Locally grown foods get their own logo in Bedford County

BEDFORD—The booming local foods movement has gone even more local in Bedford County. Farmers and the county economic development office have begun using their own “Bedford Grown” logo to promote foods and farm products with a connection to the community between Lynchburg and Roanoke.

“We have a long history of working very closely with our agricultural community, and we see it as one of our primary industries here in Bedford County. We have 1,400 farms and 200,000-plus acres of farmland,” explained Traci Blido, Bedford’s economic development director. “We have local foods, local crops, cattle farms and equestrian farms, and we needed some kind of symbol to show our pride in Bedford-raised products.”

The “Bedford Grown” logo is based on the model of the Virginia Grown trademark, created 12 years ago by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to promote foods and farm products raised in the commonwealth. It was suggested by the volunteer Bedford Agriculture Advisory Board, according to Scott Baker, a Virginia Cooperative Extension agent in Bedford County.

“We have a couple of well-established farmers’ markets in the county, and the new Forest farmers’ market just west of Lynchburg is going gangbusters,” Baker said. “That tells us there’s strong interest in local food products in our community. … Developing a sense of community is what this is about.”

Nearly 90 percent of the foods sold at the Forest farmers’ market are raised in Bedford County, Blido noted. “We’ve already had some requests from producers to use [the new logo] in their own marketing materials.”

Contact Baker at 540-586-7675, Blido at 540-587-5670 or Norm Hyde, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1146.

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