Texas AgriLife is working to make strawberries more available to Texas consumers and have announced two projects that could help reach that goal.

A $92, 267 grant from the Walmart Foundation will help make Texas grown strawberries could become as common as locally grown tomatoes, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable expert Russ Wallace of Lubbock.

Wallace heads the Texas Strawberry Team tasked with making strawberries a mainstream Texas produced treat instead of a scarcity of locally grown strawberries.

Also announced this week is release of the new “Production Guide for Texas-Grown Strawberries” a complete guide for either beginning or experienced grower.

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The 41-page guide is the first official publication from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on strawberries since the 1970s, said Wallace He and Dr. Juan Anciso, AgriLife Extension horticulturist at Weslaco, were co-editors on this publication, which includes efforts from at least 14 specialists and researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife and Prairie View A&M University collaborated in writing.

The two announcements show a commitment to making strawberries an integral part of the Texas fruit and vegetable production industry.

“We received notification on May 18 that our project entitled ‘Increasing Grower Market Potential and Consumer Preference for Locally Grown Strawberries through Strategic Extension Programming in Texas’ was among six grants awarded during Phase II of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative,” Wallace said. “The initiative is funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by the University of Arkansas Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability.