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March 11, 2013

~ Virginia Agriculture Week/Agriculture Literacy Week is March 17 – 23, 2013 ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

EAT. With Virginia’s wide array of agricultural products, it’s easy to serve an all-Virginia meal at home. Suggested entrees include ham, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, seafood, fish, cheese or eggs. Seasonal vegetables include sweet potatoes, cool-weather greens such as spinach or kale, early peas and hydroponic tomatoes. Virginia peanuts and honey are nice extras and herbs always add flavor. The choice of desserts is almost limitless with all the offerings available at Virginia's Finest. A list of Virginia restaurants serving local foods is available at when you click on “Virginia.”

DRINK. Milk is the official beverage of Virginia and is available all year long in a variety of forms: whole, skim, low-fat or flavored. Virginia wine is world renowned, and wines earning the Virginia’s Finest designation are available at Virginia's Finest. Apple juice and cider – sweet or hard – are also good choices, as are Virginia’s Finest teas and coffees.

BE MERRY. Agricultural celebrations were among the very first festivals celebrated by mankind, and the tradition continues today. Click here for a listing of food festivals by month. Special seasonal festivals include Easter, Passover and St. Patrick’s Day. While each has great religious significance, the foods associated with these holy days are also important and based on long-held traditions: ham and eggs for Easter,  matzo balls and borscht for Passover, beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day.

READ. Running concurrently with Virginia Agriculture Week is Virginia Agriculture Literacy Week, time set aside to reconnect with agriculture. Throughout Virginia volunteers will read the book Kelly’s Big Day to children in pre-school through second grade to introduce basic agricultural concepts such as the care and feeding of animals, growing and harvesting food and showing animals at the fair.

For information on Ag Week, click here. For more information on Ag Literacy Week, click here. Teachers, parents and students will find a variety of resources and activities here.Schools that are interested in hosting a reader should contact at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or at Virginia Ag in the Classroom.

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