West Virginia State University (WVSU) Extension Service is hosting an open house at the Welch Armory to showcase upcoming alternative agriculture programming efforts in McDowell County on Wednesday, March 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event will offer information on the variety of agricultural workshops and trainings to be offered out of the armory in the coming months.

“It’s exciting to see West Virginia State expand our existing efforts in McDowell County,” said WVSU Extension Agent Annette Ericksen, who will split her time between the armory location and the University’s Institute campus. “I look forward to meeting community members and sharing information about the many alternative agriculture programs and support services available.”

WVSU workshops hosted out of the armory will focus on such alternative agriculture topics as hydroponic production (growing in the absence of soil), aquaponics (growing plants and fish together), raised-bed gardening, and the production of specialty crops such as mushrooms and hops.

Open house attendees can visit information stations, interact with WVSU personnel, and learn about support services that apply to both commercial and home agriculture production.

The open house is supported through funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1890 Capacity Building Grant Program, Award No. 2015-38821-24346. To learn more, contact Annette Ericksen at (614) 271-3005 or annette.ericksen@wvstateu.edu.

The Welch Armory is located at 600 Stewart St. in Welch.