Wheeling’s Public Market Hosting Statewide WV Grown Brand Campaign Premiere

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will visit the Public Market in Wheeling for the first stop in a statewide campaign to boost brand awareness of the West Virginia Grown program Thursday at noon.

The public is invited to stop by to sample products, try the lunch special at the market kitchen and shop in the brand-new WV Grown section in the market. WV Grown t-shirts and “onesies” will also be for sale.

The lunch special will feature an open-face beef sandwich made with beef from Hazel Dell Farm, a third-generation beef operation in Marshall County, locally baked sourdough hoagie buns and gravy made fresh in-house.

“There is a huge opportunity for West Virginians to grow our economy by purchasing food from their friends and neighbors,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “The WV Grown logo on a product or in the window of a store or restaurant assures consumers that they are supporting a local business that, in turn, supports its local community.”

To become a member of WV Grown, a producer must add at least 50% of the value of a product within the borders of the state. Restaurants and retailers must use or carry at least one WV Grown product.

The program started in 1986 and was open to produce growers and food manufacturers. Starting this year, restaurants and retailers can also become members. The program works to close the loop on the local food economy, better linking farmers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers. It also helps build a supply of, and demand for, local WV Grown foods.

The brand awareness campaign will run over the next two years. It will feature statewide advertising and events at numerous other cities and towns throughout West Virginia. For more information on WV Grown, contact Buddy Davidson at 304-558-2210, bdavidson@wvda.us.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works.