ARC Cites Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center as Example of Public and Private Partnerships in Action
WASHINGTON, January 6, 2011—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) welcomed this week's announcement that the ARC-supported Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center had raised sufficient capital to begin the construction of its main facility near Monterey, Virginia. As a combination meat processing and marketing facility, it will boost the local livestock industry (including sheep, cattle, goats, and hogs) while reducing time to market for the area's livestock farmers.
In addition to promoting local sustainable food-based enterprise, the project will also promote heritage tourism by showcasing traditional modes of farming.
"This project shows what happens when local leadership and initiative are matched with federal funds provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission," said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. "Local leaders took a $32,800 federal grant and turned it into $1 million in private investment. The result is a stronger livestock industry in Highland, Bath, Pendleton, and Pocahontas Counties. Local leaders had the dream, did the work, and earned the credit. Their success also demonstrates that ARC funding continues to be a critical tool in the economic development of rural Appalachian communities."
The center has facilitated the sale of over 2,400 animals since it implemented the livestock marketing component of the project in 2008.