The CSPDC has been selected to receive an $85,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through their Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). This grant was one of 42 out of 215 LFPP grants awarded and the only one funded in Virginia. Grant funds will be used to fund a feasibility study to determine the viability of a certified, commercial, shared-use Agricultural Enterprise Center located in the central Shenandoah Valley. The study also will identify what components will be the most successful and beneficial to local farmers such as a commercial kitchen, food lab/testing kitchen, flash freeze facility, training space for smart-ag classes and seminars, packaging and distribution operations, and business planning resources. The study will explore physical locations for a facility and structure a comprehensive business plan.
A study team composed of potential users and representatives from businesses and organizations who support local food production will convene in February to begin the study process that is anticipated to last approximately 18 months.