Secretary Ring visits Catawba Valley Farmer’s Market

Cassondra Ratliff (seated) looks on as Secretary Ring talks with customers about Ratliff’s goat-milk products.

Thursday, August 9, was an extraordinarily busy day at the Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) as Farmers Market Week was celebrated.

Special guest Bettina K. Ring, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, was present. She was introduced by Adam Taylor, Manager of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center which sponsors the CVFM and provides technical support to the Market.

Ring grew up in Craig County and is the daughter of Betty H. Ring and the late Keith Ring. In her remarks to those present, Ring referred to the Craig County and Catawba areas as her “favorite place in the world.” Her mother, several friends and schoolmates were on hand to talk with her.

Secretary Ring presented a framed copy of Governor Ralph S. Northam’s Certificate of Recognition of the week of August 5-11 as Virginia’s Farmers Market Week. Also present were Martha Hooker, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chair, and Jessica Fintel, Economic Development Specialist with the Roanoke County Economic Development Department. During a short talk, Secretary Ring thanked Hooker and Fintel for their leadership and for Roanoke County’s support of the local farmers markets. Secretary Ring then visited with each vendor before meeting Market customers. Before leaving, she made several purchases from the farmers market vendors.

Hooker presented a Proclamation from Roanoke County, declaring the week of August 5-11 as Farmers Market Week.

The Certificate of Recognition and the Proclamation emphasize the importance of farmers markets, both as a way for farmers to get their healthy foods to the local population and as a means of educating the public on their farming practices and environmental stewardship, while generating income that helps to sustain their family farms and the local economy.

The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is a collaborative project of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center, County of Roanoke, Catawba Valley Ruritan Club and the Catawba community. The Farmers Market is held each Thursday from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m., rain or shine, at the Catawba Community Center, located at 4965 Catawba Creek Road, in Catawba. The Market area is handicap accessible, with a playground and restrooms.

Further information regarding the Catawba Valley Farmers Market is available at or by visiting the Catawba Valley Farmers Market’s Facebook page.


-Submitted by Ann G. Harrell, Catawba Valley Farmers Market Manager