vintagehoneyBy Amber Bass

$186,000 in federal grants has been awarded to 16 projects supporting specialty crops. Fayette, Jackson, Kanawha, Mineral, Monongalia, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane and Upshur counties are named to for funding. Honey, vegetables, fruits, maple syrup and Christmas trees are some of the recipients of funds to help make them more competitive within the market. “These investments will strengthen rural American communities by supporting local and regional markets and improving access to fresh, high quality fruits and vegetables for millions of Americans,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an agency statement. “These grants also help growers make food safety enhancements, solve research needs, and make better informed decisions to increase profitability and sustainability.”