National Ag Week is being observed the week of March 21-27 and National Ag Day is Wednesday, March 23. The Catawba Valley Farmers Market joins numerous agricultural advocacy groups in recognizing the work of farmers as they produce a safe and affordable abundance of food and fiber for the nation.
Americans are urged to understand how ag products are produced and to value the role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. Some of the reasons to celebrate National Ag Week include: agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis; each American farmer feeds more than 165 people – a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s; young people are encouraged to consider career opportunities in agriculture; and food brings everyone to the table.
Agriculture is Virginia’s largest private industry, with an annual economic impact of $70 billion, providing more than 334,000 jobs. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2017 census, there were 179 farms in Craig County totaling 43,431 acres. These farms sold products with a market value of $4,658,000, with a farm-related income of $300,000.
In addition to its tangible benefits such as farm cash receipts and jobs, agriculture provides many intangible benefits. These include recreation, tourism, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, flood mitigation, improved water quality and soil stabilization.
Local farmers and growers who participate in the Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) are busy during Ag Week caring for their young plants and crops in their greenhouses and high tunnels. Some cold-tolerant plants such as cabbage, broccoli and onions are being planted outside. CVFM opens the 2021 season on May 6, just before Mother’s Day. Vendors will have fresh produce, microgreens, meats (beef, pork, chicken), baked goods, hanging baskets, indoor plants, bedding plants (vegetables and flowers) and crafts.
Consumers are encouraged to visit the open-air Catawba Valley Farmers Market to meet the vendors, to learn how their food products are grown and to purchase locally-grown foods. The CVFM is open on Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. beginning May 6, at the Catawba Community Center, 4965 Catawba Creek Road (Rt. 779), just off of Rt. 311 in Catawba.
Anyone interested in selling at CVFM should contact Pam Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or
The CVFM website (catawbafarmersmarket.com) and Facebook page (Catawba Farmers Market) feature frequent updates on available items, special events, vendors, as well as numerous photos.
- Submitted by Ann G. Harrell, CVFM Communication Specialist