Loudoun Economic Development’s award-winning farmer trading card program is back for its fourth season, and this year the selection process is being opened up to nominations from Loudoun residents.
If you know a farmer who’s a great example to kids of what a farmer is and does, please nominate him or her by January 25. Make your nominations here (or fill out the form below): biz.Loudoun.gov/farmer-cards.
“Finding the next generation of farmers is important to the future of Loudoun. If we want to raise a generation of educated kids who understand and appreciate where their food comes from, it’s important to help them engage, and our farmer trading cards help do that,” said Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “We think that once kids are exposed to the many opportunities in agriculture, they’ll get excited about the industry.”
The farmer trading cards are distributed to elementary school students in Loudoun County Public Schools each spring to coincide with the start of baseball season. Many of the farmers depicted on the trading cards make personal appearances at Loudoun schools to autograph their cards.
“Our farmers are superstars, so it’s only right that we treat them that way,” said Acting Agricultural Development Officer Vanessa Wagner. “The work they do is on display in everyday life in what we eat, in our homes, and in our community. This program helps to put faces to that work.”
The cards have generated so much excitement that local, regional and national media ran stories about them. School systems in other states have considered replicating the cards for their own communities.
Several dozen Loudoun farmers have been featured on the trading cards in the last three seasons, but there are hundreds more who are eligible for nomination. The criteria for eligibility are that the nominee lives and farms in Loudoun County. Alcohol-related businesses are not eligible because the trading cards will be distributed to minors.