RICHMOND, VA. – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced the recipients of funding totaling $160,000 to support agricultural infrastructure in the state. The inaugural round of funding is part of the Governors’s Agriculture and Forestry Industry Development (AFID) Fund Infrastructure Grant Program and targets local agricultural and food enterprises including new and already-operating meat processing companies, community canneries, goat dairies and farmer’s markets.

“Virginia agriculture is in many ways sustained by the community of small farmers and food producers making high-quality products for their local communities,” said Bettina Ring, secretary of agriculture. “By partnering with these communities to make small, but meaningful investments in these local food systems, we are helping to unlock the potential of these farmers and food producers to do even more.”

In 2021, Northam signed House Bill 2068. It is designed to provide matching grants of up to $25,000 in partnership with local governments to develop community infrastructure development supporting local food production and sustainable agriculture.

Recipients included

  • More than $23,000 in funding to purchase equipment for a new meat processing plant for local producers as part of a partnership between the Economic Development Authority of Floyd County and Firehouse Farms;
  • T&E Meats, a small, local meat processor in the state, is slated to receive $25,000 to replace its refrigeration system and buy a new patty-forming machine;
  • The community’s Dorey Parik Farmers’ Market will receive $16,000 to upgrade the market with electricity for vendors and provide signage and landscaping;
  • About $25,000 was earmarked to replace boilers at two local canneries;
  • Three goat dairies in the area will receive a total of $16,675 to purchase a milking system, cheese-making equipment and expansion of milk house operations;
  • Funding of $25,000 to replace boiler systems at the Prince Edward County Cannery; and
  • Jon Henry General store will receive $25,000 to purchase flash freezing equipment and freezing capacity for its produce production.