- Using a “Train the Trainer” approach to transfer BMPs, novel technologies and results to agricultural professionals, agents, and SFRL leaders within value-added, post-harvest and organic systems.
- Use outreach programming for SFRLs, agribusiness owner, and others to share USDA and private sector opportunities for financial and marketing assistance
- Conduct field trial research/demonstrations to evaluate SFRL value-added, post-harvest and organic systems for SFRLs.
Leadership Team Members
Team Leader: John Clendaniel, Delaware State University
Delaware State University
West Virginia State University
Activities and Results
Lincoln University developed two Fact Sheets to assist farmers in marketing via e-commerce/internet. The Fact Sheets are entitled “How to Set Up a Free E-Commerce Website for Your Farm” and “Email Marketing for Small Farmers.” The Fact Sheets can be obtained from the College of Agriculture, Environment and Human Sciences at Lincoln University.
Postharvest Storage and Transport
Tuskegee University demonstrated the ZECC: Zero Energy Cooling Chamber that enhances shelf-life by reducing transpiration and respiration. It lowers the temperature and maintains a high humidity for fruits and vegetables. Mobile Cooling benefits include:
- Adaptability: Can serve as a stationary or mobile unit.
- Portability: Move from field to market without unloading and reloading produce.
- Efficiency: Maintain appropriate temperatures of produce while at outdoor markets – extending shelf life.
- Addressing postharvest losses and food waste provides increased benefits for the disadvantaged farmer.
- Awareness created on importance of post-harvest principles causing a change in behavior towards post- harvesting leading to increased adoption and practice of post-harvesting techniques
Post Harvest Handling
West Virginia State University Extension Service offers post-harvest handling training and technical support to limited-resource and socially disadvantaged farmers across the state to increase market share and improve product quality.
WVSUES offers mobile pre-cooling trailers to producers through a no-cost lease program; producers who have completed post-harvest handling training become eligible to request access to these trailers. WVSUES initiated the program with four units and a refrigerated truck. As our training modules expand across the state, the demand for these services has increased. To meet demand and provide continued assistance to specialty crop producers, WVSUES recently expanded the fleet to ten units and now works with four separate food hubs to maximize technical support access.
Mobile Meat Processing
Producers of livestock in Delaware have been able to process their own chickens at their farm by renting the DSU Mobil Meat Processing Lab. This has also given the farmers a chance to do custom cuts to increase value of the meat products. As soon as the farmers
are able to slaughter and meat fabrication their small ruminants to increase the product value.