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Are those burgers you’ll flip on the grill this Memorial Day locally sourced? They might be—beef is one of Virginia’s top farm commodities by sale, along with broiler chickens and milk. How about those strawberries on the picnic table? The chilly April weather delayed pick-your-own strawberry operations across the state, but Virginia strawberries are hitting their peak just in time for the holiday weekend.
Virginia is blossoming this spring with everything from squash to peanuts to wine grapes. As a Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance member, you’re part of this growth. You support a wide variety of programs and educational tools related to Virginia’s agriculture. This year, Memorial Day weekend happens to be the point that you can take your support to a more edible level, as local summer crops really flourish.
Finding local produce close to you is easy—Virginia boasts more than 240 farmers’ markets statewide, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (VDACS). Look up one close to you on the VDAC-maintained VirginiaGrown.com site, and enjoy the tastier side of the state. Sweet corn, watermelons, squash, greens and more will soon be available.
Enjoying fresh offerings from the local farmers’ market has a secondary benefit too. Virginia’s “Farm. Fresh. Pledge!” program is back, and you can track how much support your local farmers’ market receives through the program. Participating markets will offer punch cards that help you track your spending by every $10. Once filled, the punch cards can be turned in and entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest® prize pack. And if your market turns in the most completed entries, VDACS promises a special award to them when fall rolls around.
It’s a tasty time to support Virginia agriculture. Have a safe holiday weekend from all of us at Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance, and enjoy the abundance your state has to offer!
If your publication or radio or television station is delivering stellar coverage of agriculture on an ongoing basis, this is the award competition to enter.