- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Twelve agriculture projects in West Virginia will receive federal specialty crop block grants.

State agricultural officials say in a news release that the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $230,000 in grants for projects aimed at enhancing the competiveness of specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, maple syrup and Christmas trees, among others.

Among the state projects receiving funding are shiitake mushroom production in Wayne County schools, and a joint program between West Virginia University and the state to identify areas through mapping technology for the potential increase of maple syrup production.

Another grant will be used to increase the cultivation and sale of carrot varieties in West Virginia. The Cross Lanes-based Capitol Conservation District will help market the carrots.

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