VALLEY OF SHENANGO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

SERVING THE SHENANGO VALLEY, LAWRENCE COUNTY, GREENVILLE / NORTHERN MERCER COUNTY, AND GROVE CITY

AMOUNT DONATED: $13,378

The VSEDC promotes new business development in downtown Sharon. Our new Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurial Innovation Center (UAEIC) seeks to play an important role in the revitalization of Northwestern Pennsylvania's local food economy and generate jobs/future careers in the Shenango Valley. The UAEIC will provide a state-of-the-art Aquaponics facility, a food test lab, and an open market to the public. We want to prove the Shenango Valley can grow from the decline in industrial jobs and shift to the agriculture business.

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Giving Week Progress:

FUNDRAISING GOAL: $25,000

  Programs Supported by Your Donations  

Our Aquaponics facility will provide the community with fresh vegetables and a sustainable food source for years to come. Aquaponics is a type of indoor farming that can be used year-round. Fish provide the natural fertilizer to feed the plants and the plants help to purify the water for fish. We can grow most leafy crops that are free of pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics.

The open market will be a place for community members to buy fresh local produce from the aquaponics facility. It will permit public sales and interaction with local agriculture entrepreneurs. Sharon is considered an urban food desert and an open market will help change our community culture towards a healthier more sustainable lifestyle.

With a food test lab in downtown Sharon, it allows entrepreneurs to validate their new product for business start-up. Penn State Shenango will have training classes for anyone interested in participating in the food test lab.

We want to replicate a working model in Westmoreland County that has a similar food hub including Aquaponics.

  Needs that Cannot beMet without Your Help  

This past year postponed our equipment delivery and construction from the federal grant we received to start the UAEIC delaying the overall completion date. Using Zoom, we were able to hold bi-weekly meetings with our partners Penn State Shenango, Penn Northwest, and multiple small business development centers to communicate how we will move forward out of the pandemic.

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