Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 6, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez, |Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Michael Wallace Email:

Governor Youngkin Announces Grants to Support Local Food Systems

RICHMOND, VA - Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today the latest awards from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund Infrastructure Grant program. Three projects will receive $127,500 in competitively awarded, matching grants for new community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture.


Created by the General Assembly in 2021, AFID infrastructure grants are awarded to support locally identified investments that aid small-scale farmers and food producers in growing their operations. This round of grant awards will support the construction of a new farmers market in Craig County, the expansion of an existing farmers market in Henrico County, and the improvement of an on-farm market in the city of Virginia Beach. 


“This round of grant awards helps to strengthen the local agricultural infrastructure in these communities by improving the connection between producers and consumers,” said Governor Youngkin. “This funding will enhance and expand opportunities for both farmers and consumers, and we are helping support food access and family health throughout the Commonwealth.”


“As a farmer myself, I understand the challenges many farming families face trying to get their goods in the hands of consumers and this funding helps bridge the gap,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matt Lohr. “In addition to improving revenue opportunities for local producers, these grants aid in reducing food insecurity by increasing access to fresh local foods in several communities.”


Administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the AFID Infrastructure Grant program, in partnership with local governments, awards grants to develop community infrastructure in support of local food production and sustainable agriculture. Applications for the next round of this grant program will be accepted in the spring of 2024. Additional information about the program is available at


The following projects are receiving funding in this round of the AFID Infrastructure Grant program:


New Farmers Market

Craig County 



Craig County is receiving funding to support the construction of a farmers market with public restrooms in the town of New Castle. A rural area with a population of 5,200, Craig County and the town of New Castle have only one small grocery store and residents must travel a minimum of 20 miles to access the nearest farmers market. The new farmers market will have a positive impact on the agricultural community by providing another avenue for locally grown produce to be sold within the surrounding community. The application is a joint effort between Craig County, Craig County Economic Development Authority, and the town of New Castle.


Farmers Market Expansion

Henrico County



Henrico County is receiving funding to support the expansion of the Dorey Park Farmers Market which will provide expanded shelter for consumers, an educational programming space, and a separate office and storage area for the market managers. Established in 2018, the Dorey Park Farmers Market has quickly grown to more than 40 vendors. The market was established around an existing, small shelter which has become undersized for the number of vendors and consumers it serves. The project benefits the community with an improved market facility that provides access to locally grown produce as well as an improved retail outlet for local farmers to sell their products – both of which are essential for continued growth and success.


On-Farm Market Improvement and Equipment Upgrade

City of Virginia Beach 



The city of Virginia Beach is receiving funding to support Cullipher Farm in the installation of a new 10 by 20-foot freezer and additional irrigation equipment for its orchards and vineyards. Cullipher Farm is a multi-generational family-owned business that produces a variety of traditional vegetable and fruit crops for sale in its on-farm market as well as canned goods, baked goods, ice cream and beef. In addition to a robust “you-pick” operation and on-farm experiences, the business grows and processes various types of fruits for juice and has recently expanded into beef cattle. Currently limited in on-site freezer space, the installation of a new freezer will enable the company to be more efficient in its juice pressing with larger production runs and store more frozen products on-site. It will also enable the company to be more efficient in its beef processing, with larger production runs and less trips to the processor which is located 100 miles away. The additional irrigation equipment will increase productivity of farm crops as well as potentially help minimize losses due to freezes.

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