Pricing Your Product for Market Workshop

Pricing Your Product for Market Workshop



Submitted b: Brandy Brabham, WVU Extension Agent, 304-927-0975


Are you really charging enough for your cucumbers?   On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Mary Oldham, a recent farm business owner and agriculture business consultant with the Value Chain Cluster Initiative (VC2), will teach you how to determine a good price for your product using your breakeven price and developing an enterprise budget for any product you might produce.   Learn how to price your product based on your input cost and not short change all the work you have done at the “ Pricing Your Product for Market” Workshop.    This workshop will begin at 6:30 pm at the Roane County High School Vo-Ag Department in Spencer, W.Va. 


If you have raised livestock, developed or grown a product and intend to sell, or are selling your farm products, this is the workshop for you!  The workshop will provide an overview of what is involved in successfully developing a pricing strategy.  Topics will include; What is Profit?, How do you plan for profits?, What is my market willing to pay?, and  How do you set your price?.  Discuss will involve break-even pricing and cost plus pricing as well as some do’s and don’ts for pricing.


This is the third of a four-part training series called “Ready for Market” promoting a regional agricultural cooperative and sponsored by Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and WVU Extension Service.  This training is free and open to everyone regardless of affiliation with the regional agricultural cooperative known as Mid-Ohio Valley Edibles (MOVE). 

MOVE board members will be available to discuss the group’s latest efforts, accept new membership, and to answer questions about how to become involved.  For more information about MOVE, please contact Al Darmin at

Workshop participants will receive hand-outs that detail pricing strategies and other record keeping and cost analysis assistance as part of the benefits of attending this workshop.  Pre-registration is not required for admission, but it helps provide for adequate hand-outs and seating arrangements.  To pre-register for the workshop, please call the WVU-Roane County Extension Office at 304-927-0975 or email

Spencer City Pool Job Openings

The City of Spencer is accepting applications for the following positions at the Municipal Pool: Pool Manager, Assistant Manager, Life Guard for the 2014 pool season.

All applicants must be Red Cross certified, or enrolled in current class, 16 years of age or older, be able to work within a rotating schedule and available for the summer.

If you are a responsible person interesting in joining this exciting team of life saving experts stop by the City of Spencer Municipal Building and fill out an application, or call 927.1640 for more information.

The City of Spencer is an equal opportunity employer.

Building Permits Issued

The following building permits were recently issued by the Roane County 911 Center:

Kent McClung, 5189 Parkersburg Rd, Reedy, Porch Alterations

Ronald Huffman, 8189 Charleston Rd, Walton, Siding

Nannette Copen, 538 Peter Cave Rd, Spencer, Pond

Randall Jarvis, 510 W Main St, Spencer, Porch

Paul and Pam Schoolcraft, 565 Robertson Rdg, Elkview, Deck

Paul Mazon, 1009 Windyville Rd, Spencer, Garage, Porches, Roof

Johnny Dolan, 217 Sugar Camp Rd, Leroy, Privacy Fence

Tommy F. Goodwin, 752 Looney Frk Rd, Lefthand, Manufactured Home

Obituary: Charlotte Louise Osborne

Charlotte Louise Osborne, 56, of Left Hand, died Friday, April 18, 2014, in the CAMC – General Hospital, Charleston.

            She was born November 11, 1957, at Charleston, a daughter of Janet A. McGlothlin Paxton of Left Hand and the late John S. Paxton. In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by a sister, Lois Copen.

            Charlotte was a homemaker, mother and grandmother.

            In addition to her mother, survivors include two daughters, Misty Butcher of Belton, TX and Jasper Osborne at home; two sons, Richard Paxton of Stafford, VA and Shane Osborne of Charleston; five grandchildren, Sierra Butcher, Layne Paxton, Kylie Paxton, Lucas Paxton and Shane Osborne, Jr.; two sisters, Debbie Robinson of Walton and Sheila Nichols of Left Hand.

            There will be a gathering of family and friends Monday from 6-8 p.m. in the John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer. Burial will be at a later date in the Clover Cemetery, Clover.

            Donations may be made to the family of Charlotte Osborne, c/o John H. Taylor Funeral Home, P.O. Box 41, Spencer, WV 25276   

            Online condolences may be expressed at

Input Sought to Improve Shopping At Farmers Markets

Input Sought on Farmers Market Shopping from Low Income Citizens


Submitted by: Brandy Brabham, WVU-Roane Co. Extension Agent, 304-927-0975 or

West Virginia University Extension is looking for people who would like to talk about farmers markets on Monday, April 21, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Roane County Committee on Aging in Spencer, WVa. Extension educators are trying to find out why people do or do not go to farmers markets.  They are looking for ten to twelve people who are willing to participate is a two-hour discussion on why people do or do not go to farmers markets to shop.  This is part of a research project to help farmers and farmers markets get more customers and to make the farmers market better for everyone.

For participating, citizens from Roane County or citizens that shop mainly in Roane County will receive a $40.00 gift card and a $10.00 gas card as a token of appreciation.  Babysitting and food will be provided for participants.  Participation is limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis.  To be eligible to participate, you must be over the age of 18 and receive either SNAP, WIC or Senior voucher benefits.  Participants do not have to have shopped at a farmers market to be eligible to participate.  Individual participant names and individual comments will not be released to any individuals, government agencies, or other businesses.  Comments will be uses to develop research to improve participation at farmers markets in general.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the WVU-Roane County Extension Office at 304-927-0975 and speak with Travis Cullen or Brandy Brabham or email or


Decoding Home Rule

About the Home Rule program: an Interview by Michael Titus

I sat down with city Marketing Director, Jacob Fetty, to discuss the -- as far as I've heard -- misunderstood meaning of the program. 

Can you explain the program briefly? Give us a synopsis of what this Home Rule program is all about.

Sure. Home Rule is a program the State Legislature enacted that allows municipalities -- those who apply for, and are accepted -- to allow them to act basically like a State of their own. A mini-State. So, in our case, what we've done is identify issues in our community, how to address these issues, and make them work better. These are things that Section 8 of the State Code prohibits us doing right now. We can't do anything about speed limits, for example. State Code makes everything 25mph. We need a variance, so that we can make the speed limit 15mph in neighborhoods around parks, or other areas where the speed limit is now too high. 

If we get accepted into this Home Rule program, how will it affect the average citizen in Spencer? The shoppers and business owners?

It will be a nice step. It will be good for business owners because they'll see a reduction in their B/O (business and occupation) taxes. We don't have exact numbers yet, but we're a expecting a 15-20% reduction in those taxes. Any small business owner knows that tax comes straight out of their pockets, so there's the first savings. This reduction will also be a good incentive for people to come to Spencer and open up a new business, or for the businesses already here to stay open and save. 

The average shopper will only be affected a little, because what we've been evaluating is putting up to a penny sales tax on certain items. Items that are EXCLUDED from any such tax include: food, prescription and over-the-counter medications, rent, motor fuel, car sales. The tax would only include those items that people don't purchase on a regular basis, so it's not going to cause a broad effect on those things that can be taxed. 

What we are trying to do is make Spencer a better business environment, and also spread the responsibility of maintaining our infrastructure more evenly between business owners and consumers -- whether those consumers come from Spencer, Roane County, or elsewhere. Hopefully, this will generate some extra funds that will help us make improvements in infrastructure. 

What sort of infrastructure are we talking about?

Reinvesting in our parks and playgrounds (building a long sought after ball field complex), repaving streets -- and paving more streets more often, building new sidewalks. Also, we're going to end up with the National Guard Armory building in a few months. We're going to need to put some money into that, so it's more of a community asset. 

Are there certain things that this Home Rule revenue cannot be used for?

I don't know all the laws about that. But here's the thing: in our application, we have to identify what the money will be used for. When we are audited, we are accountable for what we said we'd use it for. As I mentioned, one case we've identified is building a new ball field for quality of life and economic development purposes. We've also identified removal of blighted, or fire-prone structures, paving more streets more often, building and maintaining sidewalks, and getting the Armory back into tip-top shape so we can use it as another community asset. That's what we're applying for, and that's what we'll be held accountable for. 

I can't not bring this up, so let's talk about the proposed tax. 

Nobody likes the word 'tax.' But it's really important to ask, especially now: Do you want nice things in your community? Do we want nice ball fields for our kids? Do we want paved streets? Do we want to keep the lights on? Do we want Spencer to be a great place to do business in? If the answer is 'yes' then this is a very strong option for us. 

And keep in mind, we're a long way from implementing this tax. We still have a lot of hoops to jump through. The first thing is to get accepted into the Home Rule program. We've got a 50-50 chance. The State is going to take 16 new municipalities, and it looks like 30 will apply. I think we have a good shot at it. We have a good application, we have the need, and we're always looking for creative ways to meet those needs -- ways that aren't burdensome to our citizens. Keep in mind that the four cities that are currently in the program all have a sales tax implemented and it is working wonderfully for them. From what we hear, most of the applying new municipalities are aiming to implement a sales tax as well.

Let's think of it this way. If you go out and spend a thousand dollars per year on the things that are taxable, you're going to be kicking in ten dollars. Every little bit counts -- it absolutely does, for all of us, but would you pay ten dollars a year for a state-of-the-art baseball/softball facility? Or for the removal of dilapidated buildings, so you don't have to live next, or near, to them, with your own property value declining?

It's obvious now that State and Federal funds are drying up. It's not like ten years ago, when Spencer might have been able to get maybe a million dollars in grants. 

That's true. I've been here nearly five years now, and here's just one example: our pedestrian trails used to come under four different programs. Now it comes under just one, and that one has been cut drastically. The Federal dollars are not there. The State dollars are not there. Things are moving toward low-interest loans and matching-funds grant systems, and you still have to find that Match money somewhere. 

West Virginians, in general, have lots of resolve and like to be self-sufficient. The Home Rule program is a good avenue for us to establish a greater self-sufficient environment, and get ahead of the curve. If we wait too much longer, it’s just going to get more competitive, and thus harder for us to get into this program. Then we’ll have a huge gap in protecting and growing our infrastructure, and be further behind. 

Can you elaborate on that? The ‘gap’ you mentioned?

Yes. Let’s take a look at how this works. The time-line. Let’s say our application gets accepted. That means we’ll be included in the program on January 1st of 2015. But even then nothing can be done until we have more public input -- more public hearings and meetings to get ordinances passed and into our city code books. That’s going to take a few months. After that, a few more months of tax collection. After that, the funds get redistributed from the Tax Department into special accounts. We may never have a 1% sales tax. That’s just the highest the law allows. We may only have 1/2%. 

Nothing happens overnight. The best-case scenario is that Home Rule is established a couple years down the line. That’s why we want to get started on it now. If we don’t, it never happens, and we get left behind. 

Is Home Rule the wave of the future in West Virginia?

The State Auditor is advising so, and would like to see all State municipalities involved. This is still a pilot program. It lasts until 2019, at which time the State Legislature could do away with Home Rule altogether, or keep it the same, or open the program up for the other municipalities. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. We need to get in and achieve our goals while we can, in case the program is canceled. We need to keep Spencer thriving, looking beautiful, keep it safe, and increase the quality of life and commerce. That’s the real goal. 

City to Auction Items

At 10:00 am on Monday the 28th of April, 2014 the City of Spencer will offer for sale to the highest bidder the following items.  Sale will be held at the National Guard Armory.

Items will be available for inspection two hours prior to sale. 

  • 1983 Ford F-600 Dump Truck
  • 2001 Dodge Durango
  • 1987 Chevrolet Pickup
  • 1997 Ford Ranger
  • 1997 International Bucket truck
  •  2003 Ford F250 -4 door
  •  Le Roi Air Compressor 185
  •  LeRoi walk behind concrete saw
  •  Chevrolet truck bed
  •  Ice Machine
  •  Lewis 200 Amp Welder (3 phase)
  •  Various mowers, weed-eaters, chainsaws, drills, dollies, gas stoves, grills, water tank, battery charger, window air conditioners and items too numerous to mention.

Obituary: Christian Dawn Starcher

Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt was born February 29, 1984, and found December 16, 2009.  A funeral service  will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 12, 2014, in the John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer. 

Burial will be in the Tawney Cemetery, Newton, WV. 

Friends may call at the funeral home one hour before the service.

Online condolences may be expressed at

City Wide Clean Up Scheduled



                           CITY-WIDE CLEAN-UP DAY


Saturday, April 26th,  crews will start at 5:00am and finish at 9:00am in all sections of town.  The city will not pick up more than a level pickup truck bed. If you have more than a level pickup truck bed you need to call 927-1640 to make other arrangements. residents and property owners with no monthly trash service will not be eligible.

all non-bulk items need to be in boxes or bags. items not in containers may not be picked-up.


The following items will not be picked up because of landfill regulations:

shingles, tires, batteries, paint, oil, air conditioners, electronics and hazardous materials.

If you are currently on trash service you may call 1-800-834-5019 for 2 bulk items picked up per month with no additional cost to your bill.


***tree trimmings will be picked up on Monday April 28th.  please have all items at the curb the night before.  please keep your tree trimmings to no more than (1) level pickup load.***

Pet of the Week.

Hi there my name is Sweetie and I am a 2 year old Spaniel/Beagle mix who was found wandering as a stray. I was brought into the shelter in hopes that someone who might have lost me would see this post and we could be reunited! If no one claims me I will be available for adoption on April 8th. Please if you can find it in your heart to help a poor lonely lost girl like me I would be your best friend forever!! For more information please call Roane Shelter at (304) 927-2555 or visit the shelter in Spencer, WV.


Hi there I am a 6 month old FEMALE boxer mix who was found and brought into the Roane Shelter. I am really hoping that my owners will find me. If no one comes to claim me as their own I will be available for adoption on April 5th. Please consider giving a very loving lonely boxer a new home if I can't find my current family. Call (304) 927-2555 or visit me at the shelter in Spencer, WV.