Author Archives: Kelli Scott

Farm for Lease in Franklin County, VA

Dairy Farm Lease Opportunity in Franklin County, VA.  Eddie Shelton local beef producer and retired dairy producer has a dairy farm off of Highway 40 between Glade Hill and Penhook on Buckscrape Rd for lease.  Great location.  The lease will include a house, multiple barns, parlor and 30 acres of pasture.  The newer barn includes roughly 120 bed freestall, older barn 96 bed freestall, with other barns for dry cows and heifers.  Parlor has ability to milk 9 cows at a time, 4 one side and 5 other side.  Crops can either be purchased from Eddie Shelton or from outside sources.  Current lease to expire in March.

If you know a young farmer or farmers looking to move to beautiful Franklin County, please have them contact Eddie Shelton at (540) 576-1223 – office phone or (540) 420 -3813 – cell.   I can also be contacted to answer any questions of anyone interested and will try to get pictures of the farm to view.

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Interested in Viticulture and the Wine Business? Beginning Farmer Opportunities Available at Attimo Winery~

Attimo Winery is pleased to announce the 2013 Scholar Vineyard Internship Program in conjunction with the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition. There will be up to 8 internship positions available in 2013. 

Internships that include pruning start March 15, 2013 and run until June 15, 2013.  Summer Internships start May 15 and run until August 15, and internships that include the grape harvest run from July 15 – October 15. Interns will be exposed to various aspects of the vineyard and winery business and will rotate through the following areas:

Vine Pruning and Vine Training.
Herbicide and Pesticide spray and spray management programs.
Fertilizer, temperature, and moisture control.
Grape maturation and techniques specific for production of high quality wine grapes.
Business development and vineyard finances.
Weekly lectures on whole farming practices and exposure to the entire winery/vineyard business as part of the Beginning Farmer program.

All applicants must be 18 or older (>21 preferred) and have reliable transportation and successfully complete the interview process.  In addition, internship credits can be obtained through horticulture programs at VT or Radford if currently enrolled. Commitment is flexible but ranges between 25 and 40 hours per week during the internship.

Benefits of Attimo Winery’s Internship program:
Paid stipend                                                                                                                                               Internships conducted by highly qualified Vineyard/Winery professionals in a formal setting.
Internships in Montgomery County Virginia (20 minutes from VT)
Provides hands-on experience / Resume builder
Provides an opportunity to experience the industry
Provides for diverse experiences for the intern
Provides the opportunity to apply classroom learning to practical situations
Provides the opportunity to prove the intern’s good work ethics, dedication to quality, and excellence

For more information and to apply, please send the following to Dr. Richard Obiso at


Current resume/CV
List of classes completed
Interviews begin January 15 – February 15, 2012. Please use email – do not call the winery.

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Appalachian Sustainable Development & Virginia Cooperative Extension offer Whole Farm Planning Workshops

Whole Farm Planning:  A Tool for Developing a Successful Farming Busines

Appalachian Sustainable Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension are offering two short courses this fall based on the Virginia Tech Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program’s Whole Farm Planning Curriculum. Each of these short courses will consist of three evening sessions and each participant will receive an extensive collection of course materials and resources.


Tuesdays at the Goodloe Center at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in Big Stone Gap, VA

Thursdays at the Executive Auditorium at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in Abingdon, VA.

 Course 1: Introduction to Whole Farm Planning

  • Tuesday, November 27 at 6:00 p.m. at MECC
  • Thursday, November 29 at 6:00 p.m. at SVHEC

Course 2: Developing Markets for your Farm Products and Raising Products for Local Markets

  • Tuesday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. at MECC
  • Thursday, December 6 at 6:00 p.m. at SVHEC

Course 3: Developing a Farm Business Plan, Getting Started in Farming, and Farm Transition

  • Tuesday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. at MECC
  • Thursday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m. at SVHEC

These workshops are free and open to the public due to grant support from the USDA.  Those pre-registered for all three courses will receive the entire set of curriculum materials. Pre-register by contacting either Appalachian Sustainable Development at (276) 623-1121 or;  Wise County Extension Office at (276) 328-6194 or; or Washington County Extension Office at (276) 676-6309.

If you are a person with a disability and require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations for these events, please identify your needs to Amy Osborne (276-328-6194) for MECC or Phil Blevins for SVHEC (276-676-6309) at least 7 days prior to the event.

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Several Fall Updates~Stay Posted, More to come

Well, it seems official…fall has arrived!  Many counties in Virginia saw the first frost of the season this past week.  Others, from Richmond to the Tidewater region welcomed a very refreshing chill in the morning air.   The autumn color is becoming more visible each day all along the Shenandoah Valley and through the mountains of southwest Virginia.  What a beautiful time for the Commonwealth!

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project has a number of updates to share with you.  As we move into fall and winter, there will be a number of workshops, conferences, and meetings to share with you.  So, stay posted for frequent beginning farmer & rancher news.

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project Announces YouTube Channel

Want to see Virginia beginning farmers in action? 

Want to learn from folks working in agriculture every day? 

Want to learn at your own pace and time? 

If the answer is yes, visit our new YouTube Channel:

Visit the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition’s YouTube Channel for case studies and short videos of real farmers sharing their experiences in agriculture.  This is a wonderful way to connect with and learn from other farmers on your own time, in the comfort of your home.  Examples of video themes include; agriculture philosophy, sustainable agriculture practices, and advice for beginning farmers, plus a wide range of other interesting agricultural topics that effect beginning and transitioning farmers in Virginia.  You will see a number of diverse farming enterprises, including dairy operations, multispecies livestock production, vineyards, vegetable & food production, and commodity/row crop production.  Add the Virginia Beginning Farmer YouTube Channel to your favorites list today, and stay posted for updates.

We are always looking to capture the experience, skills, ideas, and thoughts of farmers across Virginia.  If you are interested in participating in the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher video series, please contact Kelli Scott at  


Great news!  VABF has decided to drastically lower the cost of its Farm School program to make our program truly affordable for everyone, and to ensure we get a good turn-out. This low cost is a small price to pay for mapping out the future of your farm business – a business in which you could potentially be investing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in the years to come!  

 Also, we will be offering a scholarship based on limited resources (a limited resource is a person with a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of 4 ($22,050) or less, or less than 50% of the county median household income).  If you feel you meet this requirement, let us know and we can email a scholarship application to you.

We are very fortunate to be working with the Virginia Tech team and the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project members on this exciting project, and look forward to training many new farmers and ranchers in the months to come!


Small Farm Family Conference   Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30th & 31st

Danville, VA  Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Topics will include farm business planning and production and marketing of high-value crops/livestock.  Strategies for savings on production costs and post-harvest handling will be emphasized.  USDA agencies will be represented at the conference to discuss financial and other opportunities for small farmers. 


Forest and Wildlife Field Tour    4 Dates and Locations in VA. 

The 36th Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tours 2012 (aka “the Bus Tours”)

  • Oct. 8th:  Highland County
  • Oct. 12th:  Wise County
  • Oct. 19th:  Prince Edward County
  • Oct. 24th:  Charles City County
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VABF’s 6 Week Whole Farm Planning Farm School for Beginners offered in Goochland, VA

Great news!  VABF has decided to drastically lower the cost of its Farm School program to make our program truly affordable for everyone, and to ensure we get a good turn-out. This low cost is a small price to pay for mapping out the future of your farm business – a business in which you could potentially be investing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in the years to come!  

 Also, we will be offering a scholarship based on limited resources (a limited resource is a person with a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of 4 ($22,050) or less, or less than 50% of the county median household income).  If you feel you meet this requirement, let us know and we can email a scholarship application to you.

We are very fortunate to be working with the Virginia Tech team and the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project members on this exciting project, and look forward to training many new farmers and ranchers in the months to come!

This has been taken from the VABF website Posted on September 19, 2012 by

Have you dreamed of farming one day, but have no idea where to start? Do you want to meet and talk with other farmers who have already taken the plunge?  Then maybe VABF’s FARM SCHOOL is for you!

Eventbrite - VABF Farm School 2012 The purpose of this program is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in Virginia to make informed farm planning decisions as part of a whole farm plan.  This six week comprehensive program (Monday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm 10/22-11/26/12) will introduce students to these curriculum modules:

  • Introduction to Whole Farm Planning (10/22 & 10/29)
  • Marketing (11/5)
  • Sustainable Farming Practices (11/12 & 11/19)
  • Holistic Business Management (11/26)

Each module is organized at the introductory to intermediate stage of farming knowledge and experience.  At the end of each module, additional resources and Virginia service provider contact information are available to help continue the farm planning process.  The curriculum was developed by Virginia Tech, and is being offered as part of Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project through VABF.

Established farmers and Virginia service providers will participate in each of the six weekly programs, offering their own experience, feedback, encouragement and expertise to participants.

Students will have reading and homework assignments each week, including homework to be completed prior to the first session on 10/22.

Two farm tours are planned as part of the Farm School experience.  On Sunday, November 11th (rain or shine), we will tour Shalom Farms from 1:00-2:30 and Keenbell Farm from 3:30-5:00pm.  Students can participate in either or both tours, depending on their interests.

Shalom Farms is a regional food security, community development project of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond (UMUMR). Shalom Farms, located near the James River in Goochland County, provides vegetable production for low-income, urban neighborhoods and FeedMore. The tour’s focus will include cole crops, cover crops, crop rotations, weed and insect management practices, greenhouse production and soil management.

Keenbell Farm is a third generation located in western Hanover County, VA.  The farm, established in 1951, produces great tasting Grass-Fed Beef, Pastured Pork, Free Range Chicken, and Eggs.  All animals are raised beyond organic standards, on pasture and stress free.  This tour’s focus will include information on basic animal husbandry, pasture management, fencing, shelter requirements, grazing rotations, feed, and manure management.

At the end of the six week program, students will have the opportunity to participate in a networking event that will bring farmers, consumers, chefs, farmers market vendors, store owners, and others together in an informal social setting.  This event is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd from 2:00-4:00pm, and will be held at Midnight Brewery in Rockville, Virginia (Goochland County, just a short drive west of Short Pump).  The networking social is free as part of the Farm School program, and includes hors d’oeuvres and locally brewed beers.

Participation is limited to 30 students.

Full refunds offered up to seven days prior to the event.  After 10/15/12, no refunds will be given.

For additional information on the VABF Farm School 2012 fall program, contact Lisa Dearden, Program Manager, by email or phone (804) 314-9141.

Eventbrite - VABF Farm School 2012

Additional information on this grant funded program:

Virginia Whole Farm Planning Programs are based on newly developed whole farm planning curriculum developed by the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition.   The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project is sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Award # 2010-49400-21720.  This project is housed in the Department of Agriculture and Extension Education at Virginia Tech.  Please email Kim Niewolny, Project Director, for more information, or visit the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project website.

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Review of the July Floyd County Farm Tour — A Virginia Farm Mentor Network Event

Written by Kelli Scott-Farm Mentor Coordinator—Southwest Virginia

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project hosted a Floyd County Farm Tour on July 18th.  The farm tour was a follow-up to a June Information Session, which provided general information on the project and details on the Virginia Farm Mentor Network.

The purpose of the farm tour was to allow farmers, of all stages, to get out on working, successful farms.  It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with producers in many different sects of agriculture.  Floyd County, VA is a very unique county.  It has a rich, deep, and long tradition of agriculture, as well as a great appreciate for the arts and all things eclectic.  Floyd and the surrounding areas, like most of Southwest Virginia, has always been known for beef cattle production.  Over the past 20 years, the diversity of agriculture has increased in the county.  Today you can see a number of sustainable farms from beef to shitake mushrooms.  Floyd presents a great opportunity to visit a number of different farms in a close geographical area.

To learn more about Floyd County, visit:

The day began bright and early, meeting at Food Lion parking lot to load up on the 2 Virginia Tech vans.  I had the trusted help of Ms. Jennifer Helms, a PhD student in the department of Agricultural and Extension Education, working with the Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor, to assist me and drive a van for the day.  We were expecting 22 folks to join us on the tour.  Everyone arrived, got settled, and we were off~

The first stop of the day was in Check, VA at Seven Springs Farm, specializing in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, and organic farming and garden supplies.  We were met by Ron Juftes and Polly Hieser of Seven Springs.  First we toured the Community Supported Agriculture portion of the farm.  Polly runs the CSA and serves 100 families in the New River Valley with fresh garden veggies.  She allowed us to visit her greenhouse where she had fall vegetable seedlings started.  We also saw the pack shed where all the vegetables from the farm are gathered, washed, sorted, and bagged up into shares for the CSA members.  From the farm, the shares are picked up and/or delivered to drop points in Floyd, Blacksburg, and Roanoke.  Polly walked us through her vegetable garden plots. She had different growing areas spread out across the farm, which allows her to take full advantage of her naturally rich areas of soil and microclimates.  Polly and Ron started Seven Springs in the 90’s.  They have developed a successful working system.  “We are committed to growing the freshest, healthiest food we can by using only sustainable and biodynamic practices”.

Ron picked up with the group and showed us the organic supply house.  Seven Springs supplies farmers all along the east coast, with most of their customers being in Virginia and North Carolina.  You may have seen their booth at a trade show or conference you recently attended.  Ron does a great job at promoting his products.  It was great to learn more about what is available in Floyd and what Seven Spring has access to.  They are a key player in the agriculture system, which helps farmers stay local.

To learn more about Seven Springs, visit:

The next stop was right next door at Weathertop Farm, a small family-owned and operated farm dedicated to holistic sustainable animal husbandry, land stewardship, soil conservation, and composting. The main business of Weathertop Farm is raising and selling pastured chickens, rabbits, pigs, turkeys, ducks, sheep and eggs.  We were greeted by Cedric and Sarah Shannon and family.  I have visited with Cedric and Sarah many times.  I really enjoy learning from them and watching their farm expand.  They have now incorporated sheep into the pasture rotation.

The group learned about the importance of pasture maintenance to support grazing animals and daily livestock rotation.  Everyone got to learn about “Chicken Tractors”.  This is a great comparison to the small chicken tractors we saw at Seven Springs.  Where they used a narrow rectangle movable cage with just a few chickens in the vegetable rows, which helps to eliminate a great deal of bugs from the garden.  At Weathertop, we saw chickens, (broilers & layers), hogs, rabbits, and sheep.  The day after our visit, the Shannon’s were schedule to get in 600 baby chicks for the next round of broiler production.

To learn more about Weathertop Farm, visit:

Once we left Weathertop, we headed back towards the town of Floyd.  We stopped off at G.J. Ingram’s on HWY 221, just outside of town.  Ingram’s, as it’s known around town, is known for all things farming.  It is a great gathering/meeting place for farmers.  It is a local country store, gas station, and farm supply house.  They have almost anything you need…or they can get it.  The family welcomed us into the store and offered us snacks and cold drinks.  G.J. Ingram’s is a multi-generational dairy farm and farm supply house, with a long history of farming everything from cows to corn in Floyd County.  Ingram’s, and farm stores like this, are a great place for beginning farmers to go and hang out….Get to know some folks, build relationships, and see what you can learn.

We left Ingram’s store and headed to The Floyd Country Store for lunch.  They had us all set up and hosted us to a wonderful lunch.  This was a great chance to cool off from the hot summer day.  We all enjoyed wonderful fresh, local food and cold ice tea.  Lunch was a great chance for networking.  Dr. Kim Niewolny (project director) joined us for lunch and the afternoon session of the tour. She addressed the group and discussed  the purpose of the farm tour and gathering.  It was a great chance to talk about the opportunities of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project and the Virginia Farm Mentor Network.

Floyd Country

After lunch we went to visit with Tenley Weaver at Good Food, Good People.  Tenley runs a Community Supported Agriculture project.  In many ways the basic model is similar to Seven Springs, but Good Food, Good People also aggregates farm products from many different local farmers.  Tenley helps market over 30 vegetable & herb growers’ products.  She works very hard to support over 50 farmers total, which includes all her meats, dairy, eggs, and vegetable products.  Good Food, Good People serves families in Floyd, Blacksburg, and Roanoke.  Tenley has even stretched out into Franklin, Bedford, and Botetourt counties. GFGP also does 6 different farmers markets, and has many successful wholesale farm to restaurant — farm to store accounts.  Tenley was generous enough to rearrange her schedule to spend time with us talking about local food systems, the importance of strong markets, and her lessons for the immeasurable lengths achieved through honesty and integrity.  “It’s amazing how far the basic skills learned in Kindergarten will get you…in farming and in life”~

For more info on Good Food, Good People, and the farmers they help to serve, visit:

Next was Full Circle Farm, which was just a quick drive down a country dirt road.  Full Circle is the primary farm that supplies Good Food, Good People.  It is owned by Tenley Weaver and her partner, Dennis Dove.  Full Circle’s only client is Good Food, Good People and the many families and accounts they work to supply.  As we drove up to Full Circle farm, the skies were beginning to darken.  We continued on with the tour, but kept a close eye above.  Full Circle farm is “off grid” = totally solar.  They have a spring on the farm that is pumped to a high location into a holding tank.  From the high point, irrigation water is gravity fed down to growing areas and greenhouses.  Dennis took us down to the spring and showed us the pump.  He discussed the process it took to get the spring up and running.  He also talked about his environmental vision, agriculture philosophy, and a little about why he and Tenley live on and operate a solar farm.  Full Circle has 5 greenhouses.  They were all full of grape & cherry tomatoes and specialty peppers.  It was thrilling to see all those wonderfully sweet, juicy grape tomatoes ripening on the vine.  I love to pop them in my mouth like candy!  But, they are so much better than candy~

As we left Full Circle Farm, the skies opened up and we were treated to an afternoon down pour that cooled down the extremely hot July day.  It came fast and hard.  The drive to our last farm was an adventure, but we all made it safe.  Riverstone Organic Farm was the final stop of the day.  Woody Crenshaw, the owner of Riverstone had joined us for the full day of touring.  It was great to get his perspective on all the different farms in Floyd.  Mr. Crenshaw is also the president of a local non-profit, SustainFloyd, which is working to promote agriculture, local food systems, sustainable rural development, and overall quality of life in Floyd County, VA.  SustainFloyd is a member of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project.  They will be implementing Whole Farm Planning programing and many other opporunities for beginning farmers & ranchers.

Riverstone Organic Farm is a working, model farm.  It is an example of the best of what is possible for vegetable production in Floyd County.  This farm is new, but well respected, greatly due the staff Mr. Crenshaw and his wife has hired to manage and operate the farm.  Riverstone employees a number of farmers that have been doing it well for years.  The staff comes to the farm with a full understanding of farming in Floyd County and they also bring a well rounded understanding of markets necessary for success.  Riverstone Organic Farm is also working very hard to support the next generation of agriculture.  They have a very active internship program.

To learn more about Riverstone Organic Farm:

To learn more about SustainFloyd:

We were all very grateful to the farmer’s hospitality.  We were welcomed so graciously onto their working farms.  Many of the farmers rearranged their schedule to meet with us.  They took time away from their busy day to share their experiences in agriculture with the Beginning Farmer & Rancher group.  Many thanks and appreciation to all the famers that allowed us to tour their farms and ask questions.  Your time and input is invaluable!

Most all the farms we visited had an internship/work experience program.  Visit the website links above or inquire with Kelli Scott at with any questions on the farms or related work experiences they may have to offer.

Want to keep up with other meetings, events, and gatherings hosted by the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project, Like our Facebook page:





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SustainFloyd: Mobile Farmers Market Positions

SustainFloyd was created in 2009 as a non-profit organization  that assists the community of Floyd County, Virginia in sustainable, local growth. Their vision is a mix of the past and the future – meaning they work to develop new ideas that will support the next generation of the rural community, while preserving local traditions and history.

SustainFloyd is trialing a mobile farmers market this fall to get local food to folks who don’t make it to the Sat market.  They are hiring some part time help.  Two positions are currently available.

Position 1:  Driver/Lead Market Operator

SustainFloyd is hiring a Driver/Lead Market Operator

Job Description: Load truck with produce & market equipment. Drive to market site.  Set up sales site—includes: creating market chalk board, setting up tables, staking out signs on each side of highway, organizing sales materials.   Run the market—includes: interacting with customers, handling money—cash box (making change), EBT cards, credit cards. Knowledge of produce and local food a plus. Must have good driving record.

Position 2:  Mobile Market Assistant

Assist Driver/Lead Market Operator in all aspects of the mobile market.  (see full description above)

Contact Mike at 745-7333 or e-mail


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All-Farm Organics is lookin for a Farm Worker in Central VA—Lodging Included

All-Farm Organics is a small mechanized OG certified grain, seed, and commercial compost operation.  We are located in Central Virginia, off interstate 64 halfway between Charlottesville and Richmond.

We are looking for help with general farm work, including operating and servicing mostly older equipment, field work, seed cleaning and packaging, making and selling very high quality compost, etc.

I have a good house available on the farm, two or three bedroom, easy to heat and cool, which I would furnish in exchange for part time work on farm.  Extent of duties negotiable with right person.   House available August or September.

Organically certified good land (plus good compost) available for market garden operation or other independent income enterprise as well.

Work year round.  Driver’s license required, and references.           

Please phone or email at the contact addresses below:

William N. Hale
All-Farm Organics
249 Baker's Branch Lane
Louisa VA  23093

Phone:  (434) 981 6286    Email:

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June 27, 2012,  From the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services:

VIRGINIA  ANNOUNCES CERTIFIED FARM SEEKER  PROGRAM                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

In  a reversal of trends over the past couple of generations, young people today  seem to be returning to the farm, or they would if they could just find one.  Farming is an occupation that is asset heavy – land, equipment, buildings,  machinery, livestock – and all of those assets are expensive. A mid-size farm,  if you can find one for sale, can run into hundreds of thousands or even  millions of dollars. Some farmers are making a living on thirty acres or fewer.  But if a would-be farmer really wants a farm with all the acreage, barns,  sheds, tractors, planters, sprayers, combines and harvesters, what is he or she  to do?

Thanks to a new program offered by the  Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the  Virginia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Committee, would-be farmers can become a  Certified Farm Seeker, a designation that lets landowners know you are serious  about farming.

The Certified Farm Seeker (CFS) program  is designed for farmers at all levels: beginning, established or transitioning.  The program’s goal is to provide individuals who want to farm with the tools  needed to successfully demonstrate their farming commitment and vision to  interested landowners. Those who earn the title Certified Farm Seeker stand out  from the crowd. Landowners know these individuals are serious about  establishing a farm enterprise and have completed the planning necessary for  long-term success.

Agriculture is a business; in fact, it  is Virginia’s largest industry. And like any other business, would-be farmers  need a sound business plan as a first step on the road to their goal of farm  ownership. The CFS Program is designed around helping interested farmers  produce a business plan and resume, as well as demonstrate on-farm experience.  Five Whole Farm Planning Modules are available as resources to guide seekers  through this process. Each module contains objectives, questions and possible  activities to help beginning farmers reach their goals. The curriculum is  designed to be flexible and can be applied to farmers at every experience  level.

When aspiring farmers complete the CFS  program, they gain many rewards. They receive professional review of their  business plan at reduced or no cost. They receive priority in the Virginia Farm  Link database, an online resource designed to link farm owners interested in  exiting agriculture with those seeking farms and farm businesses, thereby  increasing the farm seekers’ chances of being contacted by a landowner. They  receive invitations to numerous networking and social opportunities to interact  with other farmers and landowners. And they may even receive time with a  transition mediator or attorney at reduced or no cost.

“I was one of the lucky ones,” said  Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner. “I grew up on a family farm and retain an  interest in that farm today. But not everyone is so lucky, and for those who  want to turn their childhood fascination with machinery, plant and animals into  a viable business, the Certified Farm Seeker Program is just the tool to get  them started and to ensure their success.”

The Certified Farm Seeker Program will  be officially unveiled at the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Summer Expo  July 27 – 29 in Lynchburg. One of the Expo components is an informative session  on the Certified Farm Seeker Program. Registration is free and information is  available by contacting Ron Saacke at 804.514.4202 or Click here for additional  information on the Certified Farm Seeker Program.

The Certified Farm Seeker Program is a  partnership between Virginia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and the Virginia  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, made possible by Virginia  Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project through Virginia Tech and  revenue generated from the Virginia Agriculture specialty license plate.

VDACS posts all of its news releases on Facebook  and Twitter. To receive immediate updates, follow us on Twitter@VaAgriculture  or like us on

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Upcoming Events — Summer 2012

There are many upcoming agriculture events scheduled for the end of the summer 2012.  Check out a few of them listed below.  If you have any dates to share with Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project, please email Kelli at with all information.  We will be happy to post all agriculture opportunities. 

For more News, Opportunites, and Event Calendar, Click here to visit:  The News Tab of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher website.

Tuesday, July 10th:  Sheep & Goat Workshop   Prince Edward Extension Office  

(100 Dominion Drive, Farmville, VA 23901) 

Virginia Cooperative Extension is offering a workshop on basic genetics for sheep and goats on the small farm and a portion dedicated to advanced sheep and goat parasites (facts, myths, and worm years). The featured speaker will be Dr. Lincoln Montgomery-Rodgers, DVM with Agrarian Veterinary Services.

Please pre-register by July 6th by calling the Cumberland Extension

Office at 804-492-4390 or email There is a 10 person minimum to hold this workshop.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Cumber-land Extension Office at 804-492-4390/TDD* during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

 Saturday, July 14thFarm to Family — BusFarm’s Victory in the Garden Fundraiser

with Special Guest, Will Allen.   Visit: for details.


 Wednesday, July 18th9th Annual Commercial Berry & Vegetable Production Field Day

VSU’s Randolph Farm





Pre-Registered Participants

9:00 to 11:00……………………………………………………………………….. Destination Choices
  •   Table Grape Variety Trial Demonstration Plot
  •   Berry Field & High Tunnel Demonstration Plot
  •   Vegetable Field & High Tunnel Demonstration Plot
  •   Effective Market Display Techniques
11:30……………………………………………………………………………………. Iron Chef Competition featuring Local Chefs cooking   with produce and proteins grown at VSU’s Randolph Farm
12:30……………………………………………………………………………………. Lunch Served & Presentations
12:45 …………………………………………………………………………………… Welcome (Dr. Franklin Jackson,   VSU)
12:50 …………………………………………………………………………………… Small Fruits and Vegetable   Program Overview (Dr. Reza Rafie, VSU)
1:00 to 2:00…………………………………………………………………………. Innovative Local Marketing in   Virginia

(Moderator-Theresa   Nartea, VSU)

Fresh Link-

Mollie Visosky, Owner

Five Points Community Farm Market

Bev Sells, Owner

Fall Line Farms Online Coop-  

Molly Harris, Owner

Off The Vine Market

Tess Schafner, Owner

2:00 to 4:00…………………………………………………………………………. A-Z of Strawberry Production

(Dr. Allen Straw, Virginia Tech)

4:00………………………………………………………………………………………      End of Program

Pre-Registration by July 13 includes   lunch and educational materials 

Register at this link by July 13th:


Wednesday, July 18th  Floyd County Farm Tour

Join us for a full day of touring working farms in Floyd County. 

Contact Kelli Scott at for Details.    Space is limited.  First come,   first served. 


Thursday, July 26th2012 Annual Field Day

Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research & Extension Center

Located 2 miles east of Blackstone, VA on Rt. 40

July 26, 2012  FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC                                                                                                                     Registration: 4:30-  Dinner: 5:00-  Tours 6:00-8:30

Concurrent Research Station Tours of Tobacco and Forages

Tobacco Tour

  •  Potential alternatives to control tobacco nematodes
  •  Potential alternatives for black shank control
  •  Budworm and hornworm control
  •  Discussion of ongoing tobacco curing efficiency research
  •  Alternative greenhouse tobacco transplant production systems
  •  Novel seedling tray alternatives
  •  New disease control strategies
  •  Flue, burley, and dark-fired tobacco variety evaluations
  •  Tobacco sucker control and MH residue management
  •  Tobacco transplant starter evaluation
  •  Tobacco yield enhancement product evaluation

Forage Tour

  • Livestock watering systems
  •  Protecting streams with riparian buffers
  •  Road and lane construction
  •  Water system design and installation
  •  Fixed knot fencing
  •  High tensile fencing
  •  Pond construction
  •  Spring development
  •  Wildlife habitat
  •  Cattle handling systems

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Betty Mayton or Margaret Kenny (434) 292-5331 during business hours (M-F: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm) 5 days prior to the event to discuss accommodations.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg

 Saturday, Sept. 8thFamily & Farm Day

Virginia Tech Southern Piedmont Center near Blackstone

Come and joinus in a day of fun and educational activities about

Virginia agriculture from 9AM til 2PM (Rain or Shine)

Cost = Free

Contact the AG Center for more info:

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Dr. Carol A. Wilkinson or P. J. Shepherd at 434-292-5331 during business hours (M-F: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to discuss accommodations. Or visit

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