Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local works to connect consumers in the Shenandoah Valley to the freshest, most delicious locally grown and produced foods available. We also work to find new markets for local producers through a variety of market channels, including farmers markets, CSAs, restaurants, retailers, and institutions. The overarching goal for our chapter is to give greater visibility to local farming operations and to make it possible for residents and businesses in the Shenandoah Valley to buy more locally grown food.
Our program includes the following initiatives:
- Publishing an annual directory of local foods and farms in the Shenandoah Valley.
- Providing marketing materials and assistance to our chapter partners.
- Participating in events throughout the valley to support and promote our chapter partners and chapter objectives.
- Hosting producer education and networking events in conjunction with agents in other VCE program areas in order to share VCE’s wealth of science-based resources with producers.
- Sharing about the economic, social and environmental benefits of readily accessible local foods with groups throughout the region.
In 2007, Virginia Cooperative Extension worked closely with local farmers, organizations, and partners to launch the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter. The chapter was founded in order to support the following objectives:
- Strengthen the local food and farm economy in the Shenandoah Valley region,
- Connect institutional food buyers to nearby farms and processors,
- Foster a growing relationship among consumers, grocers, meat processors, restaurant owners, dining service staff, farmers, local government, and economic development officials, and
- Help local independent food and farm businesses better communicate their positive impacts on the local economy.
Initial funding for starting the chapter was provided by the Shenandoah Resource Conservation & Development Council. The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Healthy Community Council, Harrisonburg Farmers Market, Friendly City Food Co-op, Rockbridge Grown, Valley Conservation Council, Washington and Lee University, and the Shenandoah Valley Food and Farm Network (SVFFN) and its members are other foundational community partners and key to the chapter’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand the chapter’s outreach and impact.
Virginia Cooperative Extension continues to serve as the coordinator for the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter. Coordination of the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter is one component of a larger initiative by Virginia Cooperative Extension and partners: the Shenandoah Valley Farm-To-Table Project.
About Buy Fresh Buy Local in Virginia
Virginia is fortunate to have several Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters throughout the state. Visit Buy Local Virginia website to learn more about individual chapters or search for a specific farm or product.
About the Nationwide Network of Buy Fresh Buy Local
Buy Fresh Buy Local includes local and regional chapters working within the community at the state and local levels to involve more consumers in the revitalization of our local food systems.
While Virginia Cooperative Extension serves as the local coordinator for the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter, FoodRoutes Network serves as the national coordinator for all Buy Fresh Buy Local programs across the country.
Buy Fresh Buy Local logos and labels are registered trademarks of FoodRoutes Network. Use of these trademarks is one benefit of becoming a partner of the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter.
About Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Cooperative Extension aims to improve the lives and well-being of people and communities in the state of Virginia by offering education programs in agriculture, farm management, parenting, personal finance, home management, and gardening.
The mission of Virginia Cooperative Extension is to improve and strengthen the overall quality of life in Virginia by helping people and communities put scientific knowledge to work through learning experiences that improve economic, environmental, and social well-being. Extension educators and personnel take the knowledge and expertise gained through research and put it into the hands of those who need it most— individuals, families, farmers, local businesses, communities, institutions, and government entities. We accomplish this mission through the dedicated educational programming efforts of faculty and staff from our two land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, working together with our local, regional, and statewide partners.
Learn more about the history and mission of VCE in this short video:
“Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital, family or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.”
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive services or other accommodations to participate in an activity hosted by Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local, please contact Eric Bendfeldt via 540-232-6006 between business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) to discuss accommodations five days prior to the events.