Local Food Hub awarded federal funds for new app, Virginia Black Farmer directory

An organization that seeks to promote the local food economy across Virginia has been awarded $67,810 for three of its programs. The funding for the Local Food Hub comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. 

“The Virginia Black Farmer Directory will build new bridges to market access for underserved farms,” reads the public notice of the award. “The Grower/Buyer Expo will help farmers and purchasers emerge from the pandemic by connecting face-to-face once again.” 

The Virginia Black Farmer Directory was created by Cultivate Charlottesville and Michael Carter Jr. of Africulture and Carter Farms. The Local Food Hub will maintain the directory over time.

The Local Food Hub is also creating an app to help farmers keep records to help comply with food safety regulations. 

In all, the VIrginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received $614,225.38 for projects. Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will share $75,000 for research into a spray to help fight blight cankers. 

Virginia Tech will also get nearly $75,000 for research into pumpkins. 

“Pumpkins are an important crop in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a value of $17.6 million produced on 5,500 acres in 2020,” reads that award announcement. 

For the full list of grants made across the nation, check out the USDA announcement. Know anyone interested in the future of farming? It’s an interesting list filled with useful information. 


Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the October 6, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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