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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

Virginia Tech

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Cultural Factors Impacting Food Sustainability Distribution and Consumption in the New River Valley, Virginia

The Virginia Tech Appalachian Teaching Project in 2011 determined that one of the major obstacles to engaging in sustainable agriculture was that farmers did not want to and didn't have the time to be engaged in managing distribution and consumption activities. They valued the actual farming of the produce, not the "getting it to market" activities required to make this method economically viable for most.

It is this finding that the Fall 2012 class explored more fully by researching ways to increase distribution and consumption of sustainably-grown crops that are sensitive to local cultural orientations.

The overarching purpose of this project was to engage in a culturally-sensitive investigative study to obtain data that will illuminate how to better market locally organically-grown produce in Virginia's New River Valley. The main partner in this project was the Blacksburg Farmers Market. As a leading open-air produce market in the area, it not only provides a venue for New River Valley organic farmers to sell their produce, but also works with local agencies to promote local food use through different marketing and partnership strategies. 

2012 Presentation

2012 Final Report


Contact Information:

Anita Puckett, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
133 Lane Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Telephone: 540-231-9526


Previous Conference Participation:   2011    2009

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