Agriculture

When a farm turns factory, what’s a town to do?

A Pennsylvania law designed to protect farms from nuisance complaints has also allowed concentrated animal feeding operations — factory farms — to escape local land use controls, writes Tim Rowland.
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VDOF seedling sales online Oct. 14

Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) officials report that demand for loblolly pine seedlings is very high this season, and the agency anticipates selling out early.
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New online tool brings farmers and chefs closer

In an effort to strengthen the agricultural economy and get more local food into area restaurants, the Piedmont Environmental Council has created and launched Farmer-Chef Express, an interactive website that connects local food buyers and sellers.
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Photos: Table-to-farm talk

Piedmont Environmental Council

Letter: Farm Tour needs your help

A new Rappahannock County Farm Tour & Festival committee has reduced the cost of the Sept. 27-28 event by more than half, while expanding venues to more than 30. Fiscally, we run a tight ship, but we need money to attract more visitors, to spend their money at local restaurants, shops and lodging establishments,...
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Photos: Farm show success

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Photo: Cooperative cleanup

Photo by E. Raymond Boc

Please keep off this grass

Spread the word: Kentucky 31 tall fescue, one of the dominant pasture grasses in the U.S. is an invasive, fungus-infected grass that does more harm than good, writes Robert Whitescarver.
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Study: Government fails to report three-quarters of farm injuries

Farm work has always been one of the most dangerous jobs in America — as the government has reported, academics have researched and those doing the work well know. But new research suggests for the first time that it’s a much more dramatic problem than the federal government recognizes.
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Letter: Planting the 2014 Farm Tour seeds

By
May 8
ltr_shiffTractor-8

Now that the snow has melted, the lambs and calves are on the ground, orchards are blooming and grape vines are budding — meaning it’s time to begin planning the 2014 Rappahannock County Farm Tour & Festival. Scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 27-28, all county farms, orchards, wineries, country stores and related businesses...
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Taking the scenic root 

By
April 3
Joneve Murphy is leaving her job at the Inn to travel abroad for a year volunteering on various farms.

In just a few months, soon-to-be former Inn at Little Washington farmer Joneve Murphy will be leaving Rappahannock County — as well as her job at the Inn at Little Washington — to travel around the world, volunteering on farms across Europe, Asia and South America.
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Letter: Get your farmer and farm bill facts straight

Regarding Walter Nicklin’s editorial (“Of farms and fiscal policy,” Jan. 30) and his rather confusing and misguided criticism of both Congressman Robert Hurt and the recent Farm Bill: He discussed the “lavish subsidies” contained in the bill, ignoring the fact that the bill eliminates direct payments made to agricultural producers and consolidates a number...
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When to conserve your Rappahannock land: now

columnLindstrom-6

If you own more than 100 acres in Rappahannock County and don’t plan to develop, now is the time for a conservation easement. The financial benefits of land conservation will never be better.
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Photos: It’s a (frozen) jungle out there

Photo by Shawn Walters

Census provides snapshot of agriculture in U.S. and Virginia

Virginia’s farms saw a dramatic increase in both the market value of production and the average value of products sold per farm, according to the preliminary results of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture.
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Cattle inventory down 5 percent in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced that cattle and calves inventory totaled 1.53 million head on Jan. 1 — down 5 percent from last year’s inventory of 1.61 million.
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The visible benefits of farm and forest

Molly M. Peterson, Photographer

Rappahannock County’s implementation of land-use taxation — the now-entrenched but often misunderstood process Virginia legislators came up with in the early ’70s for preserving agricultural land, forests and open space throughout the state — has had its consequences.
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Rappahannock landowners protect 825+ acres in 2013

Rappahannock farmer Chris Parrish placed another 100 acres of his Thornton River Farm into easement in 2013.

Last year was another successful one for conservation in Rappahannock, as four properties totaling 826 acres were protected by conservation easements in 2013. More than 31,250 acres are now in easement in Rappahannock.
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Editorial: Of farms and fiscal policy

By
Jan. 30
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We’re so busy focusing on the amount of taxes that We the People have to pay that we often forget their purpose is more than simply to generate government revenue. Taxes also influence people’s behavior, and, in Rappahannock’s case, encourage farming. If only it were that easy in Big Washington!
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Tree seedlings selling fast; order yours before they’re gone

Every year, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) grows and sells more than 24 million tree seedlings — and many of the more than 40 species sell out before the harvest season ends on April 30.
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Rapp granted $11K more for farmland preservation

Rappahannock County was among the eight jurisdictions statewide that Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced this week would receive fiscal-year 2014 farmland preservation grants.
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Gone/green

Europe is converting coal-burning power plants to burn wood pellets, leading to the cutting of U.S. east coast hardwood forests, an unintended consequence of what was supposed to be a good green idea.
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Don’t trash your tree, reuse it

Selecting a real Christmas tree over an artificial one is an environmentally friendly decision because of the renewable nature of real trees. But what should families do with the Christmas tree after the holidays have passed? Here are some suggestions.
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10 reasons Santa could have been a farmer

In another life, Santa could have been a farmer.

Did you know Santa and farmers actually have a lot of things in common? Here are 10 of them.
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Cliff Miller, farm profiled by Bay Journal

Cliff Miller III on his farm.

Sperryville farmer Cliff Miller III is the subject of an in-depth profile worth checking out on the Bay Journal website last week.
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The agriculture commissioner eats local

By
Nov. 14, 2013

Students at the Rappahannock County Public Schools are growing fresh and growing local, and Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr is coming to the schools today (Nov. 14) to see just how they do it.
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Development funds aid agriculture and forestry

Virginia’s oldest and most powerful economic sector now has a development fund, and the latest round of planning grants to help spur business activity in rural parts of the state recently were announced.
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Turkey Day for 10 costs $2.78 more than last year

Virginians will be able to feed their families a Thanksgiving meal for a little more than $5 per person this year, according to an informal price survey conducted by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation
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Photo: Vine intervention

Photo by Larry "Bud" Meyer

Bill Gadino of Gadino Cellars gives a close-up demonstration in picking Vidal blanc grapes Sept. 27 to the RCHS horticulture class.
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Photos: Farm Tour, Civil War Heritage weekend

Photo by Gregorio Photography

Rappahannock County Farm Tour & Festival chief organizer Cathie Shiff said every report she’d heard from participating farms, attractions, artisans and restaurants in last weekend’s (Sept. 28-29) event were positive; she was kept busy both on a cloudy-but-comfortable Saturday and a sunny Sunday at her own Wits End Farm in Amissville, while Bryant Lee...
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Letter: A request for neighborliness, not an assault on farming

With all due respect to the farming community of Rappahannock County, many members of which I count among my lifelong friends, I must respond to the letter of last week in reference to the propane cannon in the small orchard in Sperryville. Emma Hathaway, who by way...
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News briefs for Sept. 26

By
Sept. 26, 2013
Shannon Eastham, M.D.

Shannon Eastham receives her doctorate; the Voting Registrar hosts a voter appreciation event at the 211 Quicke Mart; and Virginia's Upper Hazel River TMDL watershed has several updated programs that provide significant new incentives to livestock producers in the watershed.
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Grassfed cow, meet cavemen

By
Sept. 19, 2013
Grassfed cow, meet cavemen

Seems Sperryville's own Mount Vernon Grassfed is on top of a trend, delivering the farm's grass-fed beef and pork products weekly now to the paleo diet crowd at D.C.'s District CrossFit gym.
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News briefs for Sept. 19

By
Sept. 19, 2013

Democratic 18th district General Assembly candidate Harris endorsed by Warner, incumbent Webert by business group.
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Letter: Which species are we driving off again?

By
Sept. 19, 2013

Could not have said it better myself — the “shots heard ’round the world” continue to disturb the once-quiet, serene hills of Sperryville and surrounding towns. After speaking to neighbors and fellow members of our community, I’ve come to find a general consensus: The nightly irksome interruptions are excessive and...
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Farm Bureau AgPAC endorses Cuccinelli, Northam, Obenshain

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC announces its endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor; Ralph S. Northam, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor; and Mark D. Obenshain, the Republican candidate for attorney general.
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Virginia soybeans headed for China

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced this week that Perdue Agribusiness has reached a new agreement with China’s Jiusan Oil and Grain Industries Group (Jiusan) to supply up to 8 million bushels of soybeans for the 2013-14 crop.
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Corn yield prediction up 42 bushels

From contributed reports The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced this week that Virginia’s corn yields are expected to be 145 bushels per acre, up 42 bushels per acre from last year. Production is estimated at 46.4 million bushels, up 29 percent from 2012. Harvested acres are estimated at 320,000. Hay producers...
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Editorial: Farmers at the public trough

By
Aug. 1, 2013

Agriculture may be big in Rappahannock County, but it’s not Big Ag. So it goes that, although agriculture remains indeed the biggest part of the Rappahannock economy, we are only minor beneficiaries of the latest farm bill passed by Congress.
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The Rapp for July 25

Detail of a painting by John S. Corraro that’s part of the Piedmont Virginian Artist Showcase this fall at River District Arts.

Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday returns, a Wellness Festival is planned by Jackie Meuse and the Little Washington Spa, sign-ups for the Farm Tour begin, the Piedmont Virginian Showcase comes to River District Arts and the USDA offers another way to mitigate the damage from Sandy in this week's Rapp column.
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