Local Food and Farms Day celebrated at W.Va. Capitol
Farm Groups engage with state legislators
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition and the West Virginia Farmers Market Association hosted the 4th Annual Local Food and Farms Day at the Capitol on Feb. 21 at the State Capitol.
Spencer Moss, executive director of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, left, and Parween Mascari, executive director, West Virginia Farmers Market Association, welcome guests to the Local Food and Farms Day at W.Va. Capitol.
“The day was spent engaging policymakers and food and farm advocates in conversation around West Virginia’s opportunities and challenges in the development of the local food and agricultural sector in West Virginia,” said Parween Mascari, executive director, West Virginia Farmers Market Association.
At the press conference, attendees heard from several members of the local food and farm industry on legislative issues that they are passionate about. Refresh Appalachia President Ben Gilmer emphasized the value of sourcing more local food products for state institutions. Brooke County farmer and agritourism business owner Chatman Neely discussed the importance of having limited liability for agritourism businesses. Jared Moles, a 14-year-old Clay County farmer, advocated for a bill that would increase the profitability of rabbit farming. Doddridge County farmer and farmers market manager Crystal Cramer touched on the value of increasing the amounts of Senior Vouchers at farmers markets.
The two hosting organizations work statewide to build the local food economy by supporting small-scale farmers, farmers markets, and local food businesses so they can best reach West Virginia consumers. Advocating for policy that allows local food enterprises to thrive is a crucial part of this work.
“The local food sector holds so much potential to strengthen both our state’s economy and its citizens’ health. These are objectives that resonate with people on both sides of the political aisle, and provide an exciting avenue for citizens and legislators to work together toward the common bipartisan goal of growing West Virginia’s local food and agricultural economy,” said Spencer Moss, West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition. ###