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Wsu Extension Hosts Kick-Off Event For Specialty Crop Producers

In January

On Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Goldendale public library, WSU-Klickitat County Extension will unveil details of a new two-year, grant-funded educational program for specialty crop producers.

Specialty crops are non-commodity crops including vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

"Klickitat County is fortunate to be included in this USDA specialty crop grant administered by the state department of agriculture," said Susan Kerr, WSU-Klickitat County Extension director.

The grant will support educational outreach in 2013 and 2014 to specialty crop producers in Klickitat, Skamania, Grant, Adams and Stevens counties.

"This program will take a three-pronged approach to increasing specialty crop profitability," Kerr explains. "We'll enhance markets for specialty crops, help producers adopt best production practices, and promote profitability through financial and business management education."

Local partners on the grant include the Gorge Grown Food Network, Public Health Department, area Farmers' Markets, and many more.

The grant will help underwrite delivery of the Cultivating Success Agricultural Entrepreneurism series, which is designed to help producers develop business and marketing plans. In addition to helping producers evaluate the potential profitability of a particular agricultural enterprise, having business and marketing plans will improve their eligibility for funding from various sources.

Additional program activities will include workshops, tours, field trips and other activities determined by the needs of program participants.

The introductory session on Jan. 15 is free and open to the public. There is no need to pre-register.

For more information about any aspect of this program, contact Kerr at 773-5817 or kerrs@wsu.edu.

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