Produce auction expands economic avenues for farmers

Produce auction

The Extension initiative to create a produce auction in Southside Virginia has been a boon to local producers.

Marketing fruits and vegetables used to be a challenge in Southside Virginia. A lack of outlets for farmers to get their produce to market limited the amount that could be sold, which diminished farmers’ profits.

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Graphic by Nickola Dudley

The solution? A produce auction was born in 2012 with assistance from Virginia Cooperative Extension to help farmers sell products and decrease the amount of time they spent manning markets and roadside stands.

In recent years, the Southside Produce Auction has experienced phenomenal growth while maintaining exceptional quality and boosting profits for growers.

“The produce auction worked in several ways to help producers in the area,” said Bob Jones, agriculture and natural resources Extension agent in Charlotte County. “This came from listening to the community and its needs and partners that not only made the auction an initial success, but also allowed its growth to continue into 2014.”

To date, the auction has brought more than 16,000 visitors to Charlotte County.