Only in Loudoun do farmers get sports star status.
Last week, the county’s Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with the Loudoun school system, handed out 72,000 Loudoun Farmer trading cards to students around the county. The cards feature 12 favorite local farmers and bring a personal edge to local food.
“These trading cards not only help personalize our local farmers, but they do it in a fun way to help students learn about farming, maybe for the first time,” Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “The cards feature just a sampling of Loudoun’s hardworking, creative and thoughtful agricultural business leaders.”
The cards were the brainchild of the county’s economic development team, and Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, supervisor of school nutrition services for Loudoun County Public Schools.
Children from the county’s 55 elementary schools were given partial sets so they can trade among themselves.
Amelia Crush, a second grader at Lovettsville Elementary School, was excited to get a card with family friends and fellow community supported agriculture devotees Rob and Maureen Moutoux, of Moutoux Orchard near Purcellville. But Amelia was on the hunt for a card featuring her dad, Andrew Crush, owner of Spring House Farm.
The baseball-style cards feature a photo, a little info and a cute nickname. Andrew Crush, who specializes in heritage breed pork, earned the moniker “Boss Hog.”
A number of the featured farmers are taking things a step further and visiting schools around the county. Tyler Wegmeyer, owner of Wegmeyer Farms near Hamilton, paid a visit to Hamilton Elementary School last week. Meanwhile, Crush and his neighbor Molly Croiz, owner of Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese headed to Lovettsville Elementary School to autograph the cards.
“The kids were excited,” Crush said, adding that the cards may be particularly helpful for children who live east of Leesburg.
“Kids in western Loudoun may not live on a farm, but they know they’re out there. For kids in points east, it’s a great way to get the word out about agriculture in the western end of the county.”