VT Dining Services Summer Twilight Farm Walk

5:30-7:30

Kentland Farm

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition are hosting the first Summer Twilight Farm Walk of 2017 at the Virginia Tech Dining Services Farm at Kentland Farm.  The tour takes place on Tuesday June 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  The Dining Services Farm at Kentland Farm produces vegetables and six acres using sustainable growing practices for Virginia Tech’s award-winning dining halls.  The farm also hosts an intensive hands-on course in sustainable agriculture for undergraduate students, and facilitates research on organic and sustainable vegetable production practices.  Join us to get a first-hand look into the sustainable farming systems and practices used at Virginia Tech’s educational farm-to-campus program, with a focus on cover crops and soil health, mechanization, and GAP.  All are welcome.
Please RSVP to Kelli Scott at kescott1@vt.edu if you plan on attending.  See more details here.

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition – Shared Events for June

June 1: Row Covers and Low Tunnels (Warrenton, VA)The Fauquier Education Farm Workshop Series is a learning resource for farmers and home gardeners of all experience levels. You can pick and choose any workshops that may interest you with no expectation that you need to attend them all. These workshops are free and open to everyone and do not require registration. These will be held rain or shine and children are always welcome.

June 6: Results of a National Transition to Organic Survey (Webinar): Join this webinar to learn about the motivations, needs, and challenges of the transition to organic.

June 6: Twilight Tour  (Kentland Farm): On this tour, we will be discussing sustainable vegetable herb production, plasticulture production, and what it means to be a GAP farm

June 7: Drought and Rangelands (Webinar): Drought can affect the productivity and long-term species composition of rangelands in the western United States, as well as habitat quality for wildlife and forage for livestock. Drought is a periodic and sometimes chronic stressor in arid and semi-arid landscapes, creating challenges for public land managers to ensure that rangelands contain functional ecosystems and provide forage and other ecosystem services.

June 7: The Colorful World of Cauliflower (Warrenton, VA): The Fauquier Education Farm Workshop Series is a learning resource for farmers and home gardeners of all experience levels. You can pick and choose any workshops that may interest you with no expectation that you need to attend them all. These workshops are free and open to everyone and do not require registration. These will be held rain or shine and children are always welcome

June 8: Developing a Climate Action Plan for Your Community: Lessons from the Florida Keys (Webinar)A collaboration between the Climate Learning Network and the ANREP Climate Science Initiative, this webinar will focus on methods to address climate issues and tools that agents can use to provide leadership in climate change planning. Alicia Betancourt will share the program strategies and barriers she learned over 10 years in her effort to increase climate resilient policies and energy efficiency in county operations.

June 13: Improving Soil Health on Urban Farms (Webinar): This webinar will illustrate how the principles of a Soil Health Management System are implemented on a 3.5 acre urban farm growing mixed vegetables, and it will emphasize practices that enhance the microbial life in the soil

June 13-15: Changing Lands, Changing Hands: A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Tenure and Transfer (Denver, CO)

June 14: Development and Use of Generalized Provisional Seed Zones (Webinar)The fourth of the Eastern Seed Zone Forum’s online lecture and discussion hours aimed at providing both information about the creation of seed zones in general and a forum in which professionals, experts, and interested parties discuss the possibility of drafting seed zone guidelines for the eastern United States.

June 15: VSU/USDA Field Day at Randolph Farm (Petersburg, VA)Randolph Farm will be open to the public for this exciting opportunity to learn about the latest trends, research, and proven techniques designed especially to help small, limited resource, urban and beginning farmers. USDA representatives will be on hand to explain how their agency resources can offer services and support for a wide variety of operations.

June 15: Energy Strategies for Farm Resilience in the Northeast (Webinar): Participants will learn how energy-oriented design and operation can impact the resilience (the capacity to recover quickly from challenges) and long term success of farm operations, as well as identify common energy strategies for farm viability and resilience.

June 21: USDA NRCS Strikeforce Counties Workshop Series: Goldman Farm (Charlotte County)

June 27: Basics of Construction Inspection – Concrete (Webinar): Participants will learn the basic field inspection and testing requirements essential to verifying specification compliance

June 28: Small Ruminant Fecal Egg Counts (Petersburg, VA): Fecal egg counts are done to determine the worm load in animals and it has many uses in a parasite control program. They can be used to estimate the parasite load in an animal, show the level of pasture infestation, determine effectiveness of dewormers, and evaluate parasite resistance in animals.

June 28: De-Nitrifying Bioreactors in Tile Drained Systems (Webinar)Participate for an introduction to the new NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (Code 605) Denitrifying Bioreactors, and learn about the practice effectiveness, design and operation considerations, along with experiences from the field.

June 29: 3D Deer Fencing (Warrenton, VA)The Fauquier Education Farm Workshop Series is a learning resource for farmers and home gardeners of all experience levels. You can pick and choose any workshops that may interest you with no expectation that you need to attend them all. These workshops are free and open to everyone and do not require registration. These will be held rain or shine and children are always welcome.


Changing Lands, Changing Hands – A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Tenure and Transfer

June 13-15, 2017 · Denver, Colorado

Who? This conference will bring together service providers, policymakers and advocates working on land access, farm succession, conservation, beginning farmers, tenure arrangements, and farm landowners.

What? This national conference will explore the issues surrounding land access, tenure and transfer. Topics include tenure innovations, farmers without successors, affordability, special populations, public policy, equity challenges, and more.

This event is hosted by Land For Good, in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture.

Early Bird Rate ends April 30th

Learn more


Innovations For Small Farmers Theme Of Annual USDA/VSU Field Day 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture will hold its annual Agriculture Field Day on Thursday, June 15, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Randolph Farm, located at 4415 River Road, Petersburg.

Free and open to the public, the field day will highlight agricultural innovations for small farms. Small, limited-resource, urban and beginning farmers will be able to interact with USDA representatives about available resources, services and support. Participants will also be able to learn about the latest innovations and technology for small farmers from Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialists at VSU and other industry leaders.

Tour stops will feature information and demonstrations on:

  • USDA resources for farm financing, risk management, advocacy and outreach, accepting SNAP EBT cards, and more• Rain simulator demonstration from USDA Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
    • Mobile meat processing unit, courtesy of Delaware State University Cooperative Extension
    • Raising chickens and rabbits in backyards
    • Berry production, management and marketing
  • New equipment, tools and technology demonstrations, including drones• Introduction to aquaculture practices and production
    • Hops research and production
    • High tunnel growing practices and specialty crops
    • Hikes on the new nature trail at Randolph Farm

New this year will be a dedicated bilingual Small Farm Outreach program representative who will lead a guided walk through and translation services of the day’s events in Spanish. Para más información en español, favor llamar a Mery Caldwell al número (804) 481-0425.

Register online at www.ext.vsu.edu.

For more information, contact the Small Farm Outreach Program Office at (804) 524-5626. If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach office at (804) 524-5626 /TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.


2017 Chesapeake Foodshed Feast

The Event
The 2nd Annual Chesapeake Foodshed Feast, hosted by Chef Cathal Armstrong, unites food lovers and farmers to celebrate the region’s agricultural bounty. We’ve paired local farmers, food artisans, and wine-makers with eight of the area’s top chefs to create a multi-course meal infused with Chesapeake flavors from mountains to Bay. This year, the Feast will be celebrated on the summer solstice to optimize our selections from the season’s freshest ingredients: think succulent berries, deep green lettuces, vegetables at their peak of flavor, grass-fed meats & poultry, hand-crafted charcuterie & cheeses, desserts made with cream from area dairies, and local libations, sourced from the region’s finest distilleries, wineries, and breweries.

The Chefs
Chef Cathal Armstrong – Restaurant Eve
Chef Amy Brandwein – Centrolina
Chef Hari Cameron – Amuse
Chef Caitlin Dysart – Centrolina
Chef Dan Fisher – Society Fair
Chef Jonathan Krinn – Clarity
Chef Jordan Lloyd – Mintwood Place
Chef Eric Ziebold – Métier & Kinship

The Cause
The proceeds from this event will provide critically-needed funds to support the mission of Future Harvest: Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. Since 1998, this 800-member nonprofit organization has provided a bold voice for clean, Bay-friendly food cultivation in the lower mid-Atlantic, and substantial resources and training for the next generation of farmers and food producers.

The Time

6:00PM VIP Reception with Celebrity Chefs (VIP Table & Ticket Holders Only)

7:00PM General Reception (VIP & Individual Ticket Holders)

7:30PM Dinner

Buy Tickets Now


Agroforestry for a Vibrant Future

June 27-29, 2017

Blacksburg, VA

Come join for the 2017 North American Agroforestry Conference in Blacksburg, VA June 27-29, 2017. Learn about the latest advances in agroforestry research, practice, outreach, and policy; see innovative on-the-ground systems with agroforestry farmers; share your agroforestry experience, skills, and knowledge; and participate in pre-conference training and tours. Early registration ends May 16th. Find out more information and register at this link.