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Farm & Livestock

WVDA Now Accepting Farmers Market Vendor Permits

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is now accepting farmers market vendor permits as established in Senate Bill 375. The legislation passed during the 2018 Legislative Session and went into effect June 8th of this year. Rules regulating the manufacturing and sale of acidified cottage foods are currently out for public comment until July 27th.

“The intention was to create an avenue for entrepreneurship. We hope the allowance of direct sales for certain acidified foods will be a boost to our small producers,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Advocates have been working on this issue for several years.”

Those producers interested in obtaining a permit must pay a $35 fee, pass an initial inspection and follow several other regulations. The following products, but not limited to, are applicable for this permit: pickled products, sauces, salsas, fermented products, acidified fruits and vegetables and all farm and food products that are required to be time or temperature-controlled. Commodities such as breads, cakes, candies, honey, tree syrup, apple butter, molasses, standardized, nondietary jams and jellies and dehydrated fruits and vegetables are exempt from this permit. Selling fresh, uncut product does not require a permit.

“Our top priority is to ensure a safe, reliable food system. Throughout this process, we have worked with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, local health departments and numerous stakeholders to come up with rules and regulations for producers. The goal was to find a compromise between good government and economic development,” Leonhardt said.

Those producers who have already obtained a 2018 food establishment permit from their local health department do not need to pay for a farmers market vendor permit this year but must still submit a registration form with the WVDA.

For a registration form or more information, contact the WVDA at ‘farmersmarkets@wvda.us’ or 304.558.2227.

2018 Farm Bill: A Win for West Virginia

The Free Press WV

As Washington D.C. continues to tackle the task of passing a comprehensive 2018 Farm Bill, West Virginia farmers anxiously wait in anticipation while important programs hang in the balance. At first glance, one may think these programs minorly affect the Mountain State, but that cannot be further from the truth. Previous farm bills have netted West Virginia $17 million for conservation efforts, $1.9 million for Specialty Crop Block grants and 351,391 West Virginians rely on monthly assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In addition, $120 billion for invasive species control and $200 billion for management of preventative disease outbreak for the U.S. may be discontinued without a new bill. Clearly, if Washington cannot move beyond their differences, not only will West Virginia farmers lose but so will those who consume the food they produce.

The USDA defines the Specialty Crop Block Grants program as designed to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops within the United States. Specialty crops can be anything from maple syrup to lavender depending on the state. Essentially specialty means crops that are not widely grown. This matters in the Mountain State because we do not have the landscape to grow cheap, in-expensive, high yield crops. Instead, our state has shifted its focus toward high-end, specialty crops which yield a higher per pound gross profit. Therefore, our farmers maximize the limited real estate in West Virginia. Why this program matters because many farmers lack the capital needed to start up these types of operations. Without these grants, several successful agribusinesses would not exist today as used to cover large expenses that are barriers to the business or to test a product.

As West Virginia continues to lead the way with our Veterans to Warriors to Agriculture program, the United States Department of Agriculture has taken note. Within the 2018 Farm Bill, language exists that lays out veteran farmers as a priority. From our program, we have proven that agri-therapy can help our service men and women heal from the unseen wounds of war. At the same time, veterans can be a solution to a growing age gap and lack of new farmers in our country. As the USDA makes federal resources available for these types of programs, a state that has one of the highest per capita veteran populations will surely benefit from this new vision.

From the rolling hills to the vast forests, West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Although, invasive pests like the emerald ash borer insect or the multiflora rose bush have created problems for our farmers, state parks and forests. For example, federal resources are being matched with state funds to combat Japanese barberry in Cacapon State Park. Without these federal resources we have no way to slow these pests down and more pesticides will be necessary to combat the challenges that will ensue. If future generations are to enjoy West Virginia’s natural beauty it will, invasive pests programs will be a part of that equation.

Sustainable agriculture is a popular buzz word these days, but not easily defined. In general, it means using our resources without exhausting them. In a state with an abundant access to fresh water, conservation and the efforts of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is vital to our state. From addressing food deserts schools to assisting our farmers with the implementation of conservation practices, the Farm Bill provides much needed resources and technical assistance. This is only possible through shared resource programs which are authorized through the bill. Without these programs, many of our schools would have not started farm-to-school programs and West Virginia would not be leading the effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed through an entirely voluntary approach.

We may only play a small role in our nation’s agricultural might, but our 20,600 small, family farmers play a vital role in our state’s economy and local communities. From the poultry industry in the Eastern Panhandle to the local farm stand providing their neighbors with fresh produce, our farmers grow $800 million worth of food annually. These farmers rely heavily on the assistance authorized within the Farm Bill. If Congress fails to pass a new version, the consequences will affect consumers and farmers alike. What hangs in the balance is a safe, reliable food system. With a safe, reliable food system, you have many problems. Without one, you have one problem. Congress must act and they must do it soon.

Kent A. Leonhardt
West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture

NATIONAL and Local FEEDER & STOCKER CATTLE SUMMARY

The Gilmer Free Press

South Branch Livestock, Moorefield, WV
Weighted Average Report for Wednesday May 23, 2018

Cattle Receipts:  119

Slaughter cows made up 41% of the offering, 
slaughter bulls 4%, other cows 6%, and feeders 49%.  

The feeder supply included 46% steers, 33% heifers, and 21% bulls. 

Near 49% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    5    344-344    344       164.00         164.00
    5    620-620    620       131.00         131.00
    1    700-700    700       111.00         111.00
    2    840-840    840       115.00         115.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    2    238-238    238       130.00         130.00
    1    270-270    270       142.00         142.00
    1    490-490    490       123.00         123.00
    1    565-565    565       137.00         137.00

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    520-520    520       110.00         110.00
    4    575-583    581    108.00-118.00     110.47
    2    775-775    775       109.00         109.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    285-285    285       119.00         119.00
    2    355-355    355       115.00         115.00
    1    590-590    590        85.00          85.00   Red
    1    625-625    625       110.00         110.00
    1    600-600    600       107.00         107.00   Red

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    635-635    635       105.00         105.00
    1    700-700    700       103.00         103.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    585-585    585       138.00         138.00
    2    650-685    668    109.00-112.00     110.54
    2    700-720    710    101.00-103.00     101.99
    1    855-855    855        75.00          75.00

Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2   1290-1350  1320     49.00-55.00       51.93
    8   1400-1610  1530     49.00-55.00       52.13
                               Boner 80-85% Lean
    9    975-1375  1209     45.00-53.00       48.00
    4   1150-1370  1276     55.00-55.50       55.13   High Dressing
    1   1210-1210  1210        43.00          43.00   Low Dressing
    2   1410-1445  1428     45.00-50.00       47.53
    1   1485-1485  1485        60.00          60.00   High Dressing
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    3   1145-1270  1223     43.00-49.00       45.91
    1   1055-1055  1055        35.00          35.00   Low Dressing
    1   1440-1440  1440        45.00          45.00

Heiferettes                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    865-865    865        91.00          91.00  
    4    900-1105   991     80.00-99.00       88.05  

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1020-1020  1020        85.00          85.00
    1   1495-1495  1495        70.00          70.00   Low Dressing
    1   1975-1975  1975        72.00          72.00

Feeder & Slaughter Lambs
 Head   Wt Range             Price Range
    4   60-80                186.00
    6   80-100               180.00

Pocahontas Producers Cooperative, Marlinton , WV
Weighted Average Report for Saturday May 19, 2018

Cattle Receipts:  27

Slaughter cows made up 41% of the offering, 
slaughter bulls 11%, and feeders 48%. 

The feeder supply included 46% steers, 46% heifers, and 8% bulls. 

Near 69% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    530-530    530    124.00-125.00     124.50   Yearlings
    4    730-730    730       127.50         127.50   Yearlings

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    580-580    580       120.00         120.00   Yearlings
    1    615-615    615       117.00         117.00   Yearlings
    2    655-670    663    117.00-118.00     117.49   Yearlings
    1    730-730    730       121.00         121.00   Yearlings
    1    795-795    795       117.00         117.00   Yearlings

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    550-550    550       144.00         144.00

Slaughter Cows                 Boner 80-85% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    5    950-1390  1110     45.00-58.00       50.00
    3   1400-1490  1450     50.50-51.00       50.83
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    3    830-1100   985     30.00-38.00       33.62

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    3   1750-2195  1943     74.00-78.50       77.15

Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction, Caldwell, WV
Weighted Average Report for Friday May 18, 2018

Cattle Receipts:  205

Slaughter cows made up 27% of the offering, slaughter bulls 6%, 
replacement cows 1%, and feeders 66%.

The feeder supply included 49% steers, 41% heifers, and 9% bulls. 

Near 37% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    310-310    310       142.50         142.50   EXOTIC
    1    365-365    365       147.50         147.50   EXOTIC
    2    427-427    427       164.00         164.00
    3    483-483    483       163.00         163.00
    9    507-507    507       170.00         170.00   Value Added
   13    565-565    565       160.00         160.00   Value Added
    1    605-605    605       159.00         159.00
    2    685-685    685       159.00         159.00   Value Added
    4    701-701    701       151.00         151.00   Value Added
    3    772-785    776    120.00-127.50     124.97
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    555-555    555       132.50         132.50
                             Holstein Medium and Large 3
    3    480-480    480        52.00          52.00
    3    515-515    515        60.20          60.20
    2    632-632    632        60.00          60.00

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    335-335    335       135.00         135.00   EXOTIC
    1    410-410    410       130.00         130.00
    2    497-497    497       135.00         135.00   EXOTIC
    1    520-520    520       110.00         110.00   EXOTIC
   12    546-546    546       144.00         144.00   Value Added
    3    605-645    632    119.00-124.00     120.60
   10    608-608    608       140.00         140.00   Value Added
    1    695-695    695       120.00         120.00
    1    705-705    705       110.00         110.00
    6    764-764    764       121.00         121.00
    1    920-920    920        83.00          83.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    495-495    495       125.00         125.00

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    3    530-530    530       146.00         146.00   EXOTIC
    3    553-553    553       143.00         143.00   EXOTIC
    1    655-655    655       135.00         135.00
                             Medium and Large 2
    1    520-520    520       132.50         132.50   EXOTIC
    1    615-615    615       117.50         117.50

Bred Cows                  Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1025-1025  1025       870.00         870.00   Per Head  1-3 Months Bred

Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    5   1520-1775  1663     48.00-53.00       51.21
    1   1570-1570  1570        53.50          53.50   High Dressing
                               Boner 80-85% Lean
    9   1090-1380  1216     50.00-54.50       52.65
    5   1120-1335  1247     54.00-57.00       55.54   High Dressing
    1   1200-1200  1200        48.50          48.50   Low Dressing
    7   1420-1740  1550     50.00-54.50       52.34
    7   1400-1670  1491     57.00-65.00       58.80   High Dressing
    2   1475-1555  1515     48.00-49.00       48.49   Low Dressing
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    2    965-1205  1085     43.50-44.00       43.78
    1    820-820    820        25.00          25.00   Low Dressing

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2   1170-1440  1305     81.00-84.00       82.66
    1   1215-1215  1215        52.00          52.00   Low Dressing
    2   1720-1855  1788     82.50-87.50       84.91
    4   1675-1995  1890     88.00-91.50       89.47   High Dressing
 
 Feeder lambs

  52   75-85lbs                     189-196.50
  25   45-70lbs                     183-190


 goats
 1 small nannie                  100
 1 55-65lbs                       90
 1 kid  30lbs                     40

Buckhannon Livestock Market, Buckhannon, WV
Weighted Average Report for Thursday May 17, 2018

Cattle Receipts:  79

Slaughter cows made up 29% of the offering, slaughter bulls 2%, 
replacement cows 14%, other cows 2%, and feeders 53%.  

The feeder supply included 70% steers, 22% heifers, and 7% bulls. 

Near 52% of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    548-548    548       158.00         158.00
    1    530-530    530       137.50         137.50   RWF
    2    592-595    594    136.00-140.00     137.99
    5    608-642    626    137.00-147.50     140.32   Smoke
    5    603-636    611    138.00-142.50     139.31   RWF
    1    678-678    678       143.00         143.00   Smoke
                             Medium and Large 2
    2    490-490    490       105.00         105.00   Exotic
    1    510-510    510       132.50         132.50
    1    572-572    572       135.00         135.00   RWF

Feeder Heifers                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1    207-207    207       125.00         125.00   Exotic
    1    562-562    562       141.00         141.00
    1    648-648    648       129.00         129.00
    1    618-618    618       120.00         120.00   Exotic
    1    668-668    668       125.00         125.00
                             Small and Medium 1
    1    408-408    408       138.00         138.00

Feeder Bulls                Medium and Large 1
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    2    341-341    341       140.00         140.00

Bred Cows                  Medium and Large 1 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1202-1202  1202   999.00-1150.00    1150.00   Per Head  7-9 Months Bred
                            Medium and Large 1 Middle Aged
    3   1082-1170  1141    800.00-880.00     854.70   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
                            Medium and Large 1 - 2 Young
    2   1110-1110  1110       800.00         800.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred
                            Medium and Large 2 Young
    1   1280-1280  1280       770.00         770.00   Per Head  4-6 Months Bred

Slaughter Cows                Breaker 70-80% Lean
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1832-1832  1832        50.50          50.50
                               Boner 80-85% Lean
    2   1180-1212  1196     54.00-56.50       55.23
    4   1082-1208  1138     64.50-72.50       68.07   High Dressing
                                Lean 85-90% Lean
    4    972-1186  1068     50.00-54.00       52.10
    2    808-980    894     59.00-60.00       59.55   High Dressing
    2   1060-1150  1105     49.00-49.25       49.12   Low Dressing

Other Cows                  Medium and Large 1 Young
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1044-1044  1044        86.50          86.50  

Slaughter Bulls                Yield Grade 1-2
 Head   Wt Range   Avg Wt    Price Range   Avg Price
    1   1664-1664  1664        88.00          88.00

Fresh ways to save some green at the farmers market

The Free Press WV

The difference between the produce at farmers markets and supermarkets is more than “tomayto” versus “tomahto.” And buying fresh fruit and vegetables at farmers markets offers opportunities to save money in ways you might not find at a grocery store.

The produce sold at most supermarkets is typically harvested before it’s ripe, says Chris Curtis, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets. Then it’s transported — often long distances — before arriving at the store. The many people involved in getting a tomato from the vine to the store and, finally, into your tote may get a slice of your payment, she says. That doesn’t leave much for the farmer.

When you buy a tomato at a farmers market, however, “almost all of your dollar is going directly to the grower,” Curtis says. That grower picked the produce ripe, soon before selling it. A recently harvested peach tastes better than that “hard little green ball” sold at large retailers, she says.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY AT FARMERS MARKETS

Here’s how to get the most for your money when buying produce and other farmers market goods:

1. GET TO KNOW THE VENDORS. Many vendors give deals to folks they know, says Gabrielle Lupton, a baker at Bubble & Brown Bakery, which sells goods at Salt Lake City farmers markets. To build that kind of relationship with a vendor, become a regular. Consistently buy from that seller and turn to her for bulk and special orders, like a custom cake from a baker.

In addition to scoring deals — and maybe even a friendship — becoming a regular gives you “an inside scoop on the variability of the season,” says Nina Gruber, outreach and development coordinator for Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets. For example, you may be among the first customers to know when farmers will start selling peaches, she says. You may also learn when peach prices are expected to change with supply and demand throughout the season.

2. BUY “UGLY” PRODUCE. “Seconds” or “No. 2s” are fruits and vegetables that taste the same as other produce but look a little off — they may be misshapen or bumpy, for example. Farmers typically sell them more cheaply than the perfect-looking produce. “It’s something farmers have been doing since the dawn of farmers markets,” Gruber says.

Get a deal on seconds and you’re not just saving money — you’re also helping to reduce food waste . Even if you prefer eating or serving flawless produce, you can follow Gruber’s lead and use seconds for cooking, baking and making jam. She buys a box of No. 2 tomatoes, then cooks and freezes batches of pasta sauce. “Then I have sauce for the rest of the year,” she says.

3. PAY IN CASH. Access to a credit or debit card — and dozens of freshly baked pastries — can put your grocery budget in danger. Lupton says that customers paying with a card typically outspend those who use cash. Consider bringing cash, spending a set amount and leaving your cards at home. (This is a reliable money-saving tip for most kinds of shopping trips.)

4. SHOP LATE. Vendors don’t want to be stuck with unsold inventory so “they’ll start slinging deals toward the end of the day,” Gruber says. For example, in the final 30 minutes the market is open, you may be able to snag a bag of apples for half the price you would have paid first thing in the morning.

The tradeoff is that there will be a smaller selection of products at the end of the day, Gruber says.

5. GET DISCOUNTS ON BULK PURCHASES. Remember, vendors want to offload as much of their product as possible. So they’re incentivized to cut a deal if you’re interested in buying a lot of it, Lupton says. Ask vendors what prices they can offer for the quantity you want, such as a dozen cookies or two pounds of potatoes. They may throw in a few extra potatoes or charge you less for a batch of cookies than they would have for 12 individual treats.

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