A Commonwealth of Virginia Website
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Elaine Lidholm, (804) 786-7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov | Old Hill Cider: Sarah Showalter, sarah@showaltersorchard.com

Governor Northam Announces New Jobs, Investment in Rockingham County

~Old Hill Cider to increase hard cider production, local purchases~


RICHMOND- Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Old Hill Cider will expand operations at the company’s hard cidery in Rockingham County, creating five new jobs and $500,000 in new capital investment. The cidery, co-located with Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse, will double its production and packaging capacity to meet demand for its line of hard cider products. Old Hill, which opened in 2012, is also committing to sourcing 100 percent of its apples from Virginia farms over the next three years.

“I am pleased to announce Old Hill’s continued investment in Rockingham County, which marks new opportunities for the Valley’s apple growers and for Virginia’s flourishing hard cider industry,” said Governor Northam.  “Old Hill’s expansion reinforces Virginia’s reputation as a top East Coast craft beverage destination and highlights the growing and important link between agriculture and tourism across the Commonwealth.  My administration is committed to fully utilizing our diverse agriculture industry to continue our economic progress in rural Virginia.”

“Virginia is the sixth largest apple-producing state in the country, and Old Hill is adding even more value to their crop by turning it into cider,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “The Showalters’ development of a value-added product from their traditional agriculture crop is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit of our farmers. I am pleased the Commonwealth could partner with Rockingham through the AFID Program to support this homegrown business in a flourishing industry.”

“Our family is elated to receive these grant funds from the AFID program.  This money will make it possible for us to take advantage of the growth and momentum of agritourism,” said Sarah Showalter, owner of Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse and Old Hill Cider. “The resources will allow us to double our production volume as well as construct a retail space that will better serve our customers with a larger tasting room and climate controlled produce sales area that will keep our business open year-round.”

“We appreciate the economic impact that agritourism, direct farm sales, and craft beverage production have on Virginia and Rockingham County. We are proud to support the Commonwealth and our county and are honored by the continued support provided to us during our growth,” said Shannon Showalter, owner of Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse and Old Hill Cider

“Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse has celebrated over 50 years of success in Rockingham County and the family honors this tradition by producing some of Virginia’s finest ciders,” said Pablo Cuevas, Vice Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors. “We are pleased to support their expansion at Old Hill Cider with this AFID grant and appreciate their continued commitment to our agricultural heritage.” 

“I was excited to learn that Old Hill Cider was selected as a recipient of an AFID grant, which will help them create new jobs and reinvest a half million dollars in their cidery in Rockingham County,” said Senator Mark Obenshain.  “This is a great example of entrepreneurial spirit in an agricultural setting and an example of the potential to foster economic growth by encouraging existing businesses to expand their operations here in the Shenandoah Valley.”

“Agritourism is a major driver of the economy in the Shenandoah Valley and throughout the Commonwealth. I am pleased that Old Hill Cider will be enhancing their investment in the Valley, its workers, and its products,” said Delegate Todd Gilbert. “I appreciate the Showalters’ commitment to our agricultural tradition and their efforts to increase the uses of locally grown products.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Rockingham County and Old Hill Cider to secure this project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Rockingham County will match with local funds.