Ann Taylor Wright realized that spending a few hours each week selling meat products to farmer’s market customers wouldn’t keep her sixth-generation family farm afloat. She approached leaders in the nearby town of South Hill, Virginia, with the idea of creating a food hub – a place where meats and produce could be processed and sold – to better market the wares of small farmers and vendors in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.

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She had little idea of the hurdles ahead, but the leadership in the town about 80 miles southwest of Richmond stepped up to help guide the way. Episode 5, Season 6, of Save Our Towns shows how she and the town worked together to get the job done.

Also in the episode, the expert tip comes from Kyle Shreve, executive director of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, who hammers home why town leaders should take cognizance of farmers and farmland, even if they’re not within city limits.

Resilience is the theme of the Small Town, Big Number segment, which takes a second look at towns previously covered on the series. Boone, North Carolina; Cleveland, Virginia; Danville, Virginia; Erwin, Tennessee; and Pulaski, Virginia – all illustrate key building blocks of resilience, as defined by researchers for the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The Glade Spring update lays out an ambitious idea promoted by a group of concerned residents – one that faces many obstacles, including funding.

Save Our Towns is produced by Outreach and International Affairs and distributed to mayors and town managers throughout Appalachian Virginia and beyond.