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Loudoun Agricultural Development Officer Kellie Hinkle represented the Loudoun Economic Development team at the Loudoun School-Business Partnership Recognition Breakfast on Friday, March 10, 2017.
Our department partnered with Loudoun County Public Schools in 2016 to distribute Farmer Trading Cards to the students. Each pack of cards featured Loudoun County farmers, including Tyler Wegmeyer from Wegmeyer Farms. He represented that group of business owners at the breakfast and was featured in the video put together highlighting the event:
The Farmer Trading Card project has received national media attention, including an upcoming spotlight in Modern Farmer Magazine. Hinkle has presented on the success of the project at regional and national events, prompting other rural communities to develop cards of their own.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to partner with Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, supervisor of School Nutrition Services at the school system,” Hinkle said. “Dr. Domokos-Bays and her team at LCPS are working hard to increase awareness among students about the importance of farming and fresh, local foods.”
A new round of cards is expected to be released this Spring.
After the breakfast, Hinkle and Wegmeyer each presented at the 2017 Forum for Rural Innovation, another opportunity to spotlight creative and enterprising innovation in Loudoun’s agricultural community.
Watch Hinkle’s remarks as she introduces Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden:
Wegmeyer took the opportunity to discuss the success of the pick-your-own strawberry and pumpkin operations he runs in Loudoun and Clarke counties. After he had a surplus strawberry crop in 2016, he partnered with Fabbioli Cellars to make a unique strawberry wine, released in March.
He and business partner Philip Shenk were honored with two of the rural innovation awards.
Our annual Forum for Rural Innovation #FFRI17 is getting more technologically innovative! Check out the live #Twitter and #Instagram feed, powered by #NoVA biz @zoomph. If you're planning a conference or long-term social media displays, these are slick ???? #businessdevelopment #economicdevelopment #Loudoun #zoomph
For any questions about bringing an agriculture-related business to Loudoun County, email Kellie Hinkle or call her at 703-737-8820.