Local and Sustainable Sourcing
Local and Campus-Raised Ingredients
Virginia Tech Dining Services strives to support local agriculture, and as much as possible, source campus-raised ingredients produced by students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
We define “local” as products that are grown or raised within 250 miles of our Blacksburg campus or within the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Our definition of local ingredients is adapted from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.) We also work to source certified Fair Trade and organic items when appropriate.
Here are a few of our sustainably sourced ingredients:
- The Virginia Tech Meat Center supports student learning and research in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences. University-raised beef, pork, and lamb is processed at their Duck Pond Drive facility and sent to the Southgate Center, Dining Services’ commissary kitchen and warehouse, for distribution to dining centers, including pork shoulder for Blue Ridge Barbeque, a student favorite in Owens Hall.
- Since 2017, Dining Services has sourced Virginia Tech-raised eggs from the university’s cage-free poultry facility and are widely served in our dining centers.
- Two dining centers in Dietrick Hall, D2 and Deet’s Place, serve milk produced at the Virginia Tech Dairy Science Complex at Kentland Farm, located west of campus in the New River Valley. The facility is run by students and the milk from more than 200 cows is sent to a Virginia facility for pasteurization before returning to campus.
- The coffee roasting program at Deet’s Place in Dietrick Hall purchases beans of from a sustainable, shade-grown producer in the northern highlands of Nicaragua, which is used for a third of the coffee sold on campus. Deet’s Place also serves a wide selection of organic teas.
- Homestead Creamery is a family-owned dairy in Franklin County, about 50 miles east of Blacksburg. Their ice cream is available at Deet’s Place in Dietrich Hall and the popular milkshakes at Burger ’37 in the Squires Student Center.
- Hokie Water, available exclusively from Virginia Tech Dining Services, is bottled at its source, a stone-protected aquifer in Hanover, Virginia. Our bottling partner Virginia Artesian has engaged third party lab testing to verify its purity for over a decade.