Shepherd University has entered into a $600,000, five-year cost-sharing agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide opportunities for veterans to become agricultural entrepreneurs throughout West Virginia. The funding will be used to develop conservation systems on the university-owned, 154-acre Tabler farm and assist with the development of a new program aimed at training veteran and civilian students to be farmers. The funding will help cover the cost of installing seasonal high tunnel greenhouses that will extend the growing season, purchasing equipment such as tillers and other implements, and setting up water and electricity. It will also help pay for public outreach and cover the salary for Haroun Hallack, a local organic farmer who will serve as part-time farm manager instructing and overseeing student projects. Shepherd's Institute of Environmental and Physical Sciences is partnering with the College of Business to offer both production and business classes. The production component will focus on the practical aspects of small-scale farming. The business component will cover topics such as marketing, accounting, and developing business plans. Shepherd plans to offer the first courses associated with this program this summer.
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