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I thought to use humor to address seemingly controversial land use provisions here:

Samson, a Rappahannock County 4-H prize winning Angus bull, munched contentedly on an especially delicious patch of grass in the spacious pasture on his human family’s farm.

“Our cow communications network has been abuzz recently with reports about the fairness of our owners, and other farmers like him, in the county’s land use taxation policies which have certainly helped him to continue in his difficult farming activities. Goodness,” Samson continued, “this protection is all in accordance with our county’s 2029 updated and approved Comprehensive Plan which states ‘Title 58.1 section 3230, et. seg. of the Code of Virginia authorizes localities to adopt a taxing system on agricultural, forestry, horticultural, and open spaces and recreation land based on their use value rather than fair market value,’ There is a rollback provision to protect land value when changed to other purposes.”

“Oh, Samson”, nodded Pansy, another of the farm’s 4-H award winning Angus. “I think the term ‘unfair’ usually means ‘not conforming to approved standards’ according to the iPad dictionary my 4-H member/owner Suzy has.” Pansy giggled, “I sneaked a peek at it when she left it outside the barn the other day.”

Scooter, a young upcoming 4-H champion in the making, bellowed, “Some humans really need to read the Comprehension Plan Land Use Goals, Principles and Policies, starting on page 83 and continuing through page 93.”

Samson nudged Scooter, proclaiming, “It’s critical to preserve agricultural land which is the lynchpin of it all, identified in the Land Use provisions you described. We Angus sure want to see these spacious, productive, pasture lands and the forested areas protected for our families, both human and animal, to keep thriving for generations. I know how important tourists are, too, and I love to see them stop to take pictures of us.”

“Spread the word that the Farm Tour is this weekend. Hope many stop by the Visitor’s Center on Route 211 to pick up the important Guide Books and information. How better to learn and appreciate how our County’s land use provisions have made so much of this varied beauty possible,” Samson concluded before heading over to his favorite clumps of tall grasses and clover.

Sheila Gresinger



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