Associated Press Published

West Virginia Specialty Crops Get Grants

Golden Delicious

Eleven research projects have received grants to help develop production and increase the demand for specialty crops in West Virginia.

The state Department of Agriculture announced $240,000 in grants Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

State agricultural officials will use some of the funding to spread the message about food safety laws, examine the impact of strawberries and peaches on agriculture tourism, and establish a conference to assist maple syrup producers.

One local project will plant golden delicious apple trees on reclaimed mine land in Clay County, the birthplace of the apple variety.

Other projects will help start a community garden program in Pocahontas County and attempt to establish a part-time farmers market in Nicholas County.