When most people think of Southern West Virginia, tilapia and salad greens usually don’t come to mind, but one Mingo County town could soon become a hub for vegetable and freshwater fish production if things go according to plan.
The Mingo County Development Authority and Refresh Appalachia, an organization seeking to expand food production and agricultural jobs in the Mountain State, are in the process of developing an aquaponics operation — that combines fish farming and agricultural production — near Kermit.
On Thursday, the fledgling project was one of four West Virginia initiatives to receive funding from the federal government under a new pilot program that seeks to transform abandoned mine land into economic opportunities.
The new multi-million dollar program, which will distribute $90 million through the Office of Surface Mining to West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, is just the latest federal cash infusion for coalfield communities in the Mountain State.
In the past year, infrastructure, workforce training and economic development projects throughout Southern West Virginia received millions more from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission, under President Barack Obama’s POWER initiative…
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