Governor Timothy M. Kaine has proclaimed September 2009 as Virginia’s Finest™ Trademark Program’s 20th Anniversary Month. This program was launched in 1989 by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), to help identify and promote top quality Virginia-produced and processed agricultural products for two decades. This is one of the few state recognition programs that is quality-based. If you would like to be considered Virginia’s Finest™ you must undergo review by a committee of your peers and VDACS personnel to earn the right to be called Virginia’s Finest™ . There are over 1,000 food, beverage and agricultural companies, producers and processors representing 80 industries, ranging from fresh produce, meats and condiments to peanuts, wines and Christmas trees. You can find Virginia’s Finest™ at www.vafinest.com. For more information about Virginia’s Finest companies, or about applying for Virginia’s Finest™ product designation, call 800.284.9452 or log on to www.vafinest.com. We would love to hear about some of your favorite Virginia’s Finest products.
Todd P. Haymore, VDACS Commissioner, has these suggestions for ways every citizen can celebrate Virginia’s Finest Trademark Program’s 20th Anniversary Month:
· Look in your grocery store or specialty shop for Virginia’s Finest products. Many stores identify them with signage or may even have a Virginia’s Finest section.
· If your child’s college or university has a Virginia’s Finest section in the book store, order a gift basket of Virginia products for his or her first weeks at school. A basket of peanuts, chocolates, potato chips, fruit, specialty products, crackers, cheese and more will fill ravenous stomachs and provide energy for late-night studying.
· Host a Virginia’s Finest party for several of your friends and neighbors. Plan a Virginia’s Finest menu from soup to dessert and ask your guests to come dressed as a famous Virginia personality. The Thomas Jefferson character can bring the wine.
· Begin shopping now for unique Virginia holiday gifts. Go to www.vafinest.com to search among the various categories for gifts celebrating the fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many companies will deliver gifts directly to your recipient. In addition to food and beverage products, you will find Virginia’s Finest soaps, lotions, wool products, flowers, potted plants and more.
· When you visit the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow Event Park September 24 through October 4, be sure to stop by the Virginia’s Finest pavilion in the Farm Bureau Building. Four different Virginia’s Finest vendors will exhibit each day of the Fair and will sell product on-site or take catalog orders.
· When planting and updating your fall garden, look for Virginia’s Finest nursery products from plants to mulch. You can also find Virginia’s Finest firewood for those chilly fall evenings and Christmas trees for the holidays.