Highland Ag Center adds part-time position

Monterey, Va. – The Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center had its grand opening a little over six months ago on April 10. Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr and Congressman Bob Goodlatte spoke to over 200 area residents at the opening. Just last week, Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Earl Gohl visited the meat processing facility. This week General Manager Chris Fuller commented on the center’s growing staff.

“Well, we started out with myself as General Manager and then three employees,” said Mr. Fuller. “It was Mindy Rexrode, Josh Moyers and Debbie Botkin. And those three, of course, are still here working a full-time schedule at this point. And then we’ve added on Ruth Chappell from Monterey and Jimmy Warner is from Franklin. They both work, it’s like a seasonal part-time. So they may get forty hours a week. They’ll be here while we are busy,” he said.

A third worker was also added recently.

“I’ve also hired T. J. Grant, who goes to high school in Monterey, and is from McDowell,” said Mr. Fuller. “He’s got the work release program from high school, so he’ll come down here in the afternoons and help us wrap up the day and help clean up and do that five days a week. It’s something that was brought up to me that high school kids might want that type of opportunity. T. J. has been very enthusiastic about it and he’s been a very hard – a very good worker. He’s a high school senior. If I can give them an opportunity to get a nice steady job and then they either move on to college with that knowledge and responsibility, or even if they want to just stick around, I am happy to look at young, energetic people to work here. It’s pretty tough work sometimes and if you get the right people here, it’s nice to keep them around, you know,” he said.

Chris goes on to talk about the additional work now coming in to the facility.

“June and July were pretty slow for us,” said Mr. Fuller. “It’s a seasonal thing with this type of business. Not a lot of animals are being finished for harvest and processing. So, generally, the seasonality of it is that we will start to pick up towards the end of the summer and into the fall and through the winter and we are seeing that. So we had a very good August. A lot of the 4-H animals from a lot of different counties in the area, they brought animals in after the livestock sales and whatnot. So that was a big boost for us in August. That trickled through September and in October we’re starting to get the beginnings of the fall production. Coming into November now, we may just a couple slots left in November,” he said.

When I was there early this week, Chris expected the November schedule for animal harvest to be booked up within days so that he would soon be filling more dates in December and January. You can find more information on their website, alleghanymeats dot com or call 540-474-2422. Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio this month for an update on the new smokehouse at Alleghany Meats.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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