The Community Agriculture Development Center (CADC) recently learned that our organization has been selected to receive a Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) grant focused on improving infrastructure for fruit, vegetable, and berry processing in our area. This Specialty Crop Block Grant will be used to perform a feasibility study to define the specifics of a facility for use by local farmers and growers to produce value-added food products (for example, pickled green beans and frozen berries in bags).
According to CADC president Jim Noetzelman, “This feasibility study will provide the crucial information we need to plan a produce processing facility appropriate for our area.” The study will focus on two commercial food processing technologies: Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) and pressure canning in jars. Local farmers and growers will be encouraged to participate in the study, as will local grocery stores, food banks, farmers markets, restaurants, institutions (such as schools and hospitals), and individual citizens.
Stevens County is very fortunate to have been selected to receive this grant, as the selection process is very competitive. For more information, contact Debra Hansen at the WSU Stevens County Extension at 509-684-2588 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.