West Virginia State University (WVSU) is partnering with three other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to create an Agriculture Business Innovation Center (ABIC) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a press release from the state ag department.
The $1.92 million grant will help establish the center to serve as a technical assistance hub to enhance agriculture-based business development opportunities nationwide.
“West Virginia State University is excited to partner with our sister HBCUs to provide this much-needed regional innovation center to support agricultural entrepreneurs and serve socially disadvantaged populations,” said WVSU President Ericke Cage.
The innovation center will be located at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.
J. “Deacon” Stone, director of the Center for Innovation at Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), has been promoted to director of the West Virginia EDA University Center, Charlotte Weber, RCBI director & CEO, announced Friday.
University Center is a U.S. Economic Development Administration program to leverage the resources of regional colleges and universities to support economic development. West Virginia’s University Center, one of 66 across the country, has its headquarters at Marshall. It provides a full range of prototyping, entrepreneurial and manufacturing services.
As director of RCBI’s Center for Innovation, Stone has assisted entrepreneurs across West Virginia, helping bring new products to market, empowering startups to innovate and grow and helping establish new businesses. Stone has collaborated with numerous university departments – including the colleges of Business and Information Technology, Engineering, School Medicine, and others – to facilitate technology transfer and commercialize research.
Boone Memorial Hospital (BMH) will host a press conference and reception on Monday at noon with plans to unveil a new identity, logo and rebranding campaign.
The hospital will also officially announce its newly formed BMH Foundation for Community Health and distribute grant awards of more than $200,000 for projects and programs that support improvement in social determinants of health across the communities it serves.
Production of maple syrup in West Virginia totaled 13,000 gallons in 2022, unchanged from the previous year, according to the state’s Departmment of Agricuture. The number of taps, 77,000, and yield per tap, 0.169 gallon, were unchanged as well.
On average, the maple syrup season opened on Feb. 6 and closed on March 12, with the average season length coming in at 34 days. The first date of recorded sap collection was Jan. 10 and the last day was April 20.
The average price per gallon was $47.70 in 2021, up from $30.20 per gallon in 2020.