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 […]

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

BY: - August 30, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

Virginia waters troubled by multiple harmful algal blooms

BY: - August 30, 2022

Phenomena known as harmful algal blooms have led Virginia to add portions of Lake Anna and six other water bodies to its impaired waters list, an inventory of waterways that don’t meet state environmental standards. Other listed waterways include Mint Springs Lake in Albemarle County, Aquia Creek east of Stafford, Wilcox Lake south of Petersburg, […]

Biden administration plays long game for agriculture and trade

BY: - August 22, 2022

WOODWARD, Iowa — The United States could take international trade actions that might have an immediate impact on operating costs for farmers and the markets available for their crops, but the Biden administration has opted for a longer-term strategy, one of the nation’s top emissaries said Thursday during a trip to a central Iowa farm. […]

Farm bill season arrives: What’s the outlook for 2023?

BY: - August 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Over the course of the next year, lawmakers on the U.S. House and Senate agriculture committees will draft a new federal farm bill that will shape food, farm, conservation and nutrition programs across the country for the next five years. The omnibus law that began 90 years ago as crop support legislation now […]

Record funding to reduce agricultural pollution expected to aid Bay cleanup

BY: - June 29, 2022

A surplus of dollars in Virginia’s coffers this year means record funding for state programs that help farmers pay for practices like streamside fencing that decrease the amount of pollution running into the Chesapeake Bay, but nationwide inflation could blunt some of the long-sought money’s impacts. The flood of funding is “phenomenal,” said James Martin, […]

No further bird flu spread in Virginia, but danger hasn’t passed, says state vet

BY: - June 27, 2022

Virginia has so far eluded widespread outbreaks of a highly pathogenic strain of avian flu, but the state veterinarian cautions poultry owners that they’re “not out of the woods yet.”  State vet Charles Broaddus urged poultry owners “to continue implementing high biosecurity measures as an everyday practice” in a June 10 letter to industry members, […]