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: Virginia Trout Company

Owner, Bryan Plemmons, has 39 years of experience managing fish farms in four different states, raising everything from catfish to tilapia to trout. The main hatchery of Virginia Trout Company, established in 1961, is located 6 miles north of the town of Monterey on US 220 and an additional grow-out hatchery is just a few miles south of Monterey. The location is ideal for raising trout. According to Plemmons, Highland’s “climate is perfect for trout rearing.” Cold, pristine spring water originating on site flows through the pools year round. The trout is raised without the use of supplemental hormones or antibiotics. Every three months, the Company begins a new hatch of rainbow trout eggs, shepherding the fish through larger and larger tanks until they are moved outdoors. Through this, the company has practically complete control of the trout’s environment from its life until the time it is processed or sold for live-stocking.

Follow Virginia Trout Company on their Facebook Page, and learn more about their farm here!