VIDOA Seeking Recruits for Farming Program

The V.I. Department of Agriculture (VIDOA) – Marketing Services Division is seeking to recruit a total of 60 farmers, 30 in each district, to participate in a farming program, which will provide selected applicants with technical assistance and training on best planting practices, crop variety selection, irrigation and post-harvest-techniques.

DOA has secured federal funding from the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant to establish a sustainable Grower’s Collaboration Program. The program will operate in conjunction with the Harvest of the Month/Farm to School initiative in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the VIDOA.

The selected farmers will work together to grow fruits or vegetables that will be presented on the school lunch menu as the Harvest of the Month. The Virgin Islands Farm to School initiative will facilitate and promote the sale of these crops to both school districts, individual schools and other school feeding initiatives under the Department of Education.

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Selected applicants must possess the following:

· Adequate water supply

· Farmer’s License

· Health Card

· Land (must be owned outright; leased or notarized written permission from land owner must be granted)

All individuals interested in participating in this program can submit their application in person, fax: 778-7977 or e-mail: [email protected] by Jan. 20.

Applications can be obtained from the following locations:

§ St. Croix – Department of Agriculture, Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agriculture Complex.

§ St. Thomas – Department of Agriculture, Estate Dorothea

§ St. John – Administrator’s Office, Cruz Bay or Department of Agriculture, Coral Bay

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