News Headlines

Miscellaneous

 

Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified in the latest survey of participants in the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers program.
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Virginia has 27,000 part-time farmers. Unlike their full-time colleagues who are likely to be alerted immediately of an animal health crisis, it could take days or weeks to contact them with critical information.
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History unveiled a new website on March 19 that the public can use to share stories about technologies and innovation that have changed their work lives in agriculture.
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The latest snapshot of America’s beginning farmers and ranchers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds their numbers have been declining for at least two decades.
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Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry, generating $55 billion annually and providing more than 357,000 jobs.
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Stafford County Farm Bureau will be working to educate students about agriculture with the help of a grant from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the latest round of $5 million in Farm to School grants for fiscal year 2014. The national grant program has so far assisted two Virginia localities.
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is reaching out to U.S. farmers, ranchers and agribusiness to build a collection that reflects modern agricultural practices.
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U.S. farmers have until May 10 to amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plans, as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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The Virginia’s Finest Trademark Program began in 1989 as the premier quality standards program for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
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More and more people of all ages are interested in making a living off the land. But modern farmers, whatever they raise, need specialized training and experience in order to succeed.
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Just what is that strange shrub planted next to your new house? Or what are those trees in the park that are setting off your allergies?
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Farmers who are interested in transitioning out of farming and mentoring a young farmer can take the first step in the process by filling out a Mentee Application for the Virginia Farm Mentor Network.
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A report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this fall provides a detailed look at the varied business models being used by American farms.
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Venison provides low-fat, high-protein nutrition for food banks and other feeding programs, but donations of deer to Hunters for the Hungry are down.
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If you can grow it or sell it, you can track it on your mobile phone. That’s the word from C.J. Isbell, a third-generation farmer and co-owner of Keenbell Farm in western Hanover County. 

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U.S. farmers and ranchers soon will take part in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The census is conducted every five years.
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Parents know it is important for their children to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lowfat dairy products and whole grains, but it’s been less clear whether spending extra money for organic foods will bring a significant benefit to their health.

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Virginians will be able to feed their families a Thanksgiving meal for a little more than $4.72 per person this year, according to an informal price survey conducted by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
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While there were plenty of power outages and some flooding and wind, damage to Virginia farms from Hurricane Sandy was minor, according to farmers around the state.
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Home cooks and bakers interested in starting a business and selling to the public can find out how to get started at a Nov. 13 workshop.
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October is a busy time on many Virginia farms, and a busy time in general. Nevertheless, in Frederick County, it was a good time to bring the best of local farms downtown.
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U.S. farm production expenditures reached a record-high $318.7 billion in 2011, a 10.2 percent increase over 2010, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2011 summary released in August by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
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From ammonium sulfate to xanthan gum, ingredients listed on food labels can be downright scary.
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With nearly 10 named storms already this season, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services urged farmers on Aug. 27 to prepare ahead of time for power outages, structural or crop damage, insurance claims and damage that can accompany a tropical storm or hurricane. 
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A new partnership between Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and Universal Fairs LLC, will help retain the agricultural presence at the State Fair of Virginia.

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Research has shown that the No. 1 reason people refuse to evacuate their homes during an emergency is that they don’t want to leave pets behind. 
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To help preserve the tradition of the State Fair of Virginia, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has entered into a formal partnership with Universal Fairs LLC of Cordova, Tenn. 
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Scientists recently identified five eating patterns for U.S. adults that are strongly influenced by age, race, region, gender, income and education. 
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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Services Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are offering Virginia farmers an additional tool to manage problems caused by resident Canada geese. 
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The director of Virginia Cooperative Extension said that agency is steadily rebuilding its presence in county offices across Virginia after staffing cuts in recent years.
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Cooperative Extension’s free publications are now available in e-book format. The publications are available for iPads, iPhones and the iPod Touch, but will be available for other e-readers soon.
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A common belief is that healthy food costs more than less-healthy food, but a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service disproves that.
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Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced May 23 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on a new microloan program to help small and family farm operations progress through their start-up years.
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The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced May 15 that the National Agricultural Statistics Service will spend the first two weeks of June surveying 1,800 farmers across Virginia to get a clear indication of the production and supply of major commodities for 2012.

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Spring is planting season, but some farmers are harvesting profits from old junk that’s been lying around their buildings and fields, sometimes for decades.
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Dr. Jewel E. Hairston has been appointed dean of Virginia State University’s School of Agriculture. 
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Farm families and their relatives across Virginia are welcoming the recent decision to withdraw proposed federal restrictions on underage farm employees. 
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Farm real estate accounted for 84 percent of the total value of U.S. farm assets in 2009, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released earlier this year. And strong farm earnings might have helped farmland real estate markets withstand the downturn in the residential housing market.
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The demand for information on how to start farming continues to grow, and a new U.S. Department of Agriculture website is designed to be an easy place to start looking.
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The recently released Virginia Farm to Table Plan: A Strategic Plan for Strengthening Virginia’s Food System and Economic Future can be downloaded from Virginia Cooperative Extension’s website.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun calling on the nation’s farmers and ranchers to sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, ensuring that they will be counted among their peers.
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Virginia’s apple growers are concerned that an unusually early warm spell this spring could be damaging to their apple and peach crops. Meanwhile, wheat farmers are worried a serious cold snap could hurt their winter wheat yields.
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State Fair of Virginia Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces the State Fair of Virginia, converted its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Richmond District Court on March 7. 
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Due to routine website maintenance between March 2 and March 5, the log-in function of this site will be temporarily unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Just in time for spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the country. 
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“The Real Dirt” offers information and commentary on agricultural news and issues, as well as photos from Virginia farms and seasonal recipes that include Virginia farm products. There’s also video commentary related to agricultural issues.

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Big companies are trying to change the way U.S. farmers operate their businesses, but some things don’t need changing.
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Andy Hankins of Virginia Cooperative Extension shows how hoop houses can help grow seasonal foods year-round. 
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The event is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation & Rural Sustainability  and Virginia Cooperative Extension in conjunction with the Rural Development agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It will feature workshops on how to get local foods into schools and how to better sell and market local food items. 
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