Two young adults committed to agriculture were recognized Aug. 3 during the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Summer Expo.
Amy G. Fannon of Pennington Gap is this year’s VFBF Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award winner. The award recognizes individuals for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.
Fannon is a Virginia Cooperative Extension unit coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent in Lee County. She and a sister are the fourth generation to help run her family’s farm where they raise pumpkins, corn and alfalfa hay.
America’s farmers and agricultural economy benefit greatly from trade. Our nation enjoys a positive agricultural trade balance. Last year, we exported $140 billion in farm products (nearly $3B from Virginia alone) meaning we exported $21 billion more than we bought from other nations. Unfortunately, our track record of success made agriculture a target for retaliatory tariffs from foreign nations after President Trump lowered the boom on those nations for their unfair trade practices.
Paul Rogers, Jr., of Wakefield, Va., has had a long and successful farming career, and an equally extensive and rewarding avocation as a youth league and high school baseball coach.
As a result of his success as a crop farmer, Rogers has been selected as state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. He joins nine other individuals as finalists for the overall award that will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Sunbelt Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga.
He’s a modest individual. “I’m just a humble man who tills the soil,” he says. Yet his farm encompasses 1,680 acres of open land. He rents 1,122 acres, owns 558 acres of open land and also owns 499 acres of timber.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall today joined a special national agriculture roundtable highlighting a recent wave of nuisance lawsuits targeting North Carolina hog farms. The event, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, brought together legislators and agriculture leaders to discuss the growing threat to farmers and exposed how out-of-state trial lawyers are using nuisance lawsuits to circumvent state right-to-farm laws.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from Virginia landowners and governmental and non-governmental groups interested in protecting the state’s wetlands and working farms through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
This signup includes both the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) and Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) components of this 2014 Farm Bill program. Applications are accepted on a continual basis, but NRCS requires individuals (WRE) and entities (ALE) interested in fiscal year 2019 funding to submit applications on or before August 31, 2018. If funds are still available, a second signup period will be held with a deadline of October 19.
A majority of Virginia’s forestland is privately own, much in conjunction with farms. The Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program (VFLEP), develops a newsletter to inform landowners of information and opportunities to best manage their forest resources. We plan to begin sharing this newsletter as it’s available on Plows and Politics. You can read the latest issue here.
Driven by improvements made by Congress in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the Agriculture Department’s efforts to inform dairy farmers about the enhanced program, as of early July more than 21,000 dairy farm operations had enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program for the 2018 coverage year. More are putting the final touches on their enrollment applications. Once final enrollment is tallied, more than 50 percent of licensed dairy operations in the U.S. will be participating. These farmers purchased MPP coverage on 131 billion pounds of milk, representing approximately 60 percent of the U.S. milk supply.