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Loudoun Country Market

A Steady Step Forward for The New Ag School

Mission accomplished for the Loudoun Country Market.

The first edition of this market attracted more than 520 visitors for its four events held every Thursday from September 17 to October 8. This initiative of The New Ag School, in collaboration with Loudoun Grown Expo and Sterling Fest, was a great way to bid Farewell to summer and welcome the fall season this year.

The Loudoun Country Market has been an attraction for many Loudouners for four Thursdays in a row (September 17th to October 8th 2020). With a festival like atmosphere, visitors could enjoy local food and wine, while shopping from local vendors and being entertained by local musicians.

The Loudoun Country market is another initiative, in line with The New Ag School’s vision of promoting agriculture, local farmers and craftmanship, while exposing our youth to the different career paths and opportunities in this flourishing industry. COVID19 has been a challenge for us all, but as farmers, we kept farming, we never stopped. We added even more safety protocols to our routine, but a lot of the of those rules are already observed in our line of work. COVID19 or not, we still had the responsibility of feeding people”, explains Doug Fabbioli, the Executive Director of The New Ag School.

With 20 vendors each week, two food trucks and local artists or bands each week, the Loudoun Country Market also aimed at giving a platform to the local small businesses to gain exposure and build some connections, be it by expanding their customer base, meeting other business owners or meeting competent workforce prospects.

It was also an opportunity for visitors to learn more about vineyards and wine making with Doug Fabbioli, who is also the vintner at Fabbioli Cellars, he had two tours scheduled each Thursday and customers were very excited about seeing the backstage and see how their favorite wines were being made.

Doug Fabbioli highlights that: “This market has several objectives. We gave the small farms and businesses a free platform where they could gain exposure and sell their products. But it was also a place where they could meet new customers in a safe environment, connect and network with other businesses and startups, which is a great way to learn more about the industry and forge business partnerships. The New Ag school is at core a workforce development center.

We provide ag-focused training to people within the industry, folks that have land and want to learn how to take care of it and high schoolers who want to gain knowledge and experience in the field of agriculture. We also provide training to our mentors, so that they are always up to date with the ever-evolving standards of the industry”.

“COVID19 has been a challenge for us all, but as farmers, we kept farming, we never stopped…we still had the responsibility of feeding people.” – Doug Fabbioli

Mission accomplished for the Loudoun Country Market.

The first edition of this market attracted more than 520 visitors for its four events held every Thursday from September 17 to October 8. This initiative of The New Ag School, in collaboration with Loudoun Grown Expo and Sterling Fest, was a great way to bid Farewell to summer and welcome the fall season this year.

The Loudoun Country Market has been an attraction for many Loudouners for four Thursdays in a row (September 17th to October 8th 2020). With a festival like atmosphere, visitors could enjoy local food and wine, while shopping from local vendors and being entertained by local musicians.

The Loudoun Country market is another initiative, in line with The New Ag School’s vision of promoting agriculture, local farmers and craftmanship, while exposing our youth to the different career paths and opportunities in this flourishing industry. COVID19 has been a challenge for us all, but as farmers, we kept farming, we never stopped. We added even more safety protocols to our routine, but a lot of the of those rules are already observed in our line of work. COVID19 or not, we still had the responsibility of feeding people”, explains Doug Fabbioli, the Executive Director of The New Ag School.

With 20 vendors each week, two food trucks and local artists or bands each week, the Loudoun Country Market also aimed at giving a platform to the local small businesses to gain exposure and build some connections, be it by expanding their customer base, meeting other business owners or meeting competent workforce prospects.

It was also an opportunity for visitors to learn more about vineyards and wine making with Doug Fabbioli, who is also the vintner at Fabbioli Cellars, he had two tours scheduled each Thursday and customers were very excited about seeing the backstage and see how their favorite wines were being made.

Doug Fabbioli highlights that: “This market has several objectives. We gave the small farms and businesses a free platform where they could gain exposure and sell their products. But it was also a place where they could meet new customers in a safe environment, connect and network with other businesses and startups, which is a great way to learn more about the industry and forge business partnerships. The New Ag school is at core a workforce development center.

We provide ag-focused training to people within the industry, folks that have land and want to learn how to take care of it and high schoolers who want to gain knowledge and experience in the field of agriculture. We also provide training to our mentors, so that they are always up to date with the ever-evolving standards of the industry”.

“COVID19 has been a challenge for us all, but as farmers, we kept farming, we never stopped…we still had the responsibility of feeding people.” – Doug Fabbioli

Think Outside Program

Another focus of the Loudoun Country Market was to promote the Think Outside Program. Think Outside is a tailor-made program or high schoolers. The Executive Director of The New Ag School says that this program was ready to go in March at four Loudoun County High Schools, but then COVID19 hit: “We are launching the program again and we will be doing it on Fabbioli Cellars Farm. We will be respecting all the protocols to ensure everyone’s safety; we will be wearing masks and social distancing. We have plenty of space on the farm. The Think Outside Program consists of our 5 core programs which are: Farm Equipment & Safety, Cleaning & Sanitation, General Horticulture, Hospitality and Leadership. Adapted to high schoolers, this program also includes soft skills that will get them ready for the workforce, while enhancing their skillsets and resumes”.

The Think Outside Program consists of our 5 core programs which are: Farm Equipment & Safety, Cleaning & Sanitation, General Horticulture, Hospitality and Leadership.

The Think Outside program is a 6-week program and will start on October 19. Each Monday, the students will be on the farm from 9am to noon, with an assigned mentor for the hands on training and experiential learning part of the program. The Think Outside program will also be accessible to each student online, on the Pract.us platform, where they can read through the respective modules and complete different tasks to monitor there progress. Upon successful completion of the program, each student will receive a certificate of completion and will have various summer job opportunities and benefit from career guidance from our mentors.

Think Outside Program

Another focus of the Loudoun Country Market was to promote the Think Outside Program. Think Outside is a tailor-made program or high schoolers. The Executive Director of The New Ag School says that this program was ready to go in March at four Loudoun County High Schools, but then COVID19 hit: “We are launching the program again and we will be doing it on Fabbioli Cellars Farm. We will be respecting all the protocols to ensure everyone’s safety; we will be wearing masks and social distancing. We have plenty of space on the farm. The Think Outside Program consists of our 5 core programs which are: Farm Equipment & Safety, Cleaning & Sanitation, General Horticulture, Hospitality and Leadership. Adapted to high schoolers, this program also includes soft skills that will get them ready for the workforce, while enhancing their skillsets and resumes”.

The Think Outside Program consists of our 5 core programs which are: Farm Equipment & Safety, Cleaning & Sanitation, General Horticulture, Hospitality and Leadership.

The Think Outside program is a 6-week program and will start on October 19. Each Monday, the students will be on the farm from 9am to noon, with an assigned mentor for the hands on training and experiential learning part of the program. The Think Outside program will also be accessible to each student online, on the Pract.us platform, where they can read through the respective modules and complete different tasks to monitor there progress. Upon successful completion of the program, each student will receive a certificate of completion and will have various summer job opportunities and benefit from career guidance from our mentors.

A word from vendors and customers

Jack Guthrie from Product Water, a small business specializing in rain barrels and “thinking outside the tap” explains with great enthusiasm that the Loudoun Country Market’s has been an efficient platform to expand his customer base and connect with other Loudoun small businesses: “Unlike some other purchases at the market, a rain barrel is not an impulsive purchase. It is more of a thought process and an investment. But I feel that through this market, I have made many connections that are thinking about getting rain barrels, when they did not think about it in the first place. This market was an amazing opportunity to gain exposure, meet people and promote my business and rain barrels”.

Jessica Barnett, from Arlington, cannot wait for the next market. She visited the last Loudoun Country Market with her husband, kids and pets. She shares how much she loved the atmosphere, the vineyard tour and got some shopping done.

“I love the fact that it is in the evening. And the fact that you can have a glass of wine and shop, listen to some good music, do a tour of the vineyard and wine production, is just amazing. It is like a festival and with all that has been happening with COVID19 and all the isolation, it was a much-needed outing. There is so much to do in one location, that is also very ideal. I got plenty of my groceries and other crafts at the market and it is great to know that at the same time, I am supporting local. I cannot wait for the next market or event by The New Ag School”, she says.

After this first edition’s success, The New Ag School is already thinking about some future markets with different concepts and themes. “Maybe Christmas”, confides Doug Fabbioli.

“It is like a festival and with all that has been happening… it was a much-needed outing. ” – Jessica Barnett

A word from vendors and customers

Jack Guthrie from Product Water, a small business specializing in rain barrels and “thinking outside the tap” explains with great enthusiasm that the Loudoun Country Market’s has been an efficient platform to expand his customer base and connect with other Loudoun small businesses: “Unlike some other purchases at the market, a rain barrel is not an impulsive purchase. It is more of a thought process and an investment. But I feel that through this market, I have made many connections that are thinking about getting rain barrels, when they did not think about it in the first place. This market was an amazing opportunity to gain exposure, meet people and promote my business and rain barrels”.

Jessica Barnett, from Arlington, cannot wait for the next market. She visited the last Loudoun Country Market with her husband, kids and pets. She shares how much she loved the atmosphere, the vineyard tour and got some shopping done.

“I love the fact that it is in the evening. And the fact that you can have a glass of wine and shop, listen to some good music, do a tour of the vineyard and wine production, is just amazing. It is like a festival and with all that has been happening with COVID19 and all the isolation, it was a much-needed outing. There is so much to do in one location, that is also very ideal. I got plenty of my groceries and other crafts at the market and it is great to know that at the same time, I am supporting local. I cannot wait for the next market or event by The New Ag School”, she says.

“It is like a festival and with all that has been happening… it was a much-needed outing. ” – Jessica Barnett

After this first edition’s success, The New Ag School is already thinking about some future markets with different concepts and themes. “Maybe Christmas”, confides Doug Fabbioli.

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