Farm Finance and Conservation Planning Seminar

Hosted by the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry

One of the top priorities of Governor Youngkin is to help the next generation of agricultural producers find success. Access to financing is one of the most challenging barriers beginning farmers face. In order to address this issue, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matt Lohr has partnered with key lending institutions and state and federal agencies to host an educational workshop. The Farm Financing and Conservation Planning Seminar will provide resources helping producers explore their options. The seminar will also incorporate a conservation component since cost share funding is at an all-time high. 

Please join this FREE networking opportunity for beginning farmers to learn about farm financing and cost share conservation opportunities. The seminar is being held on two different dates and in two locations.

December 8, 2022

Meadow Event Park / State Fairgrounds
13191 Dawn Boulevard, Doswell, VA
“Meadow Hall Building”

Presentations by:   

Colonial Farm Credit
First Bank & Trust
Farm Services Agency (FSA)
Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Thank you to our sponsors!  

Colonial Farm Credit  
First Bank & Trust

December 16, 2022

Blue Ridge Community College
1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, VA 
“Plecker Center Meeting Room”

Presentations by:

Farm Credit of the Virginias
First Bank & Trust
F&M Bank
Farm Services Agency (FSA)
Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Thank you to our sponsors!  

Farm Credit of the Virginias  
First Bank & Trust
F&M Bank


9:00 am-10:00 am       Registration/Visit with Sponsors and Agencies

10:00 am-11:45 am     Presenting Sessions

11:45 am-12:00 pm     Q/A & Summary with Morning Presenters 

12:00 pm-1:00 pm       Lunch/Visit with Sponsors and Agencies. Lunch will be provided by our sponsors.

1:00 pm-2:00 pm         Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service

2:00 pm-2:15 pm          Q/A and Summary with Afternoon Presenters

2:15 pm-2:30 pm          Wrap Up


To register, email

Please register by December 5 for the Doswell seminar and by December 13 for the Weyers Cave seminar.

VDACS Launches Black Vulture Depredation Permit Pilot Program to Assist Commonwealth’s Livestock Producers

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces a new program to assist livestock producers who are experiencing losses of livestock due to Black Vulture predation. The program will allow these livestock producers to obtain a permit to “take” up to five Black Vultures per year. Black Vulture attacks on livestock is recognized as a potentially serious threat to Virginia’s livestock producers.

The program will be implemented through the Virginia Cooperative Wildlife Damage Management Program. This cooperative program, between VDACS and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, provides assistance to livestock producers who experience wildlife predation on their livestock. VDACS has obtained a depredation permit through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which authorizes the issuance of sub-permits to livestock producers.

Livestock producers in Virginia may apply for a sub-permit, which allows the lethal “take” of five Black Vultures per year. A sub-permit will be provided at no charge to the livestock producer. Producers wishing to take more than five Black Vultures must obtain their own individual depredation permit.

To qualify, livestock producers must have already implemented non-lethal, mitigating actions such as attempting to disperse the vultures through hazing solutions using light or sound, and best management practices to reduce attractants, such as open garbage, dead livestock, or outdoor feeding of domestic or wild animals.

Click here for additional information and instructions on how to apply .To apply for a Black Vulture depredation sub-permit or for more information on the sub-permit requirements, please contact Chad Fox with the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services at 540.381.7387 or email at

Dairy Producers Can Now Enroll for 2023 Signup for Dairy Margin Coverage

Dairy producers can now enroll for 2023 coverage through the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program, an important safety net program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that helps producers manage changes in milk and feed prices. Last year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) took steps to improve coverage, especially for small- and mid-sized dairies, including offering a new Supplemental DMC program and updating its feed cost formula to better address retroactive, current and future feed costs. These changes continue to support producers through this year’s signup, which ends December 9, 2022.

“Dairy producers are the backbone of many agricultural communities across rural America,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said. “Dairy Margin Coverage provides critical assistance to our nation’s small- and mid-sized dairies, helping make sure they can manage the numerous and often unpredictable uncertainties that adversely impact market prices for milk. This year showed why enrolling in DMC makes good business sense. Early in the year, some economists predicted that DMC would not trigger any payments for the calendar year, but then fast forward to now, when we’re starting to see payments trigger and a return on investment.” 

DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. 

So far in 2022, DMC payments to more than 17,000 dairy operations have triggered for August for more than $47.9 million. According to DMC margin projections, an indemnity payment is projected for September as well. At $0.15 per hundredweight for $9.50 coverage, risk coverage through DMC is a relatively inexpensive investment.

DMC offers different levels of coverage, even an option that is free to producers, aside from a $100 administrative fee. Limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged or a military veteran farmers or ranchers are exempt from paying the administrative fee, if requested. To determine the appropriate level of DMC coverage for a specific dairy operation, producers can use the online dairy decision tool. 

For the full FSA press release, including details on Supplemental DMC and DMC payments, click here.  

Virginia dairy producers who participate in the federal coverage program may be refunded for their Tier 1 premium payment through the state’s Dairy Producer Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program.

Don’t Move Firewood, Virginia

Limit the spread of invasive pests

As the days turn cooler and shorter, many Virginians are using firewood to keep warm and spend quality time with friends and family.

While seemingly harmless, moving firewood can enable the easy movement of destructive forest and agricultural pests. When firewood is moved from one area to another, the invasive emerald ash borer, spongy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, and spotted lanternfly often “hitchhike” to destroy crops, infect more trees and sometimes even entire forests.

Since it’s difficult to determine if firewood is infested, the best option to keep Virginia’s forests and crops safe is to buy firewood where you plan to burn it. A general rule is to get firewood that’s at least local to the county where it’ll be used. If you heat your home with firewood, harvest it locally or purchase it from a reputable dealer in compliance with state and regional firewood regulations.

“Invasive insects and disease are a critical threat to our forests,” said Virginia State Forester
Rob Farrell. “When you buy firewood near where you’ll burn it, you help protect Virginia’s forests while supporting local economies. Simple choices and a little planning can make a big difference in ensuring Virginians will have forests to enjoy for generations to come.”

“Invasive insects and diseases can lurk both inside and on the surface of firewood, so transporting firewood can allow potentially destructive and non-native organisms to move hundreds of miles and start infestations in new places,” said Joseph Guthrie, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “When traveling from one location to another, never transport firewood to your destination unless it is heat-treated and certified.”

Going camping? Make plans to buy firewood when you get there or gather it onsite (if permitted). If you have leftover firewood, leave it behind when you go. Packaged heat-treated (not kiln-dried) firewood, which will have a seal of certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a state agency is also a safe option. Certified heat-treated firewood may be moved as long as it remains sealed. Once the packaging has been opened, it will attract insects and should not be moved.

To find local firewood dealers across Virginia, visit For more information on invasive insects in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. For more information about protecting trees from tree-killing insects, visit