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Farm resh, Locally-Grown Vegetables

Wiregrass Farmer's Coop Tour

By Janie Howell, District Administrative Coordinator, Geneva County Soil and Water Conservation District, Geneva, AL

Youth working in garden
Youth from across Southeast Alabama get hands-on experience in vegetable production.


Representative Warren Beck, 87th District from Geneva, visited the Wiregrass Farmers Coop Garden for a tour in  June 2009. Youth from across Southeast Alabama met to pull weeds, harvest vegetables and to participate in a Youth Field Day. Twenty-seven youth and nineteen adults were on hand to help with gathering the vegetables and presenting programs. The NRCS Geneva Field Office and Soil & Water Conservation District work closely with the Wiregrass Farmers Coop to develop programs and learning opportunities for Geneva and surrounding counties. Mr. Beck helped with pulling weeds, assisted with an automated pea-sheller demonstration, and observed harvesting vegetables for sale in the garden.

Speakers for the Youth Day were James Currington, NRCS DC, Geneva; Janie Howell, SWCD DAC, Geneva; and Melissa Baxley, Demonstrator. Programs included recordkeeping, purpose of cover crops, safety, and “A Vision for the Wiregrass Farmers Cooperative.”

Dr. Samuel and Marcia Scott, from the North South Institute, located in Davies, FL, were present to give programs on producing vegetables and marketing strategies. Dr. Scott encouraged youth to explore careers in agriculture. There are many rewarding careers in agriculture that we do not often consider.

Marcia Scott brought ingredients and gave fun programs on making homemade butter and ice cream. All the youth worked in teams and made their own butter and ice cream. Everyone then got to sample the products they made.

The Scotts also brought Samae Scott and Miguel Haye to assist with their presentations. The North South Institute annually presents classes and programs to farmers in Geneva County and across Southeast Alabama.

The youth are in the process of electing their own officers and forming committees to develop youth programs within the Wiregrass Farmers Coop.

If you or any youth you know are interested in becoming part of the Wiregrass Farmers Coop, please call 334-684-9836 or 334-684-6703.

There are always lots of activities and events going on at the Coop. Come join and be a part of the Wiregrass Farmers Coop.