Farm-focused event staged in downtown setting
October 26, 2012
WINCHESTER—October is a busy time on many Virginia farms, and a busy time in general. Nevertheless, in Frederick County, it was a good time to bring the best of local farms downtown.
The first Winchester’s Main Street Agriculture event was held Oct. 6 on the city’s Loudoun Street Mall. The event featured farm animals, food from local farms, locally grown pumpkins, Virginia wines made with locally grown grapes, farm-related children’s activities and new-model and vintage farm equipment.
“We were really totally surprised at how many people showed up. There were a lot of activities going on that day,” said Paul Anderson, president of the Frederick County Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau presented Winchester Main Street Agriculture in partnership with the Winchester Old Town Development Board, the Winchester Main Street Foundation and the Virginia Main Street Program.
“What we advertised was that we were bringing agriculture to downtown Winchester,” Anderson said, to make citizens more aware of the impact agriculture and agribusinesses have on their local economy.
Frederick County is home to more than 670 farms, many of which raise hay, corn, apples, beef cattle and sheep. It’s also home to more than 3,000 horses. The 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture found annual sales of Frederick farm products generated nearly $28 million.
Any profits from the event will be donated to the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, he added, to further boost local awareness of agriculture.
Organizers offered sponsorship opportunities and worked with Winchester businesses to present as many exposures to local farm products as possible. The event concluded with a wine-tasting at the George Washington Hotel and local foods on the menus of some Winchester restaurants.
“I had some business owners tell me it really generated business for them, because it brought people down to the mall,” Anderson said.
Contact Anderson at 540-869-2182 or Dee Cook, VFBF membership development specialist, at 540-751-1111.