From the Field: Spreadin’ Some Farm Bureau Joy

From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.

Farm Bureau has a history of helping meet the needs of farmers, and this is just another example that has been very successful.
Louisa, Madison, and Fauquier County Farm Bureaus rent a poultry litter spreader to farmers in their county as a service of the county Farm Bureau and Virginia Poultry Federation. 
The Virginia Poultry Federation first offered grant money in 2003 to county Farm Bureaus in the central and northern Piedmont regions of Virginia to help facilitate the movement of poultry litter from concentrated areas such as the Shenandoah Valley to deficit areas such as central Virginia. 
The poultry litter spreader fills a real need, as it is difficult to find someone to spread litter in central Virginia.  Most times, farmers are able to get trailer loads of litter delivered to their farm. But getting someone to spread it is difficult unless large quantities are purchased. 
Louisa County Farm Bureau houses their spreader under a carport at the county Farm Bureau office and the county administrative assistants administer the applications and keep records.  The Virginia Poultry Federation grant helped fund the purchase of the spreader, but the administration, record keeping, maintenance, and insurance are the responsibility of the county Farm Bureau.  The county Farm Bureaus do charge a daily rental rate, which helps cover these things.
As part of the grant, users must use Virginia poultry litter for land application, and use is restricted to within 35 miles of the county Farm Bureau office.  Louisa County Farm Bureau developed guidelines, application, and an inspection check list to ensure proper and efficient administration of the rental of the spreader. 
The spreader in Louisa has been highly utilized over the years.  So much so that Louisa County Farm Bureau purchased their second spreader just a few months ago to replace the first one.  Their new litter spreader is a BBI brand, 16 ton pull type, hydraulically operated with a heavy duty suspension and floor chain. 
If you’re a Farm Bureau producer member in Louisa, Madison or Fauquier County and interested in renting a litter spreader, contact your county office.
Until next time,
Mark

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