New Incubator Farm and Demonstration Site Opens in Culpeper County

A new incubator farm and demonstration site in Culpeper County will enable visitors to learn firsthand about agricultural management practices they can use or adapt for their own farm enterprises. A two-acre plot of land and hoop house will be used to grow an assortment of vegetable crops and to provide learning opportunities for small farmers.

The site is the result of a memorandum of understanding between the Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) at VSU and the George Washington Carver Agriculture Research Center (GWCARC). “This collaboration is an excellent opportunity for us to offer a broad range of educational workshops, hands-on trainings and field demonstrations to the Culpeper area,” said SFOP Director William Crutchfield.

“The agreement supports our shared agriculture education programs for small and new farmers,” said Senior Extension Agent Carl C. Stafford. “GWCARC seeks to develop new knowledge and opportunities for agriculture in this region through partnerships with institutions of higher education, cooperating producers and local government.”

The SFOP will provide fertilizer, seeds, and hand and power gardening tools that will be used onsite, as well as personnel to provide training and technical assistance. Workshops, meetings and training sessions for farmers will be held onsite at the GWCARC. GWCARC is organized and operated exclusively for charitable research and education benefits in agriculture. It is housed in the Carver Center, home of the former George Washington Carver Regional High School, which was built in 1948 and served as the regional high school for African American students.

“We’re excited to begin working with farmers from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels,” said SFOP Hispanic Outreach Agent Leonel Castillo. “As we build connections with the local farming community, we’ll be able to deliver information, education and training on farm operations such as irrigation, fertilization, crop selection and rotation, soil management, equipment use and maintenance, and more.”

The agreement between the SFOP and GWCARC was made possible thanks to the USDA Beginning Farmer, Rancher and Veteran grant that the SFOP received to assist individuals with limited resources who are interested in starting a small farming operation.

About GWCARC:

George Washington Carver Agriculture Research Center

The Carver Center, 9432 James Madison Hwy, Rapidan, VA.

For more information, visit www.gwcarc.org

Erica Shambley