By Ammie Ruddle
Potomac Highlands Ag Innovation Showcase was hosted Oct. 14 and 15 by Eastern Ag Innovation at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield.
The two-day event showcased agriculture careers and vendors for area students and the general public and featured displays, information from federal and state government agencies, agriculture-related vendors and employers and various departments at Eastern.
Friday began with student activities that included an agricultural career fair, a vendor demonstration area, and tours of the college.
In addition, there was an agricultural technology and innovation student challenge competition, which was won by a team from Mineral County.
Norman Bailey, chief of staff of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, stated in a news release that he was encouraged to see so many young people interested in agricultural endeavors.
One of the main attractions on Saturday was a demonstration of the Te Pari Racewell sheep-handling system by Scott Bowdridge, Ph.D., assistant professor of food animal production at West Virginia University. Sheep were supplied from the farm of Brad and Alexandria Smith.
Multiple vendors participated in the two-day event including: Pilgrim’s, Eastern Career Services, Merck Animal Health, West Virginia’s Jumpstart Savings Program, Farm Credit Knowledge Center, Eastern Workforce Education Department, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, James River Equipment, Weese Farm – Veggies & Blooms, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Eastern Makerspace, and WVU Extension and Animal Science Department’s Te Pari Sheep Handling System.
In addition to the vendors, food was also available from Meadowbrook Farms BBQ of Maysville.
“The Ag Innovation Showcase provided a great opportunity to share available resources, innovative equipment, and technologies to benefit agriculture operations,” Megan Webb, Ph.D., dean of advancement and continuing education at Eastern, stated in the news release. “We look forward to offering this public event and celebration of agriculture in conjunction with our Youth Ag Innovation Showcase and the Potomac Highlands Ag Technology and Innovation Student Challenge next year.”
Eastern Ag Innovation is part of Eastern’s Workforce Education Department, and provides a range of agricultural workforce development, education, and training opportunities in the Potomac Highlands.