Local community, USDA begin growing McDowell Co. local food indu - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local community, USDA begin growing McDowell Co. local food industry

Posted:
  • More Local NewsMore Local NewsMore>>

  • Probable cause found in beating case

    Probable cause found in beating case

    Manuel WilliamsManuel Williams
    RALEIGH COUNTY- (WVVA) One of two man accused of attacking a man inside his own home was in court for his preliminary hearing. Manuel Williams, 39, appeared in magistrate court in Raleigh County...More >>
    RALEIGH COUNTY- (WVVA) One of two man accused of attacking a man inside his own home was in court for his preliminary hearing. Manuel Williams, 39, appeared in magistrate court in Raleigh County...More >>
  • Businesses in Bluefield West Virginia

    Businesses in Bluefield West Virginia

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A couple of fast food chains in Bluefield,West Virginia are no longer on Cumberland Ave. Wendy's closed for financial reasonsand according to Mark Meachum, President of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, "Arby's as you're aware, the franchisee claimed bankruptcy in a number of Arbys."Not all businesses in Bluefield are having a hard time.Ahmed Anu the owner of Portobella's says, "Just right now I think to myself, business is good. We did good."His Italian restaurant has been...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A couple of fast food chains in Bluefield,West Virginia are no longer on Cumberland Ave. Wendy's closed for financial reasonsand according to Mark Meachum, President of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, "Arby's as you're aware, the franchisee claimed bankruptcy in a number of Arbys."Not all businesses in Bluefield are having a hard time.Ahmed Anu the owner of Portobella's says, "Just right now I think to myself, business is good. We did good."His Italian restaurant has been...More >>
  • Police look for missing man

    Police look for missing man

    William "NIck" DanielWilliam "NIck" Daniel
    RALEIGH CO. (WVVA) – Police in Beckley are looking for a man who went missing last week.William “Nick” Daniel, 26, was last seen July 24...More >>
    RALEIGH CO. (WVVA) – Police in Beckley are looking for a man who went missing last week.William “Nick” Daniel, 26, was last seen July 24...More >>

WELCH, W. Va (WVVA)-- Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture stopped in the Two Virginias to get people thinking about how to make their communities healthier.

In a McDowell County roundtable held in Welch, the USDA officials heard from community leaders to better understand the challenges people there face. They wanted to find out how to help with the issues McDowell Co. residents believe hold their communities back.

In the open forum, some said they believe health is a major concern in the county. A number of people told the USDA they would like to see a farmer's market open, along with more options for affordable locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

They also expressed concern about a lack of housing for teachers and other professionals to move to (and stay in) McDowell County.

USDA senior advisor Max Finberg told WVVA that getting those things in place would be a big step in the direction of growth for McDowell County, and they offer grants and other resources to help. Finberg said part of their visit was also about educating people on what his agency can do.

"A lot of our role here is in education, in connecting the dots," he said. "What are the tools in our toolbox to fix the challenges and problems that are here? That's why i'm spending the day in McDowell County."

The round table also discussed continuing to grow tourism in the area. Finberg said that industry is now the biggest in the state of West Virginia, so developing it locally as well as providing locally-grown food can be two helpful keys to growth.

To foster that, Finberg and other USDA reps on-site recommend beginning community gardens and asking established local farmers to begin accepting nutrition assistance, like food stamps, SNAP benefits, and WIC coupons.

Sylvester Edwards, who runs the new Creekside Farms in Kimball, McDowell County, wants to do just that.

He works at least 8 hours a day in a re-purposed lot in town. There, he grows herbs and produce, from thyme to beets, peas, squash, and beans. It's all grown by hand and organically, and Edwards hopes this is a powerful tool to bring healthier food to the people who don't get enough.

"Setting up this whole farm is to grow food. But to get it in the right hands I have to be able to accept food stamps," he said. "Those are the people I want to reach. I want to change the eating habits, [and] I want to go to healthier food standards."

Edwards says plans are in the works to begin selling to local schools for student lunches, as well as start a farmer's market in Kimball next week.

USDA officials say farming is an untapped industry in McDowell County because of the nutrient-rich soil there.

This stop in Welch was part of a regional tour for USDA officials, who travel on to the Shenandoah Valley from West Virginia.
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Pro-coal rally held in Pittsburgh in wake of EPA hearings

    Pro-coal rally held in Pittsburgh in wake of EPA hearings

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are rallying in Pittsburgh to oppose new proposed pollution regulations...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are rallying in Pittsburgh to oppose new proposed pollution regulations...More >>
  • UPDATE: Nighttime lane closure expected for repairs on tunnel

    UPDATE: Nighttime lane closure expected for repairs on tunnel

    UPDATE: The West Virginia Division of Highways says motorists can still expect periodic lane closures over the next several weeks as work continues inside East River Mountain Tunnel.More >>
    UPDATE: The West Virginia Division of Highways says motorists can still expect periodic lane closures over the next several weeks as work continues inside East River Mountain Tunnel.More >>
  • W.Va. leaders to attend coal rally in Pa.

    W.Va. leaders to attend coal rally in Pa.

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.More >>
    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.More >>
  • Deadline approaches for claims against Freedom Industries

    Deadline approaches for claims against Freedom Industries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Time is running out for residents and businesses affected by a January chemical spill in Charleston to file claims in federal bankruptcy court.Claims must be filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston by Friday. Forms can be obtained and filed on the court's website.Business losses must be accompanied by documentation, while residents don't need such documentation for personal damage.The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries' plant along the Elk River caused a tap-w...More >>
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Time is running out for residents and businesses affected by a January chemical spill in Charleston to file claims in federal bankruptcy court.Claims must be filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston by Friday. Forms can be obtained and filed on the court's website.Business losses must be accompanied by documentation, while residents don't need such documentation for personal damage.The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries' plant along the Elk River caused a tap-w...More >>
  • Another tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    Another tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    JOHNSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Another tornado has been confirmed in West Virginia.The National Weather Service says a twister touched down Sunday night near the southeastern Harrison County community of Johnstown...More >>
    JOHNSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Another tornado has been confirmed in West Virginia.The National Weather Service says a twister touched down Sunday night near the southeastern Harrison County community of Johnstown...More >>
  • Dealership donates car to help out hospice group

    Dealership donates car to help out hospice group

    BECKELY (WVVA) One local car dealership is donating a vehicle to a nonprofit organization to help raise money.Mountaineer Automotive of Beckley is giving away a Volkswagen to the Living Water Baptist Church.Over the next couple of weeks, the car will be on display throughout the community. There will be a silent auction in which all proceeds will go to Hospice of Southern West Virginia."It takes lot of work to organize events and to raise money. But if you have other organizations willing to ...More >>
    BECKELY (WVVA) One local car dealership is donating a vehicle to a nonprofit organization to help raise money.Mountaineer Automotive of Beckley is giving away a Volkswagen to the Living Water Baptist Church.Over the next couple of weeks, the car will be on display throughout the community. There will be a silent auction in which all proceeds will go to Hospice of Southern West Virginia."It takes lot of work to organize events and to raise money. But if you have other organizations willing to ...More >>
  • Two Confirmed Tornadoes in West Virginia from July 27th Storms

    Two Confirmed Tornadoes in West Virginia from July 27th Storms

     The National Weather Service in Charleston, WV confirmed two tornado touchdowns in West Virginia on Sunday, July 27th.Between 7:15pm and 7:30pm, a tornado touched down one mile south of Maxwell, WV in Pleasants and Ritchie counties...More >>
     The National Weather Service in Charleston, WV confirmed two tornado touchdowns in West Virginia on Sunday, July 27th.Between 7:15pm and 7:30pm, a tornado touched down one mile south of Maxwell, WV in Pleasants and Ritchie counties...More >>
  • SLIDESHOW: Hummingbirds in the Two Virginias

    SLIDESHOW: Hummingbirds in the Two Virginias

    Hummingbirds are always a common sight in Four Seasons County this time of year. Here's a look at some beautiful pictures taken by WVVA viewers!More >>
    Hummingbirds are always a common sight in Four Seasons County this time of year. Here's a look at some beautiful pictures taken by WVVA viewers!More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.