Farmers

Hay, Farm, Bale of Hay
Pixabay

West Virginia officials are warning farmers about the possibility that their hay could be contaminated by recent flooding.

The state Agriculture Department said in a news release feeding contaminated hay to animals can be dangerous.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

This week, we've been hearing a series of stories from the Inside Appalachia team about the challenges that some Appalachian families face when trying to eat fresh food. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices. Sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Seven months ago the Walmart in McDowell County closed, and this was especially difficult for the Five Loaves and Two Fishes food pantry, run by Linda McKinney and her husband Bob. They say the superstore’s closing has actually inspired their family to rethink how they get food for the pantry.

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Eating your fruits and veggies is good for you, but it’s not always an easy choice. On this episode, we explore some of the challenges, choices, and barriers to eating healthy. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices, sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Is Hemp West Virginia's Next Cash Crop?

Aug 24, 2016
Carla Whitee Ford / New South Media

Hemp, known in the scientific community as cannabis sativa, is a cousin to the more commonly known marijuana, but unlike its medicinally and recreationally used relative, hemp does not contain any THC- a mind-altering ingredient. 

So, throughout the nation's history, hemp has been used more practically. It's often turned into fibers used in fabrics or rope or pressed into oils, but the plant itself is still considered a schedule one drug, meaning law enforcement treats it just like they would heroin or Ecstasy.

Roxy Todd

There are 100,000 less sheep in the state of West Virginia today than during the 1970’s. Now, there are 36,000 sheep in the state. The demand for synthetic fibers over wool for our clothes and blankets is one reason for the sharp decline. One man from Upshur County is about to hang up his shears. After sheep shearing for 64 years, Calvin McCutcheon says he will retire next year.

At just under 80 years old, Calvin McCutcheon looks like a bodybuilder. His thick stocky torso is bent over while he wrangles a full grown sheep, trying to get it to lay still and stop thrashing.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s well-known what happened in the Kanawha Valley on January 9, 2014. A massive chemical leak into the Elk River left tap water unusable for 300,000 West Virginians for as many as ten days. The 2014 legislative session had just begun, and in response, lawmakers passed a bill that would require all aboveground storage tanks in the state be registered and regulated under the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

wikimedia commons

The phrase “food-desert” might sound like a landscape of sagebrush and armadillos, but it's really a place where SlimJims, chicken nuggets and Slurpies count as dinner. A food desert can happen anywhere- we've all seen them. People who live in a food desert may be surrounded by food—fast food or convenient store hotdogs, instead of fresh, healthy food.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After a chemical spill contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians, state lawmakers passed a bill to regulate above ground storage tanks in the hopes of preventing it from happening again. Just a few weeks ago, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection released some guidelines for tank owners on how to interpret that law until their inspection program is finalized later this year. The DEP held an informational meeting in Martinsburg yesterday to hear the concerns of tank owners and collect comments on their new program.