Allegheny Highlands Agricultural Center Open House Welcomes Over 200 Residents And Dignitaries
Monterey, Va – Under sunny skies and a chilly wind, the Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center held its open house hosting over 200 area residents on Tuesday. Ag Center Board member Lloyd Bird provided some opening remarks.
“It is a big day for us and we are excited to see all of you; some of you have been with us all along the way, some of you have been just interested supporters from the sidelines, and some of you have been very instrumental and supportive of this project,” he says. “We hope you understand for every person that we thank, there are dozens of people behind the scenes that got this thing up and running.”
Mr. Bird then introduced Matt Lohr, Virginia’s Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“What an honor it is to be here in Highland County, one of my favorite spots of the entire Commonwealth of Virginia,” says Lohr. “What a great day to come and celebrate this wonderful accomplishment; they were saying earlier that this has really been a dream that started 9 years ago and how exciting to gather for the ribbon cutting and the official welcoming and the dedication here.”
Commissioner Lohr emphasized how important the interaction between private investors and state agencies was in the completion of this project.
“What a great example of cooperation and collaboration from so many different groups, from private investors to USDA to our state Dept of Agriculture; this is a perfect example of what happens when there’s a dream,” says Lohr. “And there are lots of people who are dedicated and persistent and determined. I know from our agency we are very, very excited to be a key partner in this through the initial planning to the inspection service part to hopefully helping you with the marketing of the product as well.”
Mr. Lohr goes on to discuss how this facility, with its meat processing capability, is well-positioned to take advantage of the latest trends in agriculture in the state of Virginia.
“In my travels around the state of Virginia I’ve heard in the last couple of years from many farmers across the state that say we need more of these types of facilities,” he says. “It’s exciting to be in our least populated county in the entire state of Virginia to have such a state of the art facility. You guys in Highland County are right where you need to be, and there’s going to be a lot of farmers that are going to be able to benefit from this for years to come.”
Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio news next week for remarks from Congressman Bob Goodlatte at the Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center Open House.