What does eating local really mean? It means getting to know the PEOPLE who are working hard to provide your meats, produce, and value-added products. It means scheduling a visit to a farm to gain even more understanding about your dinner. It means knowing that your food does not just come from a farm, but from people. People who are not just farmers but fathers, daughters, moms, and sons working as a family in a community of friends.

Faces of Farmers is a project of The Highland Center created to help unite customers with producers in a whole new way. By telling our farmer’s stories, it aims to help market farms in the Allegheny Highlands region of Virginia and West Virginia and help customers learn more about their food.

Farm of the Month: Mountain State Trout

Mountain State Trout is a small scale, family-owned trout company tucked in the mountains near Franklin, West Virginia. Specializing in brook, brown, and rainbow trout, owners Thomas Wimer and Courtney Ratliff have big dreams to grow a successful trout business and build the overall food system in the region. The hatchery was originally constructed by Thomas’ great-grandfather in 1952, and since purchasing the hatchery recently, Courtney and Thomas have been making measurable improvements to the facility’s infrastructure. They hope to produce healthy, local fresh and processed trout and are already marketing to restaurants in the region, as well as selling at local farmers’ markets. Read more…