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: Cress Farm

Betty Mitchell and Brain Richardson of Cress Farm, under the watchful eye of their border collie sheepdog Gracie, manage about 30 sheep. “Farming is grounding,” Betty says. “It helps sort priorities and connect you to the cycle of life.” The sheep have free range on the infamous cool weather grasses found in the Blue Grass Valley. The pastured lambs are raised without antibiotics or hormones. The lamb is locally processed at Alleghany Meats, just a few miles down the road. Her lamb has been served at The Highland Inn, Taste of Highland, and Maple Festival dinners. It is available for purchase at Alleghany Meats Market, or by contacting Cress Farm directly.

Learn more about their farm here!