The Shenandoah Valley Farm2Fork Affair (Farm2Fork) is a biennial one-day event that connects Shenandoah Valley food producers with commercial buyers from around the Commonwealth, DC metro area and other neighboring states. Scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, the event will provide Shenandoah Valley producers an opportunity to directly promote their products, network, and increase sales. Buyers will have an opportunity to discover and experience the wide variety of fresh food options available throughout the Shenandoah Valley including Augusta County, Clarke County, Frederick County, Page County, Rockbridge County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Warren County and the Cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro.
Farm2Fork is a collaborative effort of economic development agencies, tourism departments, business development organizations, and local food initiatives. The event has been held sub-regionally since 2015 and is now being expanded to draw on the Shenandoah Valley’s reputation as a farm-to-table hub. Invited consumers to the event will include restaurants, universities, retailers, grocers, distribution centers, and full service hotels and B&B’s.
With four of Virginia’s top five agricultural producing counties located in the Shenandoah Valley, Farm2Fork is a great opportunity for statewide commercial food buyers to associate food brands with the Shenandoah Valley’s strong local food movement. Farm2Fork provides support for farming, tourism, rural business development, community involvement, healthy living, and improved food access and nutrition. Previous producers and consumers have included well-known farmers and chefs, conference center managers, craft beer brewers, medical center food service managers, food distribution companies, school nutrition managers, vineyard operators, and many small agriculture, tourism, and food businesses from around the state.
Prior to the main event, a Farm2Fork Ready! Workshop will be provided for participating producers. The workshop is designed to provide tips and suggestions to fully prepare producers to develop working relationships with potential clients. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for producers to network with each other prior to the tradeshow that will be focused on consumer interactions.
"The quality and diversity of Shenandoah Valley's agriculture makes our farms an obvious choice for restaurants and retailers wanting to source only the best. One of farmers’ and restaurant managers’ most valuable resources is time. This event brings all producers and buyers to one place making it an efficient use of everyone’s time”, said Chair of the Farm2Fork Advisory Committee, French Price, Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator. "
The Shenandoah Valley Farm2Fork Affair is presented by public and private sponsorships.