbs.
“Our goal is to kind of enroll veterans into agriculture, whether they have an interest in agriculture as a hobby or making it into a business. We want to provide them an opportunity to learn about how to plant things in a high tunnel, and to be able to, you know, create a life that has agriculture as a part of it,” said Tiffany Summerlin, Executive Director of Operation Welcome Home.
Officials from Operation Welcome home said that the Mountain State is the sixth highest per capita in the U.S. that has a high veteran population. They stated agriculture education is a great tool for veterans to connect with others.
“It’s a great way to spend your time, it’s a great way to relieve stress, you can make money with agriculture,” Summerlin said. “Our goal is to prioritize veterans in this program but this is open to the public. We want to community to participate with us and learn how to give back to WV. They can stimulate the economy by growing and selling things. And it’s also just a healthier way to live.”
Operation Welcome home started in 2012 and is an employment resource facility by provides them with services like helping with resumes. They connect with the veteran and the family by providing a space for the veteran to work, live, and play to their best potential.