University of Lynchburg has been providing an intimate, private university experience for over 120 years. With only 1,800 students living on campus at the University of Lynchburg, the college’s Dining Services operates as an in-house entity and has the opportunity to provide top quality food options in convenient locations across campus. They do so by partnering with local farms to source their meat, produce, and dairy options.
Committed to Buying Local
“About a decade ago, we were finding that students were wanting more locally sourced, sustainable food options,” says Michial Neal, co-director of Dining Services. “Students wanted to lower their carbon footprint and support local farms and we agreed.”
Around that time, we were reaching out to local colleges to offer a partnership to provide bulk dairy options for dining facilities. Michial and his co-director, Shaun Dearden were eager to learn more about our commitment to ethical cow care and quality products. Today, our lemonade, chocolate milk, and a variety of white milk is served in Burton Dining Hall located in the on campus Student Center. We’ve also attended various University-wide events with our ice cream truck!
“We toured the Homestead Creamery facility and farms and we were really impressed with their operations,” says Michial. “You could really tell that they care about their cows and the way they process their products. It really shows in the flavor and quality of their products and the students love it.”
While sourcing local food isn’t always the most cost-saving choice, Michial and Shaun see the true value in being able to serve higher quality options to hungry students. Homestead Creamery isn’t the only local agricultural supplier the University has partnered with. Students can enjoy farm fresh beef from Amherst’s 7 Hills Beef and pork from Baker’s Farm Fresh Pork in Mt. Jackson. For their produce, they purchase fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables from Lynchburg Grows and Cavalier Produce out of Charlotte, NC.
“You have to have good food to make a good product,” says Michial. He believes that through his partnership with Homestead Creamery and other local farms, he’s able to do that.
Become a Facility Partner
If you’d like to provide farm fresh dairy options at your dining facility, we’d love to partner with you! We’re able to provide supply for facilities like large scale dining halls, hotels, and more. Contact us to find out more!