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Virginia Tech serves meat raised on campus

The animals are raised on university-owned facilities at Plantation Road and Kentland Farm

July 05, 2011|Karen Kiley | Reporter

BLACKSBURG; Va. — It's a movement that's gaining national momentum; consumers wanting to know exactly where their food comes from.

It's called Farm to Table or Farm to Fork, and it's being demanded at Virginia Tech.

"We do large pieces of meat on our grill, ground beef in our tacos, meat in our sauce. We also do brisket and flank steak," said Amanda Snediker, a food production manager at one of Virginia Tech's dining halls.

"We like to focus on what we can right here on campus. So it's farm to table to farm to table. It's a never ending cycle," she said.

Lunch plates in Virginia Tech's Dietrick Dining Center are filled with foods grown right on campus.

"For those individuals who really want to know exactly where their product is produced, then they can sell this product to those students," said David Gerrard, the head of the Animal and Poultry Sciences Department at Virginia Tech.

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Gerrard pointed to the cows and pigs that are raised by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The meat from these animals is processed in the university's Meat Science Center.

Starting this summer, a daily selection of that meat will be offered in student dining halls. Previously, the meat had only been served for special occasions on campus.

"Having something that is local and sustainable is something they (students) come in actually wanting," Snediker said.

But even if you aren't a student eating in a dining hall, Farm to Fork foods are still found in Blacksburg.

Preston's Restaurant, at the Inn at Virginia Tech, is unveiling its new menu this week.

"Fresh from the garden to you," said Preston's chef David Oehring, as he sautéed zucchini and squash.

Much of the produce found on the new Preston's menu comes from a farm in Mechanicsville, Va. Some of the meat is raise on a farm in Independence, Va.

“I see it as a trend. I think a lot more people are trying to support local businesses,” said Oehring.

The Farm to Table trend is one that Virginia Tech and the surrounding restaurants are not only following, but helping expand.

“We do have to have our standards a little higher because we’re teaching the next generation of food industry leaders,” said Gerrard.

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Tech says its dining facilities are serving meat products from school-run farms and facilities.

The university's dining services purchases the meat from the College of Agriculture's Meat Science Center, according to a news release.

The center is an on-campus facility that slaughters animals and processes them into meat. Its meat is fully certified by state inspectors working under U.S. Department of Agriculture standards and are sold to public consumers.

The animals are raised on university-owned facilities at Plantation Road and Kentland Farm.

The products include ham, pork loin, sirloin roasts and ground beef. They initially were used only for special events, but now are regularly featured menu items.

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