For many families, ham is part of a holiday tradition.  The nation’s largest producer – Smithfield – is based in Virginia, and this state is home to more than a quarter of a million pigs.  This story is the first in a five-part series looking at the impact of a growing industry on the environment, on the animals and on public health.

Jim Moyer and his wife operate Old Crowe Farm in Red Oak Virginia. There they raise heritage livestock and grow heirloom vegetables. They don't come from farming stock:

A food bank and farm in Floyd County will be able to feed a lot more people this year ---and for years to come.

The Roanoke Women’s Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to “Plenty!” a non-profit farm that grows and collects food for people who need it. Jonathan Vandergrift is the farmer there.  He says the grant will help them reach out to a segment of the community that has, sort of been under the radar. 

Virginia's Oyster Trail

Nov 10, 2015

 Governor McAuliffe traveled to the Northern Neck this week to fire up the Virginia Oyster Trail. 

That’s an initiative he announced last year that connects 250 miles of seafood producers, restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and artisans around the Chesapeake Bay's rural communities. 

Instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony the governor and his Virginia Oyster Trail team shucked an oyster and slurped.

Nicholas Boullosa,

Interest in the whole ‘farm to table’ movement is growing.  But one aspect of it continues to be controversial in Virginia; direct farm sales of raw, unpasteurized milk.  Some say it should be a personal choice. And others warn, it’s a question of public safety. 

At the farmer’s market in Blacksburg, customers come early for their raw milk so they can get it before it’s gone. Steve Moll, a builder in town is here almost every week.

“Yeah, It’s just so good. It really has flavor and it has cream.  Real cream. I make butter out of it.”