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Cultivate april 2012

A member benefit of Virginia Farm Bureau

Farmer-veteran partnership proves ‘really great opportunity’


Cultivate Volume 5, Number 2 April 2012

19 14

Cultivate (USPS 025051) (ISSN 1946-8121) is published four times a year, February, April, July, November/December (combined issue). It is published by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Periodicals postage rate is paid in Richmond, VA. The annual subscription rate is $1.48 (included in membership dues). POSTMASTER: Please send changes of address to, Cultivate, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond, VA 23261; fax 804-290-1096. Editorial and business offices are located at 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Telephone 804-290-1000, fax 804-290-1096. Email address is Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All advertising is accepted subject to the publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for the content of their advertising. The publisher maintains the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaints about services or products. The publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised.


Member: Virginia Press Association


Features 10 Education-minded grower helping veterans pursue farm goal Virginia Beach farmer John Wilson was pondering his potential as an educator. Veterans Coleman and Bridget Ruiz wanted to learn more about raising food.

14 Shellfish-eating rays marketed as tasty Every spring schools of ray move into the Chesapeake Bay—and start feeding on oyster and clam beds. In turn, Virginians are being encouraged to feed on ray.

19 Hands-Only CPR could result in more survivors The American Heart Association says the new HandsOnly CPR can be extremely effective for short periods of time. Virginia Farm Bureau plans to offer training soon.

6 Heart of the Home 8 Good for You!


Greg Hicks Vice President, Communications Pam Wiley Managing Editor Kathy Dixon Sr. Staff Writer/Photographer Sara Owens Staff Writer/Photographer

20 In the Garden

Bill Altice Graphic Designer

22 From the Ground Up

Cathy Vanderhoff Advertising

Maria La Lima Graphic Designer

30 Marketplace VISIT US ONLINE

Publication schedule Associate members will receive their next issue of Cultivate in July. The magazine is published quarterly.


Members – Address change?

On the Cover


“I found I really do enjoy sharing and teaching,” Virginia Beach farmer John Wilson (left) said of working with Navy veteran Coleman Ruiz (Photo by Sara Owens).

If your address or phone number has changed, or is about to change, contact your county Farm Bureau. They will update your membership and subscription information.

Food for Thought

‘At least once a day you’re going to be moving something’ Watch for farm equipment on the roads It’s part of the job: Raising food on a farm sometimes entails moving tractors on the road. “During the planting season, it would be daily,” said Hunter Richardson, a King and Queen County soybean, corn, wheat, timber and beef producer. “At least once a day you’re going to be moving something somewhere on the highway.” As routine as that can become, it takes some awareness and caution for equipment operators and other drivers alike. And that goes for the late-summer and fall harvest season as well. The best thing motorists can do is be alert—because if you see a tractor or other piece of farm equipment ahead of you, chances are good it’s not traveling as fast as you are. They typically travel no faster than 25 mph. “Fifteen to 20 is about the standard,” Richardson said. As with other heavy equipment that moves no faster than 25 mph, farm equipment is required by state law to display a triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem to warn approaching drivers. It’s equally important to slow down for oncoming farm equipment, because it sometimes is wider than one travel lane. That can take a little caution and courtesy on a winding rural road. “The equipment is getting bigger, and the roads are the same width,” Richardson said. While driving a tractor, “you’re trying to be mindful of the mailboxes and mindful of oncoming traffic, as well as traffic coming toward you” from behind. “It’s a lot to watch out for.” Richardson was involved in two accidents in the early 1990s in which equipment he was driving was struck

from behind by another driver. “It’s not a lot of fun,” he said simply, and it can make for some uneasy driving. “When you get hit a couple of times, you tend to turn around and look a lot.” In addition to moving slower than conventional traffic, farm equipment takes longer to stop, some equipment requires the driver to swing wide to make a turn, and not all pieces have turn signals. These are all good reasons not to follow too closely. Many farmers use the same three hand signals that bicyclists use to indicate when they are braking or turning. And most will pull over when it is safe to let traffic pass them. Richardson said dawn and dusk are times when it is more difficult for drivers to see and size up a tractor in time. He always uses flashing lights while moving equipment, and he said he uses an escort vehicle “about half the time, depending on how wide something is and how narrow the road is.” Virginia Farm Bureau encourages motorists to be mindful of farm equipment year-round—and to remember that it’s out on the road for a reason.

Some farm equipment is wider than one travel lane.

State law requires triangular slow-moving vehicle emblems on the back of all equipment that travels no faster than 25 mph. Cultivate APRIL 2012


new member benefit!

Farm Bureau offers $500 discount on purchase or lease of selected GM vehicles Farm Bureau members in Virginia can now receive a $500 discount on the purchase or lease of qualifying Buick, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles at participating dealerships. The Farm Bureau GM $500 Vehicle Discount Program is available for members who are at least 18 and have been Farm Bureau members for at least 60 days. The discount is not a rebate and may not be stackable with some other incentives. It must be processed at the time of delivery; GM will not accept certificates on vehicles that already have been delivered. To use this member benefit, visit, enter your membership number and ZIP code, and print out a Farm Bureau Membership Verification Certificate to take to your GM dealership. Members without Internet access can get assistance in acquiring a certificate from their county Farm Bureau offices. See participating GM dealers for full details.

Eligible vehicles: Camaro ZL1 Colorado Corvette Cruze Equinox Express HHR Impala Malibu (including 2013) Silverado Suburban Tahoe Traverse

Buick Enclave LaCrosse Lucerne Regal Verano Chevrolet Avalanche Aveo Camaro Camaro C

GMC Acadia Canyon Savana Sierra Terrain Yukon

Excluded from discount: Cadillac Chevrolet Volt

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Cultivate APRIL 2012

Keep your credit, debit card numbers safe

Tips to protect your cards: • Keep your credit or debit card in a secure place until you’re ready to use it. • Do not send your card number through email, as it is typically not secure. Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call. • Review your account statements as soon as you receive them to verify transactions, or review your account online regularly. If you notice any transactions that are not yours, contact your financial institution immediately. • Change your personal identification number every six months. When selecting a PIN, do not use any number that appears in your wallet, such as your birth date, address or phone number. Memorize your PIN, and do not share it with others.

When handing your card to someone else to swipe, keep the card number facing down. Don’t leave your card lying face-up on a counter while you are making a purchase.

by sara owens

More and more people are using credit and debit cards when making purchases, because it’s quick and easy. It’s also just as quick and easy for those card numbers to end up in the wrong hands. “We continue to see an increase in credit and debit card number thefts, because consumers aren’t being careful and because thieves are becoming more and more clever,” said Frank Dunton, vice president of investigations for Virginia Farm Bureau. “It’s really important that consumers protect their cards and treat them as if they were cash.” Dunton said thieves have been using devices called skimmers to read the magnetic strips on credit and debit cards. The devices are placed inside card scanners and ATMs and also can be placed outside of the machines. “It’s important to look around and check your surroundings before using your card,”

Dunton said. “It doesn’t take long for someone to copy your card number and use it.” When handing your card to someone else to swipe, make sure you hand it to them with the card number facing down, and never leave it on a counter with the numbers facing up.

If you’ve been a victim of theft or fraud, Virginia Farm Bureau Investigations can provide you with useful information and assist you with your fraud claim. Call 800-277-8323, and ask for Investigations.

• Cancel and cut up unused credit and debit cards, and when receiving a replacement card, destroy the old one. • Shop only with merchants you know and trust. • Make sure any Internet purchase activity is secured. Look for “https://” in the Web address to ensure your account information is safe. • Log off any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information. • Securely store or securely dispose of transaction receipts, and report lost or stolen cards immediately.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


To find the station nearest you that airs Real Virginia, or to view the show online, visit

Heart of the Home with the olive oil, coating each piece well. Season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Spread asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 12-14 minutes, shaking the pan several times so the spears will cook evenly on all sides. Remove the asparagus to a platter. Scatter feta over the spears, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Top with toasted walnuts and serve.

DEVILED EGGS CAN BE ‘STALK’ UP ON FRESH ASPARAGUS THIS SPRING DRESSED UP, DRESSED DOWN This combination of asparagus, feta cheese and toasted walnuts can be served as a side dish or salad.

“It’s really, really easy, and asparagus is in season right now so you can buy it fresh,” said Virginia cookbook author and food blogger Kendra Bailey Morris. She suggests looking for bright green spears and closed tips when buying asparagus at a farmers’ market or grocery store. Snap off the spears’ tough ends, or cut them if they don’t snap easily. Asparagus can be stored in the refrigerator, standing in water like a bouquet of flowers.

Roasted Asparagus with Feta and Walnuts INGREDIENTS

¼ cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted one bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and ends trimmed 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese quality balsamic vinegar for drizzling DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325°. Place walnut pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer, and bake for about 10 minutes, making sure they are fragrant and brown but not overcooked. Remove toasted nuts from the oven to cool. Increase oven temperature to 400°. On a large sheet pan, toss the asparagus

Kendra Bailey Morris’ crowd-pleasing deviled eggs “are not your average deviled eggs.” The Richmond-based food writer takes the concept of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and “stuffs it into a deviled egg.” The nice thing about deviled eggs, she said, is that you can make them your own by using basic ingredients and then adding anything you want. “I’ve seen deviled eggs made with many different ingredients, from crabmeat to caviar.” The secret to making perfect deviled eggs is hard-boiling the eggs properly. Morris places raw eggs in a pot and covers them with cold water. Then she brings them to a boil and after 1 minute reduces the heat to simmer, covers the pot and sets a timer for 8 minutes.

Sweet and Savory BLT Deviled Eggs INGREDIENTS

6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled 2 tablespoons mayonnaise ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely minced bread-andbutter pickles 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into small bits pinch of cayenne pepper salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half shredded iceberg lettuce, for garnish PREPARATION

Slice eggs lengthwise, and pop out the yolks. In a medium-size bowl, mix together yolks, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pickles and bacon. Add cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Fill a piping bag—or a plastic storage bag with one lower corner snipped off—with the egg mixture. Pipe the filling into each of the eggs. To prevent eggs from sliding around while you fill them, place them on a paper towel. Once you’ve used up all the filling, assemble the eggs on a platter and top each with a cherry tomato half. Then sprinkle each egg with a little shredded iceberg lettuce. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 12 deviled eggs.

Kendra Bailey Morris appears each month on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program, courtesy of Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Morris is an author and culinary instructor whose work appears in Better Homes and Gardens, Food Republic, Virginia Living, Chile Pepper and other publications and is a former food columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her blog is at Cultivate APRIL 2012


Good for You!

Egg recipes can be healthy—and delicious—choices ‘Eggs are also a good source of vitamins A and E, B-6, B-12, folate and lutein, a carotenoid that may support eye health.’ >> Karen Ridings registered dietitian and Virginia Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Frederick County

Lower-fat substitutions can keep omelet, quiche and other egg recipes in line with healthy eating habits.

by kathy dixon Eggs—and foods made with them—are good for you. The proof is in a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that found eggs are significantly lower in cholesterol than previously thought—a whopping 14 percent lower. And, according to “10 Tips for Choosing Protein” at USDA’s, eggs are a good source of protein, and consuming an egg each day will not increase the risk for heart disease. “I think eggs can be part of a very healthful and balanced diet,” said Karen Ridings, a registered dietitian and Virginia Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Frederick 8

Cultivate APRIL 2012

County. “There are a ton of nutrients in one little egg.” According to the results of the USDA study, a single large egg contains 41 IU of Vitamin D—a 64 percent increase from the last time the same testing was done on eggs in 2002. “Because eggs are one of the few foods that are a natural source of vitamin D, this increase is an important one,” Ridings said. “Eggs are also a good source of vitamins A and E, B-6, B-12, folate and lutein, a carotenoid that may support eye health.” But what about breakfast foods made with eggs such as quiche and omelets? The key to making those dishes healthier is mixing whole egg with egg whites. Two egg whites can be substituted for a whole egg, Ridings said. And when making egg-

based breakfast dishes like quiche and omelets that call for heavy cream or halfand-half, simply substitute lower-fat options. “People think that quiches and omelets aren’t good for you, but eggs are very nutritious,” Ridings said. “When you can make some substitutions for the high-fat ingredients, then quiches and omelets can be part of a healthy diet.” In the following omelet recipe, for example, replace the half-and-half with fatfree half-and-half for the same result with less calories and fat. And if a recipe calls for cheese, use a reduced-fat variety. Generally, it won’t change the taste of the omelet or quiche, Ridings said. “It may even taste better because you know it’s better for you.”

Good for You! Bayou Omelet ingredients 1/ 8

cup olive oil

2 cups red bell pepper strips ¾ cup Bermuda onion strips 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 6 ounces spicy Italian sausage, cooked and sliced thin 6 ounces cooked small shrimp ¼ cup half-and-half 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 12 large eggs, whisked 1/ 3

cup water

nonstick cooking spray directions

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Add peppers, onion and garlic, and sauté until soft. Add sausage and shrimp. Blend together the half-and-half, mustard, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir into the vegetable/meat mixture. Cook and stir over low heat an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thicken slightly. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm. Beat together the eggs and water. For each omelet, ladle ½ cup of the egg mixture into a heated spray-coated 8-inch omelet pan. Cook eggs over medium-high heat, allowing the eggs in the bottom and up the side of the pan to set, and then pushing them toward the center, allowing the uncooked egg portion to cook. Continue cooking until the eggs are firm throughout with no visible liquid egg remaining. Portion about ½ cup of the filling mixture into each omelet and turn out onto a plate. Serve immediately. Source: American Egg Board

Eggs aid in making on-the-run breakfast For those who are in a rush in the morning, Virginia Cooperative Extension agent and dietitian Karen Ridings recommends making a breakfast sandwich to go. “An egg in the morning will give you some extra protein that will help keep away those hunger pangs until lunchtime,” she said. Another fun and fast way to cook an egg in the morning is to make an “egg in the basket,” Ridings said. Cut a 2-inch circular hole in a piece of whole-grain bread. Place the bread in a pan that has been coated with olive oil. Brown the bread slightly on both sides. Next, crack an egg into the center of the hole. Sprinkle your favorite spice on the egg, and cook it until the yolk and white are firm.

Fast-start Breakfast Sandwich


1 tablespoon lowfat or skim milk

Combine the first three ingredients. Beat until blended. Coat a coffee cup with olive oil. Put the egg mixture in the cup, cover with a paper towel and cook in a microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Scoop out the cooked egg mixture onto English muffin or into a pita or wrap. Sprinkle with cheese and chopped tomatoes.

olive oil

Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension


2 egg whites, 1 whole egg pinch of dried dill, garlic powder, pepper, salt or your favorite spice blend

1 tablespoon shredded lowfat Cheddar cheese 1 toasted English muffin, mini pita or wholewheat wrap 1/ cup 8

chopped tomatoes, optional Cultivate APRIL 2012


Want to know more? Organizations in this article have information about their work on their websites. New Earth Farm – Farmer-Veteran Coalition – FARMY: An Army of Farmers – Community Development International –

“I’m interested in being able to grow food year-round, so I’ve enjoyed trying different things to see what works,” said veteran Coleman Ruiz (left), who has been working with Virginia Beach farmer John Wilson.


Cultivate APRIL 2012

‘It’s really a great opportunity for all who are involved’ Veterans working toward farm goal with help of Virginia Beach grower

article and photography by sara owens


oleman and Bridget Ruiz of Virginia Beach have a deep interest in raising their own food. Bridget Ruiz grew up gardening with her father and had some knowledge about growing food, but the couple knew they still had a lot to learn. The Ruizes are both veterans who served a combined 16 years in the U.S. Navy; Coleman Ruiz left the Navy last fall. As parents of three young boys, the couple wanted to find the freshest, healthiest food possible to feed their family. They buy most of their produce and some of their meats locally, and they make their own bread. In their search for local produce, they met Virginia Beach farmer John Wilson of New Earth Farm. The Ruizes started working with Wilson on his farm in order to learn more about agriculture.

‘What am I supposed to do?’ Wilson said he wasn’t as involved with teaching others until a few years ago, when he heard a speaker at a farming-related conference tell participants they should spend half of their time educating others. “I was appalled,” Wilson said. “I thought

to myself, ‘I don’t have half my time to spend educating others. What am I supposed to do?’” He kept the speaker’s words in the back of his mind, and as opportunities started presenting themselves, he decided to get involved. “A lot of farmers are dying off and taking their knowledge with them,’ Wilson said. “There’s such a loss of knowledge that really needs to be shared, and that’s why we need to pair the young and the old before it’s too late.” Farmers who are 65 or older make up the fastest-growing group of U.S. farm operators, and the average U.S. farmer is 57. In Virginia, that average is 58.2, and nearly 30 percent of the state’s farmers are 65 or older. In addition to helping Wilson on his farm, the Ruizes serve as a drop-off point for his community-supported agriculture operation and help with his online farm market. They also helped him build high tunnels where they grow greens and other produce. “I’m interested in being able to grow food year-round, so I’ve enjoyed trying different things to see what works,” Coleman Ruiz said. Farming appeals to him, he said, because he enjoys being outdoors and doing physical work. The Ruizes have been searching for a home with enough property to start their

own farm, but they’re having difficulty finding land that is affordable. “We are so grateful to John for this opportunity to learn so much before we take the jump of buying land ourselves,” Bridget Ruiz said. “Our experience with New Earth Farm has been just great.”

Continuing a mission of service The Ruizes and Wilson will be featured in an upcoming documentary film called FARMY: An Army of Farmers about veterans who are transitioning from the military into farming and ranching. The film’s producer, Dulanie Ellis of Ojai, Calif., hopes to use FARMY as a national outreach to both veteran and agriculture communities. Ellis was inspired to create the film after meeting a couple of Iraq veterans and the executive director of the California-based Farmer-Veteran Coalition. The coalition offers educational retreats, networking and small grants to help veterans become involved in agriculture, in turn creating more farmers to grow food for the nation. “This is a way for veterans to recover from the trauma of war and to continue their mission of service to their country by working in agriculture and raising food for our country,” Ellis said. “Most veterans have great leadership skills and self-discipline. They are service-oriented, used to doing hard work and working long hours, and all of these skills apply to being a successful farmer too.” Coleman Ruiz said he believes there are opportunities for veterans who need training and want to work on farms to help their local food systems. “When farmers and veterans can come together, it’s really a great opportunity for all who are involved,” he said. “The information we receive from John is just invaluable.” Ruiz said he wants to help educate more veterans by hosting a Farmer-Veteran Coalition workshop in Virginia Beach. “Ideally we’d like to have our own farm and have other veterans assist us and sort of ‘pay it forward’ using the knowledge that we’ve gained from John,” he said. Wilson also hopes to educate more veterans, as well as teachers and students. He and the Ruizes have been working with Kevin Jamison, co-founder of Community Development International, to build an educational center on Wilson’s farm.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


Wilson’s New Earth Farm uses a high tunnel to extend growing seasons for produce like lettuce.

“I found I really do enjoy sharing and teaching,” Wilson said, “so I’m excited about continuing to educate others through this educational center and garden.” The center will be used to hold workshops on topics such as composting, organic gardening, pruning and growing and arranging cut flowers. Classes for children


Cultivate APRIL 2012

on gardening and healthy eating also will be offered. Produce harvested from the educational garden will be sold to support current and future programs at the center and CDI’s environmental and agricultural programs in Haiti.

As U.S. farmers age out of the business, “there’s such a loss of knowledge that really needs to be shared,” Wilson said. To remedy that, “we need to pair the young and the old before it’s too late.”

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Cultivate APRIL 2012


article by kathy dixon | photos courtesy of the virginia marine products board


Marine products board, retailers say best place for shellfish-guzzling predator is on dinner tables EVERY SPRING, as the temperature in the Atlantic Ocean along Virginia’s coast warms, huge schools of ray descend on the Chesapeake Bay. As they migrate into the bay, the rays devour shellfish that help filter the water and are harvested for food. “I’ve seen acres of oysters wiped out in a matter of hours by these cow-nosed rays,” said Mike Hutt, who grew up near the bay. And now Hutt, the executive director of the Virginia Marine Products Board, is on a mission to stop them from damaging the state’s valuable shellfish industry. The plan is to create and develop a market for the ray as a food source through restaurant, retail and food service sales, Hutt said. The Chesapeake Bay is where watermen and aquaculturalists grow and harvest clams and oysters. Aquaculture is the process of raising fish or seafood in a controlled environment, whether outdoors or in an enclosed facility; it’s a vital part of Virginia agriculture. Sales of Virginia aquaculture products are ranked eighth nationwide, according to the 2005 Census of Aquaculture. In 2009, the farm-gate value of hard clams in Virginia was $26 million, and the state’s oyster industry was valued at almost $3.3 million. The VMPB renamed the cow-nosed ray Chesapeake ray to help market it. And for the past five years, Hutt and Marketing Specialist Joseph Cardwell have been working with chefs, seafood distributors and grocery stores to spread the word that ray is a nutritious, edible product. “It’s 50 percent story and 50 percent tasting,” said Carl Salamone, vice president of seafood merchandising for Wegmans Food Markets, which has been selling fresh ray fillets for the past two summers.

customers have been enjoying Chesapeake Bay Ray Tacos for the past two years. She added them to the menu after she heard a waterman complain that the rays were ruining his clam harvest. Habr said people relish the idea of eating something that’s helping the bay, “and they taste good.”

Grocery chain on the ray bandwagon Wegmans, which is based in New York, has six stores in Northern Virginia. The chain sells fillets from rays caught by Chesapeake Bay fisherman from mid-May through September. Rays are not fished but are a by-catch of fishermen who set nets for other species. “If there was a steady supply, we could sell more,” Salamone said. “I’ve had customers asking when the Chesapeake ray would be available.” He ordered his first samples two summers ago from L D Amory & Co. in Hampton. Wegmans chefs experimented with the ray, and “two days later they called and said the taste and texture was outstanding. They said it has the texture of veal.” Wegmans holds cooking demonstrations and has displayed the ray alongside tuna for comparison. Both have red flesh and are more meaty than other types of fish, but ray costs considerably less than tuna, Salamone said.

Ray is versatile, nutritious Hutt said ray takes on the flavors of whatever it is cooked with. “It can be sautéed, grilled, fried, pan seared, steamed or broiled.” And with 22 grams of protein and only 100 calories in a 4-ounce serving, it can be part of a healthy diet.

Restaurant raves about ray At Croc’s 19th Street Bistro in Virginia Beach, co-owner Laura Habr said her


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Bay is feeding ground for Chesapeake rays In the middle of the summer in the Chesapeake Bay, “there is probably no area where you won’t see a ray,” said Joseph Cardwell, seafood marketing specialist for the Virginia Marine Products Board. And from mid-May through September, they eat oysters, clams and other shellfish. As they feed, they also destroy the grassy areas where the shellfish live. The ray has sensors in its face, and when it finds shellfish it stays in one spot, beats its wings and creates a crevasse that forms a trap, Cardwell said. The ray then uses plates inside its mouth to crush the crustaceans’ shells.

While there are different schools of thought as to the exact extent of damage caused by rays, as well as the best ways to control them and still maintain a healthy natural balance, those involved in the state’s burgeoning shellfish industry say it is enough of a problem that something needs to done. Virginia has been trying for decades to restore its oyster population and has been making progress, but the harvest level still remains a far cry from record levels in the 1960s. “We need to reduce the number of Chesapeake rays in order to have a healthier bay and increase our shellfish population,” said Mike Hutt, executive director of the VMPB.

Cow-nosed rays, also called Chesapeake rays, in an aquarium environment (top left) feed on oysters. The rays are not fished in the Chesapeake Bay; they are a by-catch of watermen who use nets to catch other species.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


Wegmans Food Markets in Northern Virginia sell ray fillets (at right in fish case) each summer.

Ray meat can be breaded and fried for entrees like soft tacos, but it also can be sautĂŠed, grilled, pan-seared, steamed or broiled. It takes on the flavors of ingredients with which it is cooked.


Cultivate APRIL 2012

How can you cook ray? How can’t you cook it? Chesapeake ray takes on the flavors of foods and seasonings with which it is cooked, which creates a vast palette of preparations. Here are a few:

Fried Ray Strips ingredients 24 Chesapeake ray strips, 3˝ long x ½˝ wide 2 eggs ¼ cup milk 2 cups plain white flour 2 cups Italian bread crumbs or your favorite seafood breading 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil directions Cut ray into strips, cutting with the grain. Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl. Put flour in a separate bowl and do the same with the bread crumbs. Heat oil to 375°. Dip the ray strips into the flour, then into the egg and milk mixture, and finally into the bread crumbs. Fry in heated oil until light brown. Serve with tartar sauce or lemon juice. Source: Virginia Marine Products Board

Chesapeake Ray Fajitas ingredients 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon lime juice ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1½ pounds Chesapeake ray fillets 1 cup red bell pepper strips ¼ cup julienned poblano pepper 1 cup onion strips 1 lime, cut in wedges soft flour tortillas sour cream, guacamole and/or salsa 1 tablespoon minced cilantro directions Create a marinade by combining 2 tablespoons garlic, cumin, lemon and lime juice and ¼ cup of vegetable oil. Season the ray fillets with salt and pepper. Coat the fillets in the marinade, and let them sit for about an hour. Heat a skillet to medium-high, and quickly sear the fillets on both sides, cooking them to medium. Remove the fillets.

Add the additional garlic to the pan, and sauté about 1 minute. Add the peppers and onions, and cook until they soften. Add the lime wedges, and heat through. Slice the ray on the bias, across the grain of the meat, holding the knife at a 45° angle. Make the cut thin, about 1/8˝to ¼˝ thick. Serve with soft flour tortillas and fajita condiments, and top with minced cilantro. Source: Chef John T. Maxwell

Ray Marsala ingredients 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided 4 4-ounce Chesapeake ray fillets 2 tablespoons canola oil 1/3 cup minced shallots 2 teaspoons minced garlic 8-ounce package pre-sliced mushrooms 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme + additional thyme springs for garnish 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth ¼ cup Marsala wine or dry sherry ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper directions Place ¼ cup flour in a shallow dish. Dredge ray fillets in flour. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with oil, and add ray. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove ray from the pan and keep warm in the oven. Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms to the pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until the moisture evaporates. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and chopped thyme to the pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Combine the chicken broth and Marsala wine, stirring until smooth. Gradually add the broth mixture to the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Return the ray to the pan, and cook 2 minutes, turning to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Thai Green Curry Ray ingredients 1 pound of Chesapeake ray, cut into thin strips, against the grain 1 tablespoon lemon grass 1 tablespoon olive oil 14-ounce can coconut milk 1½ cans light coconut milk 4 tablespoons green curry paste ½ tablespoon minced garlic Prepared rice noodles or jasmine rice cilantro and lime wedges for garnish Directions Sauté ray in oil until cooked through. Set aside. Sauté lemon grass and garlic in a little oil. Add coconut milk, curry and garlic. Lightly boil until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Add ray to sauce. Serve over rice noodles or jasmine rice. Garnish each serving with cilantro and a lime wedge. Source: Chef Kelly Hunt, Wegmans

Poached Ray with Coconut Milk andJalapeños ingredients 1 pound Chesapeake ray, skinned 1 cup coconut milk 1 ounce fresh thyme, chopped ¼ cup white wine 1 ounce minced jalapeño salt and pepper to taste directions Preheat oven to 350°. Combine coconut milk, thyme and white wine, and bring to a simmer. Set the fish in a shallow dish and add liquid. Cover and bake for 7 minutes. Add salt, pepper and jalapeños before serving. Source: Chef Jon Pasion, Wegmans

Source: Shirley Estes, former executive director, Virginia Marine Products Board Cultivate APRIL 2012


Local food campaign kicks off; consumers challenged to spend $10 a week FARMERS AND FARMERS’ MARKET customers have known for years that buying local foods builds relationships and boosts local economies.

New this spring is a challenge to every Virginian to commit to spending $10 a week to eat or purchase local foods, from the Virginia Food System Council.

A 2008 economic impact study by Virginia Cooperative Extension estimated an annual return of $1.65 billion to local economies if Virginians spent at least $10 a week on local foods. “Farm Bureau members have long supported boosting the local food economy,” said Spencer Neale, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation commodity marketing specialist. “It’s a great way to keep more dollars flowing back to the farming community.” The 2008 Extension study estimated a $10-a-week spending shift to local foods could add $50.6 million to the Charlottesville area economy. In the Roanoke Valley, it could add $65.2 million; in the Richmond area, $203 million; and in the Fredericksburg area, $15.4 million. Farm Bureau is a member of the Food System Council, which has been studying ways to make stronger connections between local food sources and consumers.

The Virginia Food System Council is challenging Virginia consumers to spend $10 a week on local foods.

Wine industry drawing tourists, wine professionals to Virginia VIRGINIA WINES are drawing wine enthusiasts and wine professionals alike to the Old Dominion. The annual Wineries Unlimited conference and trade show was held last month at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Now in its 36th year, the event is billed as the most significant wine industry buying show in the eastern United States. The event moved to Richmond from Pennsylvania in 2011, doubling its attendance and increasing vendor participation by more than 20 percent. It is estimated to have drawn more than 2,100 people last year. 18

Cultivate APRIL 2012

The February issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine named Virginia among its 10 best wine travel destinations for 2012, only three of which were in the United States. The other two U.S. destinations are in California. The article said, “Historically significant sites, picturesque pastoral landscapes, elegant equestrians and affable winemakers set Virginia apart as an excellent wine destination on the East Coast.” It is estimated that about 1 million people go to a winery while visiting the state. Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2011 with more than 462,000 cases sold—a sales increase of more than 11 percent over the previous fiscal year.

Wine Enthusiast magazine named Virginia among its 10 best wine travel destinations earlier this year.

Hands-Only CPR could result in more cardiac arrest survivors When someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest, his or her survival depends greatly on receiving immediate CPR. Providing CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival; however, less than one-third of people who experience cardiac arrest at home or work or in a public location receive help. According to the American Heart Association, some bystanders are worried about performing CPR incorrectly. Consequently, the organization recently introduced Hands-Only CPR to simplify the process. While traditional CPR is still widely used and recommended, Hands-Only CPR has been proven effective in saving lives, according to the heart association. “Studies of real emergencies that have occurred in homes, at work or in public locations show that Hands-Only CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR for a short period of time,” said Kevin Bartal, safety coordinator for Virginia Farm Bureau. Bartal also is a firefighter with the Henrico County Division of Fire. “So if you see someone who needs help, don’t be afraid to perform CPR if you’ve been trained or if the 911 operator gives you instructions,” Bartal said. “I’d much rather see someone try to help than stand by and do nothing at all.” The Code of Virginia protects those who are trained in CPR and who help someone in medical need. The law states that those who perform emergency care or assistance in good faith, without compensation, in emergency situations and are not negligent in their acts cannot be held liable for civil damages for acts or omissions from rendering the care.

‘Studies of real emergencies that have occurred in homes, at work or in public locations show that Hands-Only CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR for a short period of time.’ — Kevin Bartal, Virginia Farm Bureau

by sara owens

There are two steps to the Hands-Only method: 1. calling 911; and 2. starting compressions by pushing hard and fast in the center of the person’s bare chest. While the hands-only method may be easier and make people more willing to help, it is still important to receive proper CPR training and training for use of an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, Bartal said. An AED is a portable defibrillator automated so that it can be used by someone without medical training who is responding to a cardiac emergency. “The AED is an important part of CPR and, when used with the Hands-Only method, can greatly increase a person’s chance of survival,” Bartal said. When calling 911, remember to stay on the line until the operator says it is OK to hang up. “If you hang up before the 911 operator has all the information they need, in some localities it will be considered a ‘hang-up,’ and only a police car will be sent to the emergency to check your welfare instead of emergency medical personnel,” Bartal said.

Want to know more? For more information on Hands-Only CPR, visit

The American Heart Association has introduced Hands-Only CPR in the interest of simplifying a life-saving process.

Farm Bureau to begin offering CPR and AED classes Virginia Farm Bureau Safety soon will begin offering CPR and automatic exterior defibrillator classes to county Farm Bureaus and their members who are interested in training and certification. For more information contact Farm Bureau Safety at 804-290-1376 or

Cultivate APRIL 2012


In the Garden

There’s no one Mother’s Day gift plant— and there are lots of good choices


“That’s great, because unlike poinsettias, orchids can be purchased year round,” Viette said.


Orchids bloom twice a year and should be kept in an area that reaches 40 percent to 60 percent relative humidity, with 50 percent being ideal. “Orchids like high relative humidity with cooler nights and warmer days,” Viette said. “The leaves should have a purplish color or rosy tint. Be sure to buy an orchid that has plenty of buds.” Another popular plant that enjoys similar growing conditions is the bromeliad. “Bromeliads are known for their beautiful color in the center of the leaves,” Viette said. “They like bright light and don’t need full sun.” Bromeliads can be planted outside during the summertime.

Gerbera Daisy


Cultivate APRIL 2012

sara owens

Everybody’s mother has different tastes, and the plant-loving ones all have their particular favorites. But there’s one thing to remember no matter what your mom likes, said horticulturalist Mark Viette. “When giving a plant as a gift,” he said, “be sure to choose one that will last a long time.” If you want to give bright colors, the tropical hibiscus can be kept inside during the winter and outside when the temperature warms up. Yellow, orange or red gerbera daisies are another long-lasting option. Hydrangeas are great inside or outside of the home, Viette said, but if you purchased a hydrangea from a greenhouse, it is best to keep it in a protected environment. Orchids, he noted, have surpassed the poinsettia as the top-selling potted plant.

In the Garden

There are several varieties of hydrangeas that can be grown in the garden, said horticulturalist Mark Viette, including spring-blooming hydrangeas, mop-head lace caps with giant leaves and tree hydrangeas. Spring-blooming hydrangeas produce flower buds at the tips of all stems. Lace cap hydrangeas have flowers that are a little flatter and last a long time. Tree hydrangeas bloom in early summer and continue all summer long. They can be pruned to any height, Viette said. It’s important, he noted, to prune hydrangeas earlier in the spring, as they like to bloom on new wood. Remove about 20 percent of the stems. “The stems should be removed to the ground,” Viette said. “By pruning it this way, you will always have nice, new long stems that have the ability to flower.” Some hydrangeas can grow in full sun or some shade, but it needs to be a bright shade. In colder climates, they do better underneath a tree or with some sort of evergreen protection. In return, “they really help brighten up shady gardens,” Viette said. Avoid planting hydrangeas too close together, as some will grow to 4 or 5 feet in diameter. When white hydrangea blooms turn an olive color, cut or strip the leaves off, and hang the flowers upside down. “The flowers will dry perfectly for use in fall and winter decorations,” Viette said. “There is such a wide variety of hydrangeas that you can buy in such a variety of colors, from glowing embers to bright pink. They can really brighten up your garden.”

To find the station nearest you that airs Real Virginia, or to view the show online, visit Or view gardening segments from the show at

sara owens

HYDRANGEAS can brighten up shady spots

Mark Viette appears on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program. Viette and his father operate the Andre Viette Farm and Nursery in Augusta County and have a live radio program broadcast by more than 60 mid-Atlantic stations each Saturday morning. They also are members of the Augusta County Farm Bureau. Andre Viette currently serves on the organization’s board of directors and on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Ornamental Horticulture Advisory Committee, and Mark Viette is a former Augusta Farm Bureau board member. Cultivate APRIL 2012


From the Ground Up by sara owens

Wooded property is a natural for growing mushrooms the holes, and seal the holes using melted cheese wax, applied with a cloth dauber. “The wax prevents the sawdust spawn from drying out,” Jones said. Take culture-treated logs to the woods, and place them close to the ground, ensuring that there is sufficient room for air flow around them. It takes six to 12 months for a log to mature after it has been inoculated, Jones said. After the logs have matured, soak them for 24 hours in non-chlorinated water. “If you have non-well water, you need to let the water evaporate for a day or so because of the chlorine in the water,” Jones said. Stack or prop the logs so they can dry, in an area that receives about 75 percent shade. “The best site for mushroom production would be in an area with dappled sunlight because direct sunlight will dry out the logs,” Jones said. “They also need to be in a well-drained, small space so that there is air around the logs.” Jones said each log should produce three to four harvests per year for about three to five years. For more information on mushroom cultivation, visit Jones’ website at

sara owens

MARK JONES OF SHARONDALE FARM in Albemarle County grows a variety of mushrooms that he sells at farmers’ markets and to restaurants and grocers. Jones grows them outside in the woods as well as in a climate-controlled building on sawdust blocks, so that he has mushrooms available year-round. Shiitake mushrooms are easy to grow in your backyard, especially if you have woods near your home, said Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist Andy Hankins. “If you have a wood lot and you’re not sure what to do with it, growing mushrooms is a great idea,” Hankins said. To start, use a white oak log and mushroom culture, Jones said. “Transfer the mushroom culture to organic rye grain, and then transfer the grain to sawdust spawn,” Jones said. “It is important to make sure the grain and sawdust are sterilized so the culture stays pure.” The next step is to put the sawdust spawn into the log. Use a drill to place holes in the log. Jones suggests using a diamond pattern and to space out the holes. Place the sawdust in

Logs inoculated with mushroom culture are one medium on which home gardeners can raise fresh mushrooms. 22

Cultivate APRIL 2012

From the Ground Up by sara owens

How does your garden grow—when it’s still chilly?

sara owens

IN VIRGINIA, the amount of locally grown foods available during the winter decreases, but it is still possible to have fresh produce such as lettuce and leafy salad greens during those colder months by growing them in a high tunnel. High tunnels or “hoop houses” are unheated greenhouses that help farmers and gardeners extend their growing seasons. They use plastic sheeting that can be raised and lowered to control the temperature inside the structures. Homeowners can use smaller high tunnels or row covers if space is an issue in their backyards, said Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist Andy Hankins. Gary Scott, owner of Twin Springs Farm in Nelson County, and his wife, Jeanie, use high tunnels on their 76-acre farm. The Scotts use drip irrigation for watering and row covers to help keep the plants warm during chilly winter nights. “I put the row covers over the plants to keep the frost from getting to the plants,” Gary Scott said. “The plants can stand cooler temperatures this way, from the low to mid-20s.” The row covers are not heated, so Scott shuts the tunnel doors at around 3 p.m. and pulls a cloth over the crops. In the morning, he opens the doors and removes the covers to allow the tunnel to trap the solar heat. When building his high tunnel, Scott mixed compost into the soil and installed the irrigation system before planting seed plugs. His farm is one of six in the Firsthand Farmers Cooperative.

High tunnels and row covers can be used to extend vegetable growing seasons. This is a commercial high tunnel, but simpler options are available for home gardens.

Andy Hankins appears on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program. He is a longtime professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist at Virginia State University and a member of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


by leah gustafson

Gardening with kids: Plant wonderful memories W

Gardeners of all ages can find satisfaction—and life lessons—in producing fresh fruits and vegetables.

e all know that gardening is good for the soul. Teaching your children or grandchildren how to garden can be even better for the soul. The only thing better than watching something grow that you planted is seeing the look in your children’s or grandchildren’s eyes when they see something they planted grow. If you ask children, many will tell you that ketchup and french fries are vegetables. And according to the World Cancer Research Fund, four out of five children eat less than the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. There is hope, however, for encouraging children to choose healthy vegetables and fruits over chips and processed fruit snacks. A new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that kids who are involved in the process of growing their own food are more likely to have healthier diets. They are eager t o try vegetables they have seen through the growing


G a ra g e s | E q u i n e | Fa r m S t o ra g e | H o bby S h o p s | C a b i n s





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process from seed to harvest. In fact, my children are more likely to try vegetables they would normally say they didn’t like, simply because they’ve had an interaction with the vegetables and know where they came from. Vegetables sometimes taste better when they are pulled straight out of the ground, brushed off and eaten right there in the garden. Children love bugs and things that crawl. Beetles, worms, frogs, snails and small mammals are all creatures you and your children can find in the garden. Your kids will love learning that frogs and toads eat slugs and snails. Birds and wasps eat green and black flies, and moles eat beetle grubs, cutworms and wireworms. It’s a real-life example of how the food chain works, right there in your backyard. Just think of possible conversations you and your children can have out there in the garden. There is a natural attraction among children to the earth, and gardening not only gets kids away from the Xbox, text messaging and Facebook but also teaches them some important life lessons. Gardening teaches patience, respect for living things, the value of worthwhile work, and responsibility of nurturing life. It also teaches children that sometimes you can’t control everything, no matter how well you take care of your garden. But that’s OK, because there is always next season. So what are you waiting for? Start planting the seed of a healthy, happy life, and start making memories for you and your children that will last forever.

A garden also can be a place where conversations start.

Leah Gustafson is a marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Health Care Consultants.


Confused by Health Reform? We can help! • Individual plans • Employer group plans • HSAs and HRAs • Medicare supplement • Dental and vision

FARM BUREAU offers NEW health care reform-compliant plans with increased benefits for Virginia Farm Bureau members. Our trained staff will help you customize a health care plan to fit your needs and budget. We work with individuals, families and all types of businesses throughout the state of Virginia.

Get the Membership Advantage.


For information on how the changes in health insurance can save you money, call us at 800-229-7779. Virginia Farm Bureau Service Corporation is an independent authorized agent in Virginia for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. trades as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, and its service area is all of Virginia except for the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, and the area east of State Route 123. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliated HMO HealthKeepers, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.®ANTHEM is a registered trademark. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For exclusions, limitations, terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued, costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your insurance agent or the company, whichever is applicable.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


by kathy dixon

Give outbuildings the insurance coverage they deserve IF YOU’RE A HOBBYIST who works in your shed or workshop perfecting your craft for friends and family, that building is automatically covered under a Virginia Farm Bureau homeowner insurance policy. But if you get so good at your hobby that you begin selling what you make, the use of your outbuilding is considered business, and the building is no longer covered under your homeowner policy. While losing an outbuilding might not be a life-ordeath occurrence, it could be costly if you don’t have adequate insurance coverage. In most cases, detached outbuildings such as garages and sheds are covered at 10 percent of the home’s insured value under a homeowner policy, said VFB Hobbyists’ workshop outbuildings are automatically Underwriting covered under a homeowner insurance policy. Manager Scott DeNoon. “But business use is not covered under the unendorsed homeowner policy, and people don’t realize that. “Depending on the type and extent of the exposure, either an endorsement to the homeowner policy or a separate policy altogether is needed to cover the building being used for a business,” DeNoon said. “That’s why it’s important for people to contact their Farm Bureau agent periodically to discuss any changes to their dwelling.” DeNoon, who worked as a field underwriter for more

than a decade, recalled a customer who bought a homeowner policy that included the standard coverage to provide insurance for his detached garage. At some point, the homeowner decided to rent out the room over the garage but didn’t tell his agent and didn’t change his coverage.

Homeowner policies cover detached non-business outbuildings at 10 percent of a home’s insured value.

The garage burned down, and his insurance didn’t cover the loss because his use of the building had changed to a business use. “That’s why the insurance review process is so important; things change,” DeNoon said. Another issue with the coverage for outdoor structures is that people sometimes mistakenly think the automatic 10 percent coverage is enough. But if they have several outbuildings, such as a detached garage, a tool shed and a carport, and a tornado destroys them all, 10 percent won’t cover those losses. The 10 percent limit can be increased by attaching an endorsement to the homeowner policy for the necessary coverage amount.

Coverage for outbuildings used for business purposes requires an endorsement on a homeowner policy or a separate insurance policy. 26

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New claims app makes for a speedy process When you download the new Virginia Farm Bureau insurance claims app to your smartphone, you can start the process of submitting an auto claim as soon as you might need to. The app is available on both Android and Apple platforms. You’ll be

able to make calls, take photos, record details and begin the claims process with just a few touches. Details are available at MobileApps.aspx.

Farm Bureau to offer free child safety seat inspections If you’ve ever struggled to install a child safety seat, you know it can be a physical challenge. National surveys have shown that as many as 80 percent of all child safety seats are improperly installed, according to Jimmy Maass, Virginia Farm Bureau safety manager. “It’s important that the seat be installed correctly so that it will protect your child should you be involved in a crash,” Maass said. “According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14.”

As of March 1, the Virginia Farm Bureau home office at 12580 West Creek Parkway in Goochland County is an official Child Safety Seat Check Station. The Virginia Department of Health and NHTSA websites list sites where parents and care providers can ensure, at no cost, that their seats are installed properly. Child seat owners can call the Farm Bureau safety staff at 804-290-1376 to schedule an appointment for their seats to be checked by a nationally-certified technician. “Parents should bring the child that will use the seat if at all possible, and expect to spend between 20 and 30 minutes for each

seat that’s inspected and installed,” Maass said. “We first check the seat to see if the parent installed it correctly and explain anything we might find. We then remove the seat, check for recalls or problems, then make sure the child fits properly in the seat. Finally we show the parent how to install the seat correctly and allow them to install it with our advice and assistance.” In addition to checking seats at the Goochland office, “we’re also going to offer this service to county Farm Bureaus across the state if they’d like to have a free car seat check day in their area,” Maass said. Cultivate APRIL 2012


Agriculture photo contest entries are due June 30 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is accepting entries for its annual agriculture-themed photo contest through June 30. The contest is open to the public. Rules and entry forms are available at county Farm Bureau offices and online at Entries can be in any of four categories: animals, landscapes/

rural life, people and structures/equipment. Participants’ work will be judged in three age categories: 6 to 10 years, 11 to 17 years and 18 or older. Both prints and digital entries will be accepted. Photos will be judged on creativity and composition. State-level winners’ work will be recognized at the 2012 VFBF Annual Convention.

Photo contest entries like these from 2011 by (clockwise from top right) Mindy McCrosky of Washington County, Ann Harrell of Craig County and Alexandria Shelton of Nelson County are being accepted through June 30.

Children’s farming-themed poster and essay contests run through June 30 Both of these annual youth contests are open to the public and have a June 30 entry deadline. The theme for both is “Virginia Agriculture – Safe, Healthy Food.” Rules and entry forms are available online at contests and from county Farm Bureau offices.

Poster contest Children in kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to enter posters that show the connection between farms and food in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual youth poster contest. Entries will be judged in three age groups: kindergarten, first and second grade, and third through fifth grade. 28

Cultivate APRIL 2012

District-level winners will receive certificates and have their work displayed at the 2012 VFBF Annual Convention.

Essay contest Students in third through eighth grade are eligible to enter the VFBF youth essay contest. Two state-level winners will receive a $100 prize, certificate and invitation to read their essays at the 2013 VFBF Women’s Conference. Essays will be judged in two age categories; participants in third through fifth grade should submit essays of at least 200 words, and participants in sixth through eighth grade should submit essays of at least 400 words.

Young Farmers Summer Expo will be held in LYNCHBURG The annual Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Summer Expo will take place July 27-29 in Lynchburg. The event is open to anyone ages 18 to 35 and is geared toward people who support agriculture through production, education, promotion and leadership. More than 180 participants turned out for the 2011 Summer Expo, held in Southampton County. “I think the expo went very well last year despite the heat and humidity,” said Jennie Simms of Southampton County, who helped organize that gathering. “We built in a lot of exciting tours highlighting agriculture in our area, with visits to a peanut farm, a cotton gin and the Stihl manufacturing plant in Virginia Beach. The expo is a great opportunity for anyone who is curious about farming and different farms in the area to come out and see for themselves. That’s the best way to learn about anything.” The expo also will include final judging for

the 2012 Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award, Outstanding Young Farm Employee Award and Excellence in Agriculture Award, as well as the semifinal round of the Young Farmers Discussion Meet. During the Discussion Meet, competitors cooperatively discuss predetermined agricultural topics, work with each other to build a consensus and then form conclusions. Winners are selected based on their speaking ability, problem-solving capability and cooperative attitude. This year the expo will feature a new Certified Farm Seeker Program for beginning farmers. It will include an introduction to whole-farm planning, farm product

marketing, securing farm mentors, lease options and gauging farmland availability. The program will work in conjunction with Virginia’s Farm Link Program to help beginning farmers prepare for meeting landowners and starting or expanding a farm operation. Registration includes all program events and most meals. Participants will need to make and pay for their hotel arrangements. The Summer Expo agenda and registration information should be available by May. For updated information, visit youngfarmers or, email or call 804-290-1032.

Tours of farms and farming-related businesses are a big part of each Young Farmers Summer Expo.

Cattle farming, spring garden tips featured in April edition of Real Virginia

Watch this!

To view RealVirginia, visit

Many Virginians have never seen a cow up close, much less a herd of cattle. This month we’ll visit a cattle producer who puts considerable emphasis on providing good care for her animals. Plus, it’s time to plant spring gardens, and Andy Hankins of Virginia Cooperative Extension has some tips for early-season crops. Food writer Kendra Bailey Morris has a tasty asparagus recipe, and the program will visit some veterans who are trying to get started in farming. Find out more on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program. Real Virginia airs nationwide at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month on RFD-TV, as well as on 41 cable systems and five broadcast stations in Virginia. It’s also available online at Check local cable listings, or visit for a list of participating stations.

Cultivate APRIL 2012


Marketplace CROPS


ANTIQUE APPLE TREES – Summer Rambo, Wolf River, Virginia Beauty, Yellow Transparent. Over 100 different varieties available for planting. Catalog $3. Write Urban Homestead, 818-A Cumberland Street, Bristol, VA 24201. 276-466-2931.

ALLIS CHALMERS – Tractor C 1939, steel rear wheels front spoke wheels, $1,000. 804-360-2240.

AZOMITE – Mineral supplement with over 70 trace elements. www.Azomite. com for Va. dealers. DF International 540-373-3276.

DEER AND RABBIT REPELLENT – $12.95 Makes 10 gallons. Safe, effective, long lasting, guaranteed. 540-586-6798.

FIELD MOWER – 10-ft. Sidewinder, hydraulic up and down, two wheels pull type, $1,795. 540-672-2732. FOR SALE – 10-ft. farm gate; 6-ft. 3-pt. field cultivators; 6-ft 9 tube grain drill. 434-454-7986. FRONT END LOADER – Fits, 2N, 8N, 9N, NAA, 600 Ford Tractor. Sandblasted, painted $900. 540-651-8414.

2012 magazine classified ad schedule and policies Members of Virginia Farm Bureau will receive one free 15-word classified ad per membership per year in Cultivate, which is mailed to associate members, or in Farm Bureau News, which is mailed to producer members. Ads of 16 to 30 words must be accompanied by payment of $20. Any additional ads placed by members in the same calendar year must be accompanied by payment of $10 for 15 words or fewer, or $20 for 16 to 30 words. Ads submitted without payment will be returned. We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. Ads with more than 30 words and ads from nonmembers will not be accepted. Use the form on Page 31 to place your ad, or the online form at No ads or cancellations will be taken by phone. Ads will be accepted only from members whose 2012 dues are paid.


Cultivate APRIL 2012

IHC – TD14A bulldozer, circa 1950. Shed kept, storage 20-yrs., 250-hrs. on rebuilt engine, $4,000. 540-586-1813.

selection. Delivery available, C-Stock farm, Scottsville. Day 434-286-2743 after 7 p.m. 434981-1397 or 434-286-2423.

JD 5300 – Tractor with loader, quick attach bucket and log forks, 1,280 hours. Scottsville 434-906-4699.

MAMMOTH JENNETS – Show stock with foals, different colors and black Jack standing. Call Herb 434-242-5842.

LOADER – Dunham Lehr, quick att. 7-ft. bucket mounting bracket $950. Overseeded Beefco 7-ft. $3,250. 804-779-3219.

REGISTERED – Black Angus seed stock; fall born; bulls and heifers, AI sire. Sammy Smith 434-664-8767.

LIVESTOCK ANGUS BULLS – Calving ease, semen tested, excellent bloodlines, reasonably priced and good

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HORSES – For sale, Nelson Co. Rockfish Stables. 804-943-3818.

Magazine classified ads can be placed in the following five categories only: crops; farm equipment; hay/straw; livestock; and livestock equipment.

· · · · ·

Classified ads will be published in the following issues:

· · · ·

April Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); May Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only); July Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); and August Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only).

Finding your member number When placing your ad, be sure to include your Farm Bureau member number, which can be found on your membership card or above your name on the mailing label of your copy of Cultivate. All member numbers will be verified.


How to place your classified ad Step 1 Use the form below to provide contact information and the text for your ad. • Ads will be accepted from Farm Bureau members only. • Classified ads are not transferable. • Please type or print. • Classified ads will not be accepted or cancelled over the phone.

Step 2 Indicate the issues in which you want your ad to run.


• Ads longer than 30 words will not be accepted. • We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. • Ads submitted without payment will be returned.

Step 5 Mail your ad (and payment) to: Virginia Farm Bureau News/Cultivate Classifieds P.O. Box 27552 Richmond, VA 23261-7552

Step 3

Or place it via the Virginia Farm Bureau website at

Select the category in which you want your ad to run (Pick one only).


Step 4 Your first ad of 15 words or less is free with your membership. Pricing for additional ads: 1–15 words $10/ad 16–30 words $20/ad

Ads and cancellations must be received (not mailed) by the following deadlines: Issue Deadline Mailed to producer members August June 29 Mailed to associate members July June 1

Additional ads must be accompanied by a check (no cash) for each issue in which the ad is to appear. • Make check payable to: Virginia Farm Bureau.

We are not responsible for typographical errors or errors due to illegible handwriting (No refunds available). Classified ads carried in Virginia Farm Bureau News and Cultivate do not constitute an endorsement by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliated companies and organizations. We reserve the right to edit or reject ads, including ads that represent a business in competition with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company or any of our affiliated or affinity partners. We reserve the right to edit or reject any advertisement that makes reference to any particular political party or group, religious belief or denomination, race, creed, color or national origin.

Moving? If your address or phone number has changed—or is about to—don’t forget to contact your county Farm Bureau office to ensure that your membership and subscription information stays current!

One free 15-word ad per membership per year; 2012 dues must be paid before placing ad.

NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ MEMBER NO.: __________________________________________________________________________________________________

Category in which ad should run (select only one): ❑ Crops

COUNTY: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

❑ Farm Equipment


❑ Hay/Straw

CITY: _________________________________________________ STATE:____________________________

❑ Livestock


DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER: ___________________________________________ EMAIL ADDRESS: _________________________ Ads will not be accepted without the information above.

ADVERTISEMENT (one word per space; please type or print):

❑ Livestock Equipment No other categories available in magazines

1. ____________________________ 2.____________________________ 3. _______________________________ 4. ______________________________ 5. __________________________________ 6. ____________________________ 7. ____________________________ 8. _______________________________ 9. ______________________________ 10. _________________________________ ( ) 11. ___________________________ 12. ___________________________ 13. _______________________________ 14. _____________________________ 15. _________________________________ phone number


❑ July (mailed to associate members) ❑ August (mailed to producer members)

* Ad placement available for these issues only

❑ Payment enclosed: $_______________ ❑ This is my one free 15-word ad for 2012. ❑ Please place my ad in The Delmarva Farmer for 4 weeks at no additional cost to me. ❑ Please place my ad online in the VFB Member Marketplace (Ads expire with membership).

Cultivate APRIL 2012


Thanks for pitching in! As farmers across the state begin planting corn and soybeans or preparing to harvest wheat, they’re mindful of what they’ve invested in those crops. And they’re doing all they can to make 2012 a successful business year. As a Farm Bureau member, you’re helping. For less than $4 a month you’re helping to ensure that working farmland stays in production, that Virginia farmers get the information they need to be profitable, and that their interests are represented to elected officials. That’s some of what Farm Bureau does, thanks to people like you. You can make an even bigger difference by telling your family, friends and neighbors about Farm Bureau and encouraging them to become members as well. Because feeding Virginia, the nation and much of the world is a big job—and every extra hand makes a difference.


April 2012 Cultivate  

Introduced in July 2008, Cultivate is published quarterly with a focus on safe, fresh and locally grown foods and the Virginia farms that pr...

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