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Franklin County Recognizes 10th Anniversary of Homestead Creamery as VA’s First Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant 

On Tuesday, December 20, 2022 the Franklin County Board of Supervisors presented Homestead Creamery with a Proclamation of Recognition for the 10th anniversary of receiving Virginia’s first Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) grant award in December of 2012.

The initial AFID facility grant award was made to Franklin County on December 17, 2012, in support of an expansion by Homestead Creamery. Since then, Franklin County has also received a planning grant and an infrastructure grant for other local businesses making Franklin County the first locality in Virginia to utilize all three AFID programs.

With county support and the AFID grant, Homestead Creamery successfully expanded its operation to meet the growing demand for their products. The investments made during the expansion increased the county tax base and put an additional 20 people to work.

“As Franklin County was the first locality to have taken advantage of all three AFID Programs, I can attest that the program has provided our leadership with important tools to support our county’s largest and most important industry, agriculture,” said Ronnie Thompson, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. “Because agriculture does not fit in many of the traditional economic development assistance programs, the AFID Programs have allowed us to provide much-needed support to these important businesses. I commend Senator Bill Stanley for being a co-patron of the 2012 bill that created the AFID Fund and the good work of his colleagues in the General Assembly and the Governor’s office for recognizing the value of agriculture and forestry in Virginia and for creating a way for state and local governments to be partners in the success of these industries.”

On December 6th, Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a similar proclamation recognizing the tenth anniversary of the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund that was presented by Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Matthew Lohr during a celebration at Homestead Creamery.

“Homestead Creamery continues to see growing demand and opportunities. They epitomize the kind of business we all want to see in our community,” said Thompson. “Good to their employees, strong community partner and unmatched ambassador of the Franklin County brand. I am so proud that we are able to take just a few minutes today to recognize them and thank them for all they do for our community.”

About the Virginia Agriculture and Forest Industries Development Fund (AFID): The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund is a discretionary, performance-based economic development incentive specifically for agriculture and forestry value-added or processing projects. The AFID program supports agribusinesses of all sizes including produce companies, dairy processors, meat and poultry processors, specialty food and beverage manufacturers, greenhouse operations, forest product manufacturers and more. The fund can also support aquaculture projects such as oyster production and nurseries producing native plants for stormwater BMPs.

An AFID facility grant is awarded to a political subdivision for the benefit of the company, with the expectation that the grant is critical to the success of the new or expanding facility. The grant amount and terms are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and approved by the Governor.

For more information on the AFID Facility Grants Program visit AFID Facility Grants (virginia.gov).

About Homestead Creamery: Homestead Creamery is a small, locally owned dairy processing plant nestled among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Burnt Chimney, Virginia. With dreams of preserving the family farm for future generations and marketing product directly to consumers, two local dairy farmers combined efforts. In cooperation with a few local businessmen and their joint endeavors, these dreams became a reality. Homestead Creamery opened its doors for business in January of 2001.

Today, Homestead Creamery is made up of a small network of locally owned dairy farms that are run by families who believe in an honest day’s work. Each farm is dedicated to the health and happiness of the cows and the quality of the products that are produced for the consumers.

For more information on Homestead Creamery visit  Homestead Creamery .

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