The U.S. is undergoing its worst bird flu outbreak ever. Is a poultry vaccine the answer?

BY: - May 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The deadliest outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history is prompting growing concern in Congress, and Department of Agriculture researchers are awaiting the preliminary results of four trials of vaccines for poultry. Some lawmakers are warming to the idea of a vaccination campaign, long considered a fringe idea due to the cost and […]

Virginia proposes putting more funding behind ‘whole-farm approach’

BY: - May 9, 2023

King and Queen County farmer Robert Bland  remembers when his grandfather, who was also a farmer, told him he was “getting too dumb to farm.”  His grandfather laughed when he said it, and Bland laughed too. “But from his point of view,” he said, “things changed so much that today he would’ve been lost compared […]

Agriculture leaders urge a stronger farm safety net at U.S. Senate farm bill hearing

BY: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — Farm and commodity trade association leaders lobbied for updating commodity programs and strengthening crop insurance programs at a Tuesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.  The industry officials said federal crop insurance and the Department of Agriculture’s Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs are not serving as […]

EPA settles lawsuit with states, enviros over Chesapeake Bay pollution from Pa.

BY: - April 20, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a tentative settlement with Virginia, other states and environmental groups that sued the agency in 2020, charging that federal officials weren’t doing enough to stop Chesapeake Bay pollution originating in Pennsylvania. The proposed settlement will be published Friday in The Federal Register, triggering a 30-day public comment period. When the comment […]

Virginia policymakers consider changing hemp bill to reduce impact on CBD products

BY: - March 23, 2023

Before many people even knew what CBD was, a particular group of families was asking Virginia lawmakers to legalize it. At the urging of parents with children diagnosed with severe epilepsy, Virginia passed a law in 2015 creating a legal shield allowing families to possess cannabis-derived CBD oils for medical use without fear of being […]

No losses, no gains for Virginia farms and farmland in 2022

BY: - March 19, 2023

The number of farms and farm acreage in Virginia remained flat in 2022 despite small overall decreases in both farms and farmland nationally, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  According to the USDA’s most recent Farms and Land in Farms report, the total number of farms in Virginia remained stable at […]

Virginia health groups back effort to crack down on THC products

BY: - March 10, 2023

The leaders of four Virginia health care groups are urging Gov. Glenn Youngkin to sign legislation that would impose strict new limits on hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating amounts of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets users high, as well as potential fines on retailers that sell them. In the letter dated Thursday, the […]

USDA aims to boost independent meat packers with $59 million in grants

BY: - February 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture beefed up its efforts to encourage competition in domestic meat and poultry supply chains on Tuesday, awarding close to $59 million in federal grants to independent processors from Idaho, Virginia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Maryland. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding awards during a trip to […]

Deal reached over extension for Va. farmers to adopt pollution reduction practices

BY: - February 16, 2023

Environmental and agricultural groups reached a compromise over legislation seeking to push back the deadline for farmers to voluntarily implement practices that aim to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering Chesapeake Bay waters. Bills from Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, and Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier, initially sought to extend the current 2026 deadline to 2030 […]


Let’s keep the Shenandoah clean

BY: - January 27, 2023

By Mark Frondorf For years, herds of cattle wading and defecating in our rivers caused pollution and rendered the waters disgusting and, in some cases, dangerous for contact by those seeking recreation and drinking water. That’s why in 2020, Virginia passed legislation providing farmers with increased funding to fence herds of cattle out of streams […]

Federal government has given $800 million to keep indebted farmers afloat

BY: - October 19, 2022

More than 13,000 farmers have benefited from nearly $800 million in federal debt relief, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. The assistance came from a new federal initiative to erase farmers’ loan delinquencies to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private lenders or to resolve their remaining debts after foreclosure. Going forward, the […]


There has never been a better time to fence cattle out of streams

BY: - September 1, 2022

By Bobby Whitescarver My wife and I are beef cattle farmers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Two years ago, we enrolled in Virginia’s Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost-Share Program. We used this state funding to fence our cattle out of the streams and develop a rotational grazing system. The program opened a huge door […]