Shepherd University and Patriot Guardens Receive $12,000 in Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture Grant Funding

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has awarded Shepherd University and Patriot Guardens each a $12,000 grant for their projects to support Veterans and Heroes in Agriculture. The grants are being issued under the WVDA Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture Program. Grant recipients have one year to plan, implement and gather data on their respective projects.

“Our mission is to support veterans and emergency personnel who wish to transition to careers in agriculture. We believe these projects will do just that and help us bridge the ever-growing workforce gap in agriculture,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We must do more to invest in local food systems. I hope these projects will help with that goal.”

Shepherd University “Production of Edible Mushrooms and Specialty Fungi” project addresses the training necessary for different varieties of mushroom cultivation and demonstrates the equipment necessary for small-scale mushroom and specialty fungi enterprises.

The WV Military Authority – Patriot Guardens “Supporting Veterans, Active Military and Their Families in Agriculture” project provides direct assistance to veterans, active military and their families to expand their current agricultural enterprises or to begin production of new on-farm, value-added products for home use or sale into the local market.

The Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture Grant Program was developed to provide funding to organizations around the state who work directly with or provide support to law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency medical service, first responders, veterans, active-duty military, and/or their spouses and family within an agricultural capacity. Grants may not exceed $24,000 and are awarded through an application process.

For more information, contact Crescent Gallagher or call 304-558-3708.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works.