A new agriculture program is underway in the Greenbrier Valley. It’s called Sprouting Farms, and it’s the product of multiple organizations coming together to find better food for West Virginia, particularly the Greenbrier Valley.
Stephen Weir is the executive director for the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation- a key player in Sprouting Farms. He says this program will feature crofts- and it won’t be the first to do so.
He says that a croft is an old Scottish farming tradition where multiple farmers come together to share one large plot of land. He says a croft is an excellent way to get new farmers in to the business, without forcing them to bite off more than they can chew.
“The crofting portion and the incubator portion is targeted to new farmers. Now they don’t have to be young farmers, but people that are hoping to get in to farming,” explains Weir.
Weir says, though they don’t have to be young- one goal of the program is to lower the average age of farmers in the Greenbrier Valley. That means that those farming both crops and livestock would have a younger group of farmers to turn land over to.
More farmers would mean more opportunities for residents in the valley to buy local foods, promoting healthier eating and living.