Scaling Up: Croatan Institute Attends Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Event in Boone

January 28, 2024

Croatan Institute President Josh Humphreys and Analyst James Smith attended Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s (BRWIA) “Scaling Up” event in Boone on January 28th. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is a partner organization of Croatan Institute who runs High Country Food Hub, a food hub in Western North Carolina which aggregates food from over 160 producers in 21 counties in NC, VA, and TN.

At the event, BRWIA Executive Director Liz Whiteman and other staff spoke to the food hub’s recent successes and goals for 2024 including growth in sales, innovative food distribution programs, their LocalFAM initiative, and Double Up Food Bucks program. 

Selena Thornton, a former participant in Croatan Institute’s FinHealth Program, and current partner of the Institute, spoke as the keynote at the Scaling Up event, speaking to her family’s experiences at their farm in Caswell County facing discrimination from lenders and technical service providers, challenges navigating the farming world, and management practices she uses on her blueberry farm currently.