Romaine Lettuce/Refrigerated Box Truck – Grant Award: $6,000
“The grant has made what I’m doing possible. It opened up new marketing possibilities for all of us Haywood farmers by enhancing food safety and shelf life.” ~ Skipper Russell
Skipper has farmed ten acres of tobacco since 1977, along with a variety of vegetables. He has searched for alternative crops to replace tobacco since 2005, and is looking forward to working with other farmers to share his knowledge of new markets. Skipper participated in an on-farm trial of romaine lettuce in 2008 and found high market possibilities.
With the WNC AgOptions award, he will purchase a refrigerated box truck to hold the quickly wilting lettuce immediately after harvest to preserve shelf life. He will deliver the lettuce to vendors on the same truck to further prevent heat damage as crops are passed between trucks. The box truck will assist Skipper in receiving Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) certification.