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Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services unveil new logo

By
Keith Loria

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) developed the Virginia Grown domestic marketing program in 1995 to promote items grown or raised in the Commonwealth. Since then, the marketing program has grown to provide additional assistance to farmers, farmers markets, growers, and producers throughout Virginia. 

In March of 2022, VDACS rebranded the Virginia Grown logo and program.

“A significant element of the program rebrand is the new tiered levels of program participation,” said Michael Wallace, director of communications for VDACS. “The colors of bronze, silver, and gold will be used within the new Virginia Grown logo to acknowledge enhanced levels of production practices and environmental sustainability efforts that producers employ.”

Another component of the rebrand is the redesigned Virginia Grown website. The updated website includes a new interactive platform to improve consumer engagement and connect a diverse community of food-related businesses: buyers, farmers/ranchers, fisheries, farmers markets, processors/packers, wineries, restaurants and more.

“The new platform also provides Virginia producers the ability to highlight, update, and position their products to consumers, processors, and industry buyers,” Wallace said. “Buyers can register their businesses on the site to better connect with food producers who are seeking to grow, source or sell just what the buyer needs.”

VDACS supports the state’s varied agricultural community by assisting producers and processors in locating the best markets for their products, both domestically and abroad. VDACS’ division of marketing and development serves producers, commodity boards and associations, retailers and buyers by providing marketing assistance.

“The division has representatives located all over the state to work directly with producers and processors while also working with wholesale and retail buyers to identify opportunities and connect buyers to Virginia producers and processors,” Wallace said. “The division also hosts numerous production area tours for buyers to further promote Virginia agricultural products.”

VDACS offers a variety of resources to assist Virginia growers and to help them market their products within the Commonwealth, across the country, and internationally.

For instance, in 2022, VDACS will focus on the new Virginia Grown program, buyer tours as the season progresses, and other initiatives to assist Virginia farmers and agribusinesses throughout the year.

“There is interest from retail grocery firms to further develop their buy local programs for both Virginia Grown produce and agricultural products as well as Virginia’s Finest specialty foods and craft beverages,” Wallace said. “VDACS staff will continue to meet with producers and processors to understand their needs and identify opportunities to support their operations.”

  While May began with cool, wet, windy weather, many spring produce crops have been planted and Virginia farmers are hopeful for a good spring crop in 2022. Retailers can do their part to ensure Virginia Grown product is flush on shelves.

“With more and more consumers seeking fresh local food, retailers can promote the fresh, locally-sourced produce of the Eastern Shore,” Wallace said. “Consumers are interested in learning more about where their food comes from and retailers offering local produce give those consumers an opportunity to not only purchase locally grown products but also connect with the local farmer and learn more about agriculture.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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