RUSTBURG, VA: Campbell County’s local food access is being recognized for the quality and reach of its Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which served over 100 subscribers in its first year. The News & Advance article, which appeared on the front page of the November 7, 2022 print edition as well as online, highlights the success of Puckette Farms CSA program and showcases how the Economic Development department and Extension Office can provide expertise and support for local businesses.
The CSA’s roots began when Aaron Puckette of Gladys-based, Puckette Farms reached out to the Campbell County Extension Office, looking to expand his agricultural business. Darienne Montgomery, Agriculture Marketing and Sustainability Assistant, then coordinated with Puckette to get the CSA program up and running. Customers signed up in early 2022 for the program, which supplied 12 weeks of freshly, picked-at-its-prime, locally-grown produce throughout the summer. Members of the CSA collected their weekly boxes at their designated pickup location conveniently located around the County. When the farm’s supplies exceeded the needs of the CSA program, Puckette Farms CSA also opened sales to other members of the community, who were able to use their SNAP benefits card to purchase a bag of the fresh, seasonal produce.
This public-private collaboration continues as the CSA Program prepares for the 2023 season. With increased marketing efforts and publicity from local media coverage, the CSA hopes to enroll 200-250 members for the upcoming year. Members of the public can complete an online interest form on the Economic Development website (campbellvirginia.com) to ensure they stay informed on 2023 CSA program specifics as they are rolled out.
Both the Economic Development and Extension Offices are ready to provide assistance to any local farmers who are looking to expand their agribusinesses. These two departments collaborated to establish the Agricultural Marketing and Sustainability Assistant position to spearhead programs such as this CSA program as way to not only grow the agribusiness sector of the local economy, but also to increase the quality of life of area residents through developing a robust local food network.
For more information about the 2023 CSA Program, please contact Darienne Montgomery at (434) 332-9538. The Economic Development office at (434) 332-9595 also welcomes questions about expanding and establishing businesses in Campbell County.
Read the full News & Advance article about the CSA Program: