WVU Extension Agent –
Agriculture & Natural Resources, Mineral County
Through West Virginia University Extension Service, Stacey Huffman, WVU Extension Mineral County agent helps to improve her community through youth programs, town gardening projects and agribusiness education.
A 4-H All Star and avid member of the Cattleman’s Association, she pairs her education with a passion for agriculture and agribusiness to guide members of the community, and to help farmers make a big impact.
She collaborates with community members of all ages and utilizes WVU Extension Service programs to educate, inform and guide a population that spans Mineral County, and sometimes beyond. While she encourages new growers in the area, Huffman helps established agribusinesses grow by assisting residents to make smart farming, marketing and business decisions.
“I have always been involved with work in agriculture. Now, through WVU Extension 4-H programs, I can use my passion to encourage youths to take part and become involved with agriculture in their communities.”
“It may seem like a small lesson that a tomato came from 20 miles down the road, but looking at the big picture of farming and locally sourced foods, it has a significant impact on youths’ perspective of where their food comes from.”
Huffman explained that when working with communities and creating a positive impact, she concentrates on youth involvement when planning events and workshops.
“If you make it a family event by focusing on the youth, everybody will show up and support them, from brothers and sisters, to parents and grandparents. Each member of the family can learn something new, even grandma.”
Through WVU Extension Service programs like Annie’s Project, Huffman helps women across Mineral County take active roles in farming. She co-authored the grant for the program and helped develop the curriculum for the first session. She is eager to help women succeed in agriculture, and with Annie’s Project, she teaches new skills and advances women’s involvement in farming.
“When you think of a farmer, a woman isn’t typically the person that comes to mind. Traditionally, women were responsible for taxes and record keeping,” Huffman explained.
“Through our program, women are equipped with the skills and knowledge to create and maintain sustainable farms.”
Huffman has coproduced the statewide WVU Extension Service pesticide recertification video for the last three years. Projects like this support gardening seminars and demonstrations that assist people throughout the state with the management of garden pests, and proper handling and application of fertilizer.
Although farming is a large part of Huffman’s efforts, she also devotes a considerable amount of time to the Master Gardeners program. From town beautification projects to educational, youth-grown gardens, Master Gardeners helps build strong relationships through teamwork and community engagement.
“Master Gardeners plays a key, outreach role in the community, drawing on participants from all age groups to take an active part in their community,” says Huffman.
Huffman explained that giving expert advice and support to her community is not a one-way streak.
“These folks have opened their arms to support me, like I support them. It’s a great example of the power of the people in communities where we work,” she remarked.
Her previous employment includes a graduate research assistant position at WVU Extension Service in Morgantown.
Huffman earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in agriculture, forestry and consumer sciences from West Virginia University.
She has participated in a number of local, regional and national presentations on topics that include: Beef Quality Assurance, livestock workshops, livestock judging, farmers markets, youth farm safety and more.
To contact Huffman, call 304-788-3621 or e-mail Stacey.Huffman@mail.wvu.edu.