Additional Resources

These additional resources may serve as case studies or models to help scale up locally-grown Virginia food and farm products to meet demand and improve access.

Community Food Enterprises

National Good Food Network – The National Good Food Network of the Wallace Center at Winrock International brings together producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors, funders and organizations from all parts of the emerging good food system to create a community dedicated to scaling up good food sourcing and access. For more information

Cooperatives, Alliances, and Aggregation Models 

Appalachian Sustainable Development  – The mission of this non-profit organization is to develop economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just opportunities for Appalachian Virginia and Tennessee farmers, forest land owners, food and forest product producers, and communities, while increasing access to locally produced food and forest products, and sustainable development information and tools, to improve the lives of people living in the region and beyond. –

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project in Asheville, N.C. – The Project’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. –

Firsthand Farmers Cooperative consists of five farms in Albemarle, Nelson, and Rockbridge counties that provide members with locally produced food through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model –

Good Natured Family Farms is an alliance of more than 100 family farms in the Kansas City area with some farms that are 3rd or 4th generation who raise their animals humanely and care for the earth in a sustainable fashion. –

Local Food Hub – is a nonprofit organization based in Charlottesville that working to strengthen and secure the future of a healthy regional food supply by providing small farmers with practical services that support their economic vitality and promote stewardship of the land. –

Lynchburg Grows –  is an urban farm operated as a not-for-profit organization that takes a hands-in-the-dirt approach to teaching others how sustainable food production promotes a healthy planet. –

Pilot Mountain Pride – was created for the purpose of being an aggregation center for small to medium size farms, giving them access that they would not have otherwise to retail, service and institutional markets in the greater Winston-Salem area of NorthCarolina. –

Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative – is committed to providing their customers with beef that is: locally raised; environmentally friendly; humanely produced; fresh and delicious. They strive to do what is best for their customers, their cattle, and their  families to maintain the integrity and sustainability of their farms. –

Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction – was formed in 2005 by a group of local producers who realized there was a need for area growers and buyers to be able to gather and do business at a central location. Produce auctions had already met with tremendous success  among the Amish and Mennonite Communities in other states, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. –

Faith-Based Initiatives and Examples

Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Healthy Farms, Family Farms Initiative – purchases organic produce at a discounted price from ASD’s Appalachian Harvest farmers. The food is then distributed by Feeding America in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee (formerly Second Harvest Food Bank) to many community food pantries. It also provides a win-win-win situation for the farmers, the community and the area food bank. –

Come to the Table – project works with people of faith to relieve hunger and sustain local agriculture. The projects’ leaders include farmers, farm workers, food pantry directors, community gardeners, ministers, public employees and lay leaders. –

Lulus Local Food‘s Pounds of Plenty Program – allows producers and consumers contribute to the relief and hunger needs within communities of the greater Richmond area. –

Society of St. Andrew is an ecumenical, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to Christian community and service. The Society of St. Andrew has salvaged fresh, nutritious produce from American farms – produce that otherwise would be left to rot – and delivered it to agencies across the nation that serve the poor. In 2011, the Society and its volunteers gleaned 15.5 million pounds of food and deliver over 80 million servings. –

Virginia Interfaith Center – is addressing the issue of childhood obesity by organizing the faith community, coalition partners, community leaders and allies to not only raise awareness about childhood obesity, but also healthy living and what that can look like in our communities. –

Farmers Markets

Farmers Market Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets across the United States so that they can serve as community assets while providing real income opportunities for farmers.–


Farm to School – is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. –

Virginia Farm to School – The Virginia Farm to School program is an effort to increase the amount of fresh and nutritious Virginia Grown products offered in schools and to promote opportunities for schools and local farmers to work together. –

Real Food Challenge– The Real Food Challenge leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system. Their primary campaign is to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources by 2020. –

The Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy – helps educational, health care and other institutional and commercial food buyers develop purchasing policies that support social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry.

Food Safety

“Management of Food Safety Risks: Canning and Preserving,” video of presentation by Assistant Professor Renee Boyer, Virginia Tech –

“Cooking Demonstrations: Providing the Perfect Ingredient to Season Your Farmers Market,” Kansas Rural Center, Sustainable Agriculture Management Guides, Publication No. MB10B.1 –

Grants and Financial Assistance

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grants – fund research and education projects exploring innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life, such as on-farm renewable energy, pest and weed management, pastured livestock & rotational grazing, no-till and conservation tillage, nutrient management, agroforestry, marketing, sustainable communities, systems research, crop and livestock diversity,and more  –

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program – is targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. –

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Community Food Project – Community Food Projects should be designed to (1): (a) meet the food needs of low-income people; (b) increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and (c) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and/or (2) meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for (a) infrastructure improvement and development; (b) planning for long-term solutions; or (c) the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers. –

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – The natural resources conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty. For technical assistance and additional information about cost-share program visit your local USDA Service Center. –

USDA Rural Development –  Rural Development’s financial programs support such essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks , credit unions and community-managed lending pools. The Department offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations. We provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs. –

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Grant Program –  The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) amended the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 and authorized the USDA to provide grants to States for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. –

Virginia Foundation for Agriculture Innovation and Rural Sustainability – The Foundation’s mission is to assist rural Virginians in developing and advancing their agricultural, economic, and social interests to enhance their quality of life. –

Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission – The Commission’s mission is to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement.-

Extending the Growing Season

SARE Season Extension Topic Room– This is a collection of materials on season extension that were produced to communicate SARE grant results. SARE’s mission is to advance – to the whole of American agriculture – innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. –

“The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses,” by Eliot Coleman, Four Season Farm, Harborside, Maine.

Food Policy and Security

Community Food Security Coalition – The Coalition’s mission is to catalyze food systems that are healthy, sustainable, just, and democratic by building community voice and capacity for change. –

Farmers Market Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets across the United States so that they can serve as community assets while providing real income opportunities for farmers.–

Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic was established in 2010 in order to link Harvard Law students with opportunities to provide pro bono legal assistance to individuals and communities on various food policy issues. The Clinic aims to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and assist small farmers and producers in participating in local food markets. The Clinic recently published a toolkit to assist state food policy councils and groups.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. –

Virginia Food System Council – The Council works to advance a nutrient-rich and safe food system for Virginians at all income levels, with an emphasis on access to local food, successful linkages between food producers and consumers, and a healthy viable future for Virginia’s farmers and farmland. –

Woodbury County, Iowa Department of Rural Economic Development’s, Local Foods Purchasing Policy – The Policy mandates that Woodbury County purchase locally raised food when available for its jails.  The idea is to provide a market for local wholesale food producers.  It is the hope of Woodbury County that restaurants and institutions will follow suit in the purchase of local products. –

Scaling Up the Local Food System

Agriculture of the Middle Initiative – This national initiative seeks to renew what is being called the “agriculture-of-the-middle.” This term refers to a disappearing sector of mid-scale farms/ranches and related agrifood enterprises that are unable to successfully market bulk commodities or sell food directly to consumers. –

Michigan Food and Farming Systems – A statewide, non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve Michigan’s economy, environment and the social well-being of our communities by promoting family farms, local food and sustainable agriculture. –

University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems – The goal of the Center is to learn how particular integrated farming systems can contribute to environmental, economic, social, and intergenerational sustainability. The Center’s research has shown that farmers can cut costs, increase profits, and improve their quality of life while enhancing the environment. –

Sites for Listing Farms and Food Enterprises

Buy Fresh, Buy Local Virginia – The website is hosted by the Piedmont Environmental Council. Buy Fresh Buy Local helps consumers find local Virginia products while building relationships between growers, food artisans, farmers’ markets retailers, restaurants, and institutions. –

Farm Foody – is a social networking site connecting people to farms and gardens. –

Local Dirt – Local Dirt is a national website for listing, selling, and buying local.  –

Local Harvest – The Local Harvest website is designed to hep consumers  find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. –

Real Time Farms – Real Time Farms allows you to see your food, learn how it was grown and visualize the journey it took to reach your table so you know where your food came from! –

Rural Bounty – The website serves the U.S. and Canada with listings on ways to discover the rich bounty of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, outdoor activities, and family fun that rural countrysides have to offer! –

Virginia Grown – The Virginia Grown program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is a marketing tool promoting fresh, local products to consumers and has a proven tract record for increasing visibility, developing additional media attention and enhancing marketing opportunities for Virginia Grown products. –

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