Loudoun County Public Schools students in Virginia have the chance to collect Farmer Trading Cards starting this week. Trading cards feature actual Loudoun County farmers in a program to get kids interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.
This is the fifth year for the program, though last year’s Farmer Trading Card program was put off because of COVID-19-related remote learning for students.
The trading card program is a partnership between Loudoun County Economic Development and Loudoun County Public Schools’ Nutrition Services office. It is timed to coordinate with both the Nats’ season opener and the beginning of the spring planting season for farmers.
All students at Loudoun’s 59 elementary schools can pick up the cards by going through the lunch food line (no lunch purchase required), where there is usually one new card a day. Some schools distribute them all at once so students can swap for cards they are most interested in.
Loudoun Economic Development pays for the cards, producing 94,000 of them for this year’s program, at no cost to schools. Farmers are chosen for the cards based on a nomination process and staff picks.
Featured farmers usually visit the schools, but are making virtual appearances through videos about their individual farms this year.
“The future of our farms depends on students interacting with farmers and understanding possibilities with the profession,” said Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer.
Agriculture in Loudoun County is a whole lot more than vineyards.
According to the USDA, Loudoun County has more than 1,200 commercial farms, and produces the most grapes, hops and honey of any county in Virginia. It is also the top Virginia county for the number of llamas and alpacas.
This year’s Farmer Trading Card farmers are:
- Ben Sedlins, Quartzwood Farm
- Catie Dutcher, Butterfly Hill Farm
- Christ Van Vlack, Hanging Rock Hay and Grain
- Evelyn Carr, Three Bags Wool Farm
- Kristina Schard, Loudoun Beekeeping Company
- Maya Wechsler, A Farm Less Ordinary
- Pamela Jones and Sarah Waybright, Gathering Springs Farm
- Rebecca Brouwer, Shepherds Corner Farm
- Todd Morrison, Dawson Gap Farm
Loudoun County also leads the state for share of farms owned by women, minorities and military veterans.