Our look into agriculture during our sixth VALOR seminar in rural Southwest Virginia continues to showcase Virginia’s agricultural diversity.
We had the pleasure of visiting with Kevin Beamer at Virginia Produce Company, a family owned business, in Hillsville, VA.
Virginia Produce Company sources produce from farmers along the east coast, packages the produce, and distributes it to grocery stores and/or their distribution centers. They play an important role for many farmers because they have the contracts and contacts with the retailers. Many grocery stores will not offer contracts to small farmers who can only fill small orders. That’s where Virginia Produce Company makes the link and provides the smaller produce grower with a contracted outlet for their product.
Virginia Produce Company’s specialty is sweet corn. We visited their facility at the height of sweet corn season in July.
Of course, we could not visit Southwest Virginia without talking about beef cattle. We visited with Adam Wilson at his family’s farm in Glade Spring, VA.
He is somewhat unique in that he participates in various segments of the beef industry. He has a small cow/calf herd, backgrounds feeder cattle, and feeds cattle for other farmers. Being involved in several segments of the industry reduces his overall risk profile. Reducing risk is particularly important as the cattle market has become increasingly volatile. Adam spoke candidly about the challenges and opportunities of being a young beef cattle farmer and remains optimistic about the future of the industry in Southwest Virginia.
Thank you to all our gracious hosts in beautiful southwest Virginia!