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Farmers wanted for infrastructure survey

By Ryan Cornell

The Virginia Cooperative Extension and Valley Conservation Council are asking for input from Shenandoah Valley farmers for a food system infrastructure needs assessment.

Ben Craig, program manager at the Valley Conservation Council, said results from the assessment will be used to gauge what local food system infrastructure is needed to grow the region's farm economy.

He said infrastructure includes shared-use kitchens, food processing, food packaging and equipment storage resources and facilities.

"How the farmer can get his products into whatever the end user would like those products to be in," Craig said. "So the results are going to help further guide planning and hopefully get some investment in the food planning resources."

Shenandoah Valley growers and producers can participate in the assessment by visiting http://tinyurl.com/p2mhyn2. The deadline to complete the survey is April 25.

Survey participants will be entered into a drawing for up to five $100 prepaid Visa gift cards.

For more information or to fill out a paper survey, Craig said farmers can contact Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialist Eric Bendfeldt at 540-432-6049, ext. 106.

The assessment is part of a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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