When farmers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore were told they had to curb the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous seeping from their fields into the Chesapeake Bay, Zach Easton stepped in to find a solution. Easton, an assistant professor of biological systems engineering, may have found a way to save the bay while maintaining farmers’ profits with the development of a bioreactor buried under the coast’s fertile agricultural grounds.
“The ultimate hope is that this will be a cost-effective system that producers can use to protect water quality and help keep agriculture profitable in Virginia,” said Easton, a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist whose research is conducted at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter. Continue reading
Bryan Wagner with the Forestry Mutual Insurance Company, demonstrates chain saw safety.
Sustainability and education are more important than ever, especially when it comes to our natural resources. In response to these demands, Virginia’s Sustainable Harvesting and Resource Professional Logger Program is working to educate loggers and foresters across the state to help them operate in changing markets while implementing sustainable best management practices.
The SHARP Logger Program — working in cooperation with the Virginia Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee — provides loggers and foresters with training in the principles of sustainable forestry, environmental protection, and workplace safety. Since it began in 1996, more than 3,500 loggers, foresters, and others have completed the SHARP Logger Program training provided by Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and others. Continue reading