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Create/find a distribution system to sell locally-grown foods.

The Wild Ramp

The Wild Ramp in Huntington distributes local food and products from multiple counties. The financially successful distributor is volunteer-run. Photo courtesy The Wild Ramp.


About 25 farming families belong to Monroe Farm Market, a collaborative based in Union that delivers fresh produce and farm products throughout southern West Virginia. Photo: Kate Long

In 2010, three Marshall University students decided they would create a food hub in Huntington for their Senior Capstone project. Two years later, The Wild Ramp opened as an open-air market that would take local products and market them to the public. By January 2014, they had returned more than $350,000 to food producers.

Then in 2014-15, they returned more than a million dollars to the producers and growers who sell through them

That’s success in anybody’s book! It proves that you can create a successful local foods business in West Virginia

“Most West Virginia farmers don’t produce in large volume, so to make it work, we have to combine forces and get fresh, healthy food to people,” said Kelly Crane, former director of the WV Farmers Market Association. “Different models work better in different places. People have to decide what will work best for their situation.”

With help from the federal Farm to School program, the Office of Child Nutrition has been promoting distribution systems that allow WV foods to compete with packaged out-of-state foods in sales to the schools and other state institutions. And the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition has an active working group that helps local people develop models that can work in their area.


Here are distribution models already working for West Virginia communities:


Barbour County Community Garden Market operates in an old IGA store

The Barbour County Community Garden Market operates in a former IGA store. Farmers drop their produce off for staff to sell. Photo courtesy the Market.

Managing partner Peter Corum shows off model for future Morgans Grove Market
Managing partner Peter Corum shows off a model for the future Morgans Grove Market that will house farmers market, medical clinic, community gardens and associate businesses.


Here are West Virginia resources:

Here are national resources:


Also see these Try This pages:  Healthy food = economic development, Farm to School, Farmers markets, local food in convenience stores


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  1. Would you happen to have any available information on food safety regulations for West Virginia? I am a graduate student working to help develop a business model for a group out of Calhoun County, and I have had no luck finding the regulations they would need to follow for fresh vegetable production, harvest, packing, storage, and sales. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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