Grown Here at Home: State Fair of Virginia announces Ag Superheroes; several from our hometowns featured on trading cards

Five people from our hometowns were chosen to be featured on Ag Superhero Trading Cards from the State Fair of Virginia.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 7:40 AM EDT
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DOSWELL, Va. (WDBJ) - The Educational Expo at the State Fair of Virginia gives a good taste of agriculture To take things up a notch, they decided to put local faces to the goods and services that are a part of the industry with trading cards. So, they asked, who’s your Ag Superhero? The responses blew them away.

“We got over 100 nominations. It blew up. We had no clue it would happen. I was floored,” said Sarah Jane Thomsen, manager of agriculture education for the State Fair of Virginia.

Fifteen were chosen and five are from our hometowns.

Cam Terry is the owner of Garden Variety Harvests in Roanoke. His urban-farming initiative is helping to bring food to people in Southeast Roanoke.

Brent Craighead is a truck driver for Homestead Creamery. He’s from Floyd County and delivers milk and ice cream to local businesses and schools.

Robert Mills is a farmer in Pittsylvania County. He didn’t grow up on a farm, but after being involved in FFA, he got an ag degree at Virginia Tech and started his own farm.

Amy Johnson is a nurse practitioner whose family owns a farm in Bedford County. She’s passionate about keeping farmers safe mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Last but not least, Candace Monaghan. She’s the founder of the Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival in Botetourt County.

“It’s pretty cool to have your own card,” she said.

Thomsen explained their vision for the trading cards. “We transformed them into a cartoony superhero. We added capes to all of them,” she said.

The back of every card includes information about what these ag superheroes do, and fun facts about them.

“Anything you want to do, there is an ag piece to that in this world. If you want to be a lawyer, there’s an ag lawyer. Whether you want to go into business, there’s agribusiness. There’s so many career paths and opportunities,” Thomsen explained.

The trading cards were revealed on the opening day of the State Fair of Virginia. Monaghan was there for the big event.

“We had capes for them. They were handing out cards to all of the kids and fairgoers that were coming through,” Thomsen said.

“It’s great to be recognized here, locally, but to be recognized by the state is definitely a step up, I guess, so we really appreciate that and we’re just glad to help spread the awareness of agriculture,” Monaghan said.