Manchin announces agricultural funding for ‘small business incubator,’ DOJ funding for records conversion

By Matthew Young, RealWV

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia – a serving-member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – this week announced two significant financial investments that will bring nearly $2.4 million of additional funding into the Mountain State. 

His first announcement came on Tuesday, when Manchin explained that the Small Business Administration (SBA) will soon provide Shepherd University’s Agricultural Innovation Center $1.422 million for the creation of a “small business incubator.” Once established, this incubator will be “focused on small-scale agricultural enterprises.”

In a statement released by his office on Tuesday, Manchin said, “This funding will equip students with the resources to establish farm businesses, advance sustainable agriculture in the Mountain State, and expand families’ access to quality agricultural products.”

The services offered to “beginning farmers” through Shepherd University’s forthcoming “small business incubator” are to include specialized training in crop-production techniques, equipment access, developmental-assistance regarding business strategies, and low-cost land-leasing. 

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for investments to ensure West Virginia small businesses are equipped with the tools needed to thrive,” Manchin’s statement adds.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin in September, 2022. Photo by Matthew Young, RealWV.

On Wednesday, Manchin announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will be allocating $977,733 from their Office of Justice Programs, to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. 

The funding, which comes as a part of 2022’s “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” will be used to upgrade and improve data accessibility, and to “facilitate the conversion of mental health and juvenile justice files to electronic records.”

“The funding announced today will help purchase new network servers and switches to ensure the court’s data is available to the national record systems, as well as convert paper mental health and juvenile justice files to electronic records,” Manchin said, at the time of the announcement.

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