Let me introduce you to Alex Massey. Alex is 17 years old and operats his own farming business. He is a first year market gardener participant with Grow Appalachia and his goal in participating is to learn more about marketing his products and about organic production methods.
Alex is also a member and officer in his local FFA Chapter. His green beans and Boer goat enterprises are “growing” but he needed to create a good marketing plan to expand his business. Working with his Grow Appalachia Coordinator he developed a plan to produce an additional 1/4 acre of green beans. He will be marketing about 75% of the product to the local school system through the Farm to School program. Greenbrier County WV nutrition coordinator Jenny Curry and his GA Coordinator worked with Alex to come up with a plan. Alex will notify Jenny 10 days prior to a harvest and she will put together a team of culinary students from the high school, who will process and freeze the beans. This will allow the fresh produce to be used throughout the school year.
In addition Alex worked with a local designer to create a logo, banners and business cards for his family farm which he will use as part of his new farmers market stand. He has joined two community markets and will sell at one on Saturdays and the other on Wednesdays.
To accomplish this plan Alex learned about succession planting to ensure he will have produce available throughout the season. Since his family farm already has much of the garden tools Alex chose to use his equipment funds available through Grow Appalachia to purchase electric fencing so that he can harvest the beans instead of the multitude of local deer.
It’s wonderdul to see youth who are interested in creating a present and future in the agriculture industry. Alex plans on attending college following his upcoming senior year. He would like to major in Agricultural and hopes to pursue a future in production research.
We are so proud to be working with such an enthusiastic young farmer.