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“Running a Food Hub: Learning from Food Hub Closures”

As the final report in the “Running a Food Hub” series, this document highlights case studies of food hubs that have ceased operations and the factors that lead to their closure. The intent of this report is to share the experiences of these hubs to help new hubs overcome barriers to success. The report profiles six hubs: Aganica Farm Club, FoodEx, Grasshoppers Distribution, Growers Collaborative, Pilot Mountain Pride, and Producers &...

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From Barley to Beer: A Guide for On Farm Brewing

Completed in cooperation with the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VA FAIRS) and the Loudoun County Farm Bureau, “From Barely to Beer: A Guide for On Farm Brewing” looks at the feasibility of expanding a Virginia farm brewery to including malt production. The study offers a full examination and analysis of the malting and brewing industries, business operations, facility design, regulations,...

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Feasibility Analysis of a Prototypical Chestnut Cooperative

Completed in cooperation with the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VA FAIRS), the “Feasibility Analysis of a Prototypical Chestnut Cooperative” reviews the economic and technical possibilities of establishing a prototypical chestnut selling cooperative in Virginia. The study takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of the project required to create a successful venture including the chestnut...

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“Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability”

This publication is the third in the “Running a Food Hub” series from USDA Rural Development. The report examines the financial viability of new and existing food hubs, and serves as a companion piece to the other USDA reports on food hubs. Through industry research, interviews, and discussions, this report provides benchmarks which growing food hubs can use to see how financial changes impact operations. It is divided into three...

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“New Poultry Processing Plant Bolsters Virginia’s Small-Scale Producers”

This article in the January/February 2016 issue of the USDA Rural Cooperatives Magazine discusses the work of Matson Consulting and VA FAIRS in helping Shenandoah Processing become a vital part of the Virginia poultry industry. Shenandoah Processing began in 2013 as an organic chicken processing plant designed to help smaller scale producers more easily get their product into the market. The founder, Corwin Heatwole, received assistance through...

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“Agricultural Development Board Guide”

Matson Consulting, along with the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VA FAIRS), has recently created a guide that examines and shares the experience of county-based agricultural economic development in Virginia. Although this information focuses on areas in Virginia, the lessons and strategies presented can be applied and shared with agricultural development groups nationwide. The guide has been released...

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