Deepening and Broadening the Creative Economy of Southwest Virginia through Value-Added Processing, Creamery, and Farmers Markets in Meadowview, Virginia
Emory and Henry's 2012 ATP class participated in a planning grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development that planned for the development of a value-added processing plant and creamery in Meadowview, and to link that facility to Farmers Markets of the area. Products from this processing plant and this producer's network could then be made available for sale in a local retail venue, located in the Meadowview Depot, now owned and being renovated by the people of Meadowview through Meadowview First (our community partner), and in locations along the Crooked Road and 'Round the Mountain Artisans Trails. Students examined policies, existing models, successes and best practices, as well as mistakes, failures, and lessons learned in similar efforts. This project also focused on ways to include more of the region's population in the creative, asset-based economy and in asset-based economic development strategies. Another anticipated outcome was an evaluation and assessment of the state of the agricultural infrastructure in the Meadowview area, Washington County, and Southwest Virginia.