Extension seeks new berry farmers

Published 9:41 am Friday, July 1, 2016

PETERSBURG — Virginia State University Cooperative Extension specialists are seeking Southside-area farmers, especially those who formerly raised tobacco, who are interested in trying their hand at growing blackberries, blueberries or strawberries.

According to a press release, extension specialists believe the region has potential for satisfying the high demand for locally grown berries.

“Locally grown produce, especially berries, which are known to have significant health benefits, have experienced a sharp increase in consumer demand,” explained Dr. Raza Rafie, VSU horticulture extension specialist. “We’ve done extensive research throughout Central and Southside Virginia, and we feel confident that the growing conditions are right for local farmers to help meet this demand.”

To apply, farmers may obtain an application from their local agriculture and natural resource Cooperative Extension agent. A list of agents is available at http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices. For more information on the project, contact Jonathan Bobby at (434)941-8471 or email jonbob2629@gmail.com. Applications are due Thursday, July 30.