Welcome to the Virginia Association for Biological Farming!
VABF’s mission is to educate about, advocate for, and promote organic and biological farming and gardening. Read More
Annual Conference Date Set….Save the Date!
Join us January 9th thru 11th at The Homestead in beautiful Hot Springs for Virginia’s premier gathering of organic farmers, gardeners and supporters. Whether you’re an experienced grower or just starting out, you’ll find plenty to interest you. With practical learning and insights from over 30 speakers, an exhibit hall packed with useful tools and services, delicious locally-sourced meals and the very best in networking: the 18th annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference is a not-to-be-missed event! On-site room rate is only $89/night for conference attendees. EARLY REGISTRATION opens October 15th! Pre-Conference activities start January 9th, and the conference is on the 10th and 11th. More details to come so stay tuned!
We are thrilled to announce our new Conference Coordinator, Agatha Grimsley, who will be managing our upcoming January conference. She comes to us from Floyd, Virginia and brings with her a wonderful skill set. Agatha has a B.A. in Environmental Studies — Sustainable Agriculture and runs a successful farm business. She is also Market Manager at the Floyd Farmers Market and continues to work growing and improving that business. Through her years as a producer, she understands the inner workings of a farm, including proper planning, quality control, rules and regulations.
Agatha was raised in Virginia and knows well that Virginia is a uniquely rich in small-scale farmers working to feed their neighbors, improve their communities, and preserve the land. She also knows first-hand the importance of access to continuing education and opportunities for skills development so that farmers may keep their operations sustainable in a broad sense of the word: economically viable, environmentally sound, & socially acceptable.
Please welcome Agatha in her new and exciting role with VABF. She can be reached at Coordinator@vabf.org.
USDA Launches First-Ever Local Foods Survey
The Local Food Marketing Practices Survey will ask producers for information on their production and local marketing of foods during the 2015 calendar year. Producers who receive the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey from NASS are strongly encouraged to respond. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online via a secure website, www.agcounts.usda.gov, or return their form by mail.
For more information about the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov
Opportunities & Actions
Job openings at these VABF Member farms and businesses:
Radical Roots Farm (Keezletown)
Paradox Farm (Lexington)
Farmstead Ferments (Scottsville)
Manakintowne Specialty Growers & Virginia Growers (Powhatan)
Virginia Vegetable Company (Powhatan or Petersburg)
Brightwood Vineyard (Brightwood)
Plenty! Farm is hiring a Farm Manager (Floyd)
Policy actions for organic farmers, gardeners and consumers
The Organic Transition Planner will walk you through the development of an actionable business transition plan tat is suitable for yourself, your management team or a lender.
While not a comprehensive guide to meeting certification requirements, the Organic Transition Planner will help you explore organic transition strategies and decide whether going organic makes sense for your farm or business.
Co-Managing Farm Stewardship with Food Safety GAPs and Conservation Practices
from Wild Farm Alliance
Mark Schonbeck highly recommends this new guidebook that explains how farmers can make their farms safer by reducing pathogen presence using conservation practices.
In 2014, Virginia had 167 organic farms producing $41.3 million in organic products. This includes both certified organic farms and farms exempt from certification. Of the organic farms identified in the 2014 Organic Survey, 139 were certified organic farms and 28 were exempt. Certified and exempt farms together accounted for 28,412 acres of organic production in 2014. More Data
USDA-NRCS, Virginia Extension and VABF have teamed up with film makers Eleanor Goodrich and Aaron Port to tell the stories of diverse Virginia farmers who are focused on implementation of soil health management principles. Watch Here.