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March 2012

Farm Bureau News

‘We want to see successful transitions’ for young farmers



Farm Bureau News


“We want to see successful transitions” for young farmers

Virginia’s Farm Link program is a decade old, and Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers are encouraging more current and would-be producers to use it. 8

“There is no substitute” for visits like those on Legislative Day

Farm Bureau leaders visited with their state senators and delegates Jan. 24 to outline some of the organization’s policies in person. 19

“We need 200 to 300 pounds of tomatoes a day”

Chefs who stock their kitchens locally and producers who direct-market their products shared insights at the Young Farmers Expo in Leesburg.

Departments 7

Viewing Virginia


Good for You!


Heart of the Home



Virginia Farm Bureau News (USPS 017-763) (ISSN 1525-528X) is published six times a year, January, March, May, June, August, September/October (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 $1.42 (included in membership dues). Postmaster: Please send changes of address to, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Bureau News, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond, VA 23261-7552; 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 virginiafarmbureaunews@vafb. com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Members — Address change? 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. 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.

In the Garden


Volume 71, Number 2 March 2012


Member: Virginia Press Association

editorial team Greg Hicks Vice President, Communications Pam Wiley Managing Editor Kathy Dixon Sr. Staff Writer/Photographer Sara Owens Staff Writer/Photographer Bill Altice Graphic Designer Maria La Lima Graphic Designer Cathy Vanderhoff Advertising

publication schedule Producer members will receive their next issue of Farm Bureau News in May. The magazine is published six times a year.


virginia farm bureau federation


Officers Wayne F. Pryor, President Edward A. Scharer, Vice President Board of Directors

On the Cover 16

W.P. Johnson, a Bedford County wheat, soybean and hay producer, is among Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers committed to raising awareness of the state’s Farm Link program (Photo by Pam Wiley).

director district Emily Edmondson 1 Archie B. Atwell 2 Evelyn H. Janney 3 Gordon R. Metz 4 Stephen L. Saufley 5 Peter A. Truban 6 Thomas E. Graves 7 H. Carl Tinder Sr. 8 Henry E. Wood Jr. 9 Robert J. Mills Jr. 10 J. M. Jenkins Jr. 11 W. Ellis Walton 12 M. L. Everett Jr. 13 David L. Hickman 14 Janice R. Burton * Robert Harris **

county Tazewell Smyth Floyd Henry Rockingham Shenandoah Orange Albemarle Buckingham Pittsylvania Lunenburg Middlesex Southampton Accomack Halifax Pittsylvania *Women’s Committee Chairman **Young Farmers Committee Chairman

National Ag Day–March 8 National Ag Week–March 4-10 If you’re a Farm Bureau member who farms in Virginia, you’re part of a select group of families who, in 2011, • helped contribute $79 billion to Virginia’s economy; • participated in more than $2 billon in ag exports; • made farm-fresh foods available at more than 150 farmers’ markets statewide;

photo by kathy dixon

• spoke up on behalf of all Virginia property owners in the state legislature; and • helped support the commonwealth’s largest farmers’ advocacy organization.

Thank you. Smyth County Farm Bureau President C.W. Pratt, shown with some of his cattle in 2010, when he told Cultivate magazine readers, “I’m doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing.”

march 2012



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Blog marks fifth month in operation Virginia Farm Bureau’s blog The Real Dirt at has been in operation since November 2011, with posts made at least three times a week. Monday posts are issue-driven, “Show & Tell Wednesday” posts feature farm photos and “Food Friday” posts feature seasonal recipes that use Virginia farm products. The blog also features Real Dirt video commentary from Farm Bureau producer members. The Real Dirt also is accessible from the first page of

>> save the date

Farm Bureau volunteers will mark Agriculture Literacy Week 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: Buick Enclave LaCrosse Lucerne Regal Verano Chevrolet Avalanche Aveo Camaro Camaro C

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

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Excluded from discount: Cadillac Chevrolet Volt

Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program will celebrate its second Agriculture Literacy Week concurrently with National Ag Week, March 4-10. Volunteers from county Farm Bureaus and other agriculture organizations will mark the week by reading books about agriculture to children in their local schools. Many will be reading the book From Our Fields … To You, by Kellie Worrell, a Carroll County teacher and farmer, and donating copies to school libraries. The book was selected as AITC’s Farmer Ben Book of the Year and details the process of getting fresh produce from the farm to consumers. “Having members of the agriculture community in classrooms across Virginia is a great opportunity for teachers and students to learn about agriculture from those who know it best,” said AITC Executive Director Karen Davis. “The number of Farm Bureau volunteers, state agriculture officials and others who stepped forward to read to children in their communities last year was just amazing, and I hope they will encourage others to participate this year.” Gov. Bob McDonnell proclaimed March 4-10 Virginia Agriculture Week and Virginia Agriculture Literacy Week earlier this year.

march 2012






Farm Bureau members can get a $5001 private offer toward the purchase or lease of most new GM vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD lineup. Visit for more details. They get tough jobs done with a maximum payload of up to 6,635 lbs.2 and a conventional towing capacity of up to 17,000 lbs.3 And through the GM Business Choice Program,4 business owners receive even more when purchasing or leasing an eligible Chevrolet or GMC truck or van for business use. Visit for details.


Offer valid toward the purchase of new 2011 and 2012 Buick, Chevrolet and GMC models, excluding Chevrolet Volt. Requires Regular Cab model and gas engine. Maximum payload capacity includes weight of driver, passengers, optional equipment and cargo. 3 Requires available 6.6L Duramax¨ diesel engine. Maximum trailer ratings assume a properly-equipped base vehicle plus driver. See dealer for details. 4 To qualify, vehicles must be used in the day-to-day operation of the business and not solely for transportation purposes. Must provide proof of business. This program may not be compatible with other offers or incentive programs. Consult your local Chevrolet or GMC dealer or visit for program compatibility and other restrictions. Take delivery by 9/30/2012. Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation¨ are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, and are used herein (or by GM) under license. ©2011 General Motors LLC 2

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In the Garden

Peonies : enough scent and color to share

photos by sara owens

The first peony arrived in Virginia in 1757, according to horticulturalist Mark Viette. Peonies are herbaceous shrubs that die back to the ground each year. There are several varieties, including garden, tree and hybrid peonies. The garden peony is an heirloom variety that loves full sun. “It won’t bloom if there isn’t at least afternoon sun,” Viette said. Tree peonies, he said, should not be cut back. “The branches will grow back without flowers if you cut them down. If you cut the tree peony too far you can kill it.” Hybrid peonies are a cross between the garden and tree varieties. Peonies do not require much care, Viette said, just full sun and some plant tone. And if you find ants on your peonies, it’s OK, he said. “The ants like to feed on the sugary substance on the buds. It just means you have a nice, healthy garden.” Peonies make great cut flowers and should be cut in the morning before the flowers have bloomed, so they will last longer indoors. They also make great hand-me-down plants, Viette said. “You can dig a quarter or third of the plant and give it to someone else.”

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

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 show 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. march 2012


Influencing the influencers: Farm Bureau works to inform rural and urban legislators

photos by kathy dixon


Sen. Charles Colgan, D-Manassas, examines the children’s book From Our Fields ‌ To You. Farm Bureau representatives gave copies of the book to their respective legislators to donate to their local schools. 8

Virginia Farm Bureau News

By Kathy Dixon


irginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Legislative Day event acts as a catalyst for improving relations with elected officials. That’s especially important in urban areas, where many, if not most, legislators have no agricultural background. But even legislators in places like Northern Virginia or the Hampton Roads area who tend to vote along Farm Bureau lines sometimes surprise their rural constituents. Legislators who aren’t familiar with farming “rely on us or other legislators with farming backgrounds to get information on agriculture,” said Chesapeake Farm Bureau President Lyle Pugh, a grain farmer whose legislators represent both rural and urban areas. “It’s hard for urban legislators to support farming issues, because many don’t understand how hard (farming) is.” Farm Bureau members said whether they are trying to educate urban legislators or maintain support from rural legislators, they are competing with lots of different interest groups. That’s why it’s important for them to maintain contact with lawmakers throughout the year. Like Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said to those attending the legislative visits, “There is no substitute to being present … emails don’t compare to a good, solid handshake.” Visiting elected officials “helps put a face on a constituent,” said Jay Yankey, a Prince William County vegetable grower whose elected officials represent mostly urban and suburban voters. “It makes them aware that they have farmers in their representative areas and that they need to consider their interests,” said Elaine Yankey, who also farms in Prince William County. “Our visit to the General Assembly makes them realize that agriculture is close by and that how they vote can impact agriculture all across the state,” she added. Sen. Charles Colgan, D-Manassas, said that although he grew up in a farming area he currently represents many urban constituents, so it’s important to hear about the issues Farm Bureau supports. “It absolutely makes a difference,” he said. Farm Bureau members say the personal contact is valuable but doesn’t always

Frederick County Farm Bureau President Paul Anderson chatted about Farm Bureau priority issues with Tricia Stiles, who works with Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Winchester.

convince legislators to support the organization’s positions. Fauquier County farmers James Messick and John Schied have several elected officials who are sympathetic to agriculture. However, during legislative visits they found that their Senate representative had voted in favor of a bill that would allow hunting on Sunday, which Farm Bureau opposes. Pugh said the same thing happened with one of his agriculture-supporting legislators. “I thought I’d made inroads with our legislators until the Sunday hunting bill,” he said. In addition to opposing Sunday hunting, Farm Bureau members talked to their legislators about supporting a constitutional amendment to protect private property owners from eminent domain abuse. HJ 3 and SJ 3, the House and Senate versions of the bill, tighten the definition of public use and require just compensation for owners whose property has been taken using eminent domain. The bills passed in last year’s General Assembly and at press time had been approved in both houses for this year. For a constitutional amendment to be enacted, it must pass in the General Assembly two years in a row with the exact same wording. “Because farmers’ assets are mostly land-based, they feel constantly under

‘It’s hard for urban legislators to support farming issues, because many don’t understand how hard (farming) is.’ >> LYLE PUGH Chesapeake grain farmer

threat from eminent domain,” said Trey Davis, VFBF assistant director of governmental relations. “The only way to truly protect them is to have a constitutional amendment that ensures farmland cannot be taken and given to another private owner.” Another issue discussed with legislators included cost-share money for implementing agriculture conservation practices to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Southern Rivers region. Additionally, Farm Bureau representatives asked for funding for the state’s coyote damage control program. Virginia saw a 32 percent increase in coyote attacks on sheep and a 69 percent increase in attacks on calves last year.

march 2012


Viewing Virginia

Wine industry drawing tourists, wine professionals to Virginia Virginia wines are drawing wine professionals and wine enthusiasts alike to the Old Dominion. The annual Wineries Unlimited conference and trade show will run March 27-29 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 conference 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 to Richmond. Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, called the event “a tremendous opportunity for Virginia. Vineyard and winery professionals will be able to participate in a world-class event and have numerous opportunities to network with vendors and industry participants from across the nation and around the world. “At the same time, the conference makes it convenient for out-of-state attendees to tour and learn firsthand about Virginia wineries and other destinations.” 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. 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. 10

Virginia Farm Bureau News

Open-minded cattle can clean up pastures by eating weeds By Kathy Dixon The 150 acres on which Jimmy and Robin Rider raise grass-fed beef is speckled with invasive horse nettles and pigweed. But the Riders—and others attending the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council’s winter forage conferences—learned they can teach their cattle to eat the weeds. If they do that, they stand to increase the animals’ nutrition, improve their forage and increase profits. “We’ve been battling weeds for centuries, but I want you to think about it a little differently,” said Kathy Voth, owner of Livestock for Landscapes. The Coloradobased company strives to help farmers and ranchers improve profitability by using livestock’s natural behavior as an inexpensive alternative to managing weeds and other vegetation. “Once cows open their minds to weeds, they are as good at weed management as goats, and they’re much easier to manage.” Voth was the keynote speaker at the VFGC winter forage conferences in January, which focused on forage management. She said producers will never be able to completely eradicate weeds, but if they consider them forage, the pesky plants will be tolerable. “I’ll give it a try—one weed at a time,” said Jimmy Rider, co-owner of Backfield Farm Beef in Madison County. Voth said weeds are nutritious and more digestible than grass and actually have more protein. Canada thistle, which grows wild in many pastures, contains as much as 21 percent protein. If cattle or dairy producers fed their animals a steady diet of the weed, Voth said, the cows could gain 2.2 pounds per day, “and you don’t have to pay anything for it.” That kind of weight gain, from weeds, “is a lot of profit,” Robin Rider said. Research based on average weed population in a typical farm pasture has shown that if cows ate 70 percent of the

weeds, there would be 43 percent more forage, Voth said. She began studying the concept of cattle eating weeds while working for the Bureau of Land Management in Utah. She learned she could teach bovines to eat weeds in about 10 hours over the course of a week using basic animal behavior principals. “Now I just have to convince producers,” she said.

How to teach cows to eat weeds Introducing weeds into cows’ diets is a simple process, Voth explained. She chooses a small group of animals and trains them in the pasture. She gives them “snacks” of varying feed grains twice a day for four days to get them used to trying new foods with different textures and smells. “At that point the cows are excited about feeding time, and that’s when you can start mixing in the weeds,” Voth said. On the fifth day, she skips the morning snack, and in the afternoon she mixes cut weeds into the feed mixture the cows had eaten previously.

‘I’ll give it a try— one weed at a time.’ — JIMMY RIDER co-owner of Backfield Farm Beef, Madison County

On the sixth day, Voth mixes mostly weeds with just a little feed. And on the seventh day, the animals are eating plain weeds and enjoying them. Once she quits feeding them the daily “snacks,” they are able to locate weeds in the pasture and eat them there. “Then they train their offspring and their herdmates,” Voth said. The cost for training materials is approximately $170, but the payoff is much greater. “I haven’t found anybody it won’t work for, and weed-eating cows are healthy cows,” Voth said.

Viewing Virginia

courtesy of kathy voth

“Once cows open their minds to weeds, they are as good at weed management as goats, and they’re much easier to handle,” speaker Kathy Voth told participants in Virginia Forage and Grassland Council winter forage conferences. Her Colorado-based company works with producers to improve profitability by using livestock’s natural behavior to manage vegetation.

march 2012


courtesy of afbf

他 AFBF Convention

Convention participants had an opportunity to tour Hawaiian farm operations like Kahuku Farms, which produces papayas (top) and bananas, and one of the Hawaiian Pineapple Co. farms (next page). 12

Virginia Farm Bureau News

photos by kathy dixon

AFBF Convention ½

Inside the Honolulu Convention Center, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation voting delegates (from left) Jason Thurman of Franklin County, Danny Mills of Accomack County and VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor joined Farm Bureau leaders from across the nation for policy discussion and development during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

In casual Hawaiian environment, delegates tackle tough policies By Kathy Dixon Tackling policies concerning the 2012 Farm Bill gave meaning to “Navigating the Waves of Change,” the theme of the 93nd American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. Virginia Farm Bureau Federation representatives joined delegates from across the nation in discussing the farm bill during the event’s Jan. 10 business session in Honolulu. “We approved a program that will help farmers manage risks,” said VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor. “There are so many catastrophes that can affect farmers’

revenue loss that they need a federal safety net. That is what we believe should be the core mission of the farm bill.” Delegates endorsed a multi-pronged farm policy proposal, including a provision for catastrophic revenue loss protection that works with a flexible range of crop insurance products. The adopted policy calls for a farm bill that provides a strong, effective safety net and risk management programs that do not guarantee a profit. Virginia delegates were Pryor, Roy Gutshall of Highland County, Donna Kerr of Amelia County, John Leonard of Prince George County, Danny Mills of Accomack

County, Joseph Reamy of Westmoreland County, Channing Snoddy of Fluvanna County and Jason Thurman of Franklin County. The alternate delegate was William Faris Jr. of Washington County. march 2012


¾ AFBF Convention

Jason and Paige Pratt (above) of Pulaski County were named runners-up for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. (Right, from top) Pryor accepts a Pinnacle Award from AFBF President Bob Stallman. Hawaii’s state flower, the hibiscus, grows all over Oahu. Farm Bureau members toured the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and some enjoyed a traditional luau—among them Prince George County Farm Bureau members Ruby and John Leonard.

VFBF honored for programming excellence, membership

implementation, and public relations and information.

During the convention, Pryor was among 14 state Farm Bureau presidents re-elected to represent their regions on the AFBF board of directors. And, for the first time ever, Virginia earned a Pinnacle Award for overall outstanding program achievement and membership growth. “I wasn’t expecting this award,” Pryor said. “But we had an extremely good year with our membership and our programs, so this was a good year to win it. I am very proud that Virginia Farm Bureau won this prestigious honor.” VFBF reached an all-time membership record of more than 150,000 members in 2011. AFBF President’s Awards recognize the “best of the best” among state Farm Bureaus for excellence in five program areas by membership category size. Virginia had previously earned four AFBF Awards of Excellence in the areas of agriculture education and promotion, leadership development, policy implementation, and public relations To view and information. The organization also received three Real Virginia , visit President’s Awards, in the areas of agriculture education and promotion, policy

Pulaski couple named runners-up for Young Farmers award

Watch this!


Virginia Farm Bureau News

Other recognitions at the convention went to VFBF Young Farmers. Jason and Paige Pratt of Pulaski County, winners of the 2011 VFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award, were named runners up for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes individuals for their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Jason Pratt is an agriculture agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension and works on his family farm with his father. Paige Pratt is an Extension specialist at Virginia Tech and oversees youth livestock programs across the state. The couple received a Case IH Farmall 45A tractor, courtesy of Case IH, and a $5,000 savings bond and a Stihl Farm Boss chain saw, courtesy of Stihl. VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet winner Christi Huffman Kerr of Augusta County placed in the top 16 in the AFBF YF&R Discussion Meet.

AFBF Convention ½

Members attending the convention were treated to dramatic sunsets along Honolulu’s beaches.

march 2012


“You have to learn to survive those agriculture disaster years. That’s probably the hardest part of working in agriculture.” — W.P. Johnson, Bedford County producer

On an unseasonably warm February afternoon, W.P. Johnson of Bedford County collected wheat samples for testing. He is among Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers interested in promoting the state’s Farm Link program.

Successesion training takes a mentor, rather than a seller, young farmer says By Norm Hyde The good news is there are plenty of eager young farmers ready and willing to take a stab at making a living in agriculture. The bad news is that land is limited and expensive, and opportunities to learn alongside a successful farmer are few and far between. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee would like to change that this year. “I’m lucky; I started with my father. He basically took over from my grandfather, and that was a very abrupt change, because granddaddy kept all the reins,” said W.P. Johnson, a VFBF Young Farmer in Bedford County. “Dad has relinquished all but the financial side in our operation, but that’s OK with me, because I’m learning all the decisions on when to and when not to do something. That’s been a good mentoring situation for me,” said the hay, soybean and wheat producer. The Virginia Farm Link program is designed to help connect would-be farmers with would-be partners and mentors. But a decade after it was established it’s seen few success stories, Johnson said. A large barrier is that many ideal candidates for farm operation mentors are still unaware of the program, he said. “This calls for someone with the willingness and openness to take on somebody to mentor to make a seamless transition to a new owner for their farm,” Johnson said. “The young farmer could just be on the payroll at first and take on responsibilities gradually. This way they can actually learn the ins and outs of how to run the business. “The one key aspect we’re looking at is we’re looking for somebody who’ll take the time to teach his successor over 10 or 12 years, not just someone looking to sell out and move on with their lives,” he added. The biggest challenge faced by most young farmers is learning how to manage their income and build up reserves to survive in a business with extremely low

A recent Associated Press article noted that it appears more and more young entrepreneurs are choosing to farm full time. Enrollment at agriculture colleges is rising, and social media is full of stories about how young people are successfully running local food operations.

cash flow and weather uncertainties, Johnson said. That experience and specialized knowledge usually is best passed on by a seasoned farmer. “You pretty much look at whether a farming practice or equipment will pay for itself over a decade, not just three or five years, because out of those 10 years, only a few will be good. The rest will be mediocre and some will be real flops. You have to learn to survive those agriculture

disaster years. That’s probably the hardest part of working in agriculture. We want to see successful transitions, where young farmers learn the ebbs and flows of farming, not just make a big crop one year and the bank forecloses the next year,” Johnson said. “That’s the challenge for all farmers, but it’s particularly tough on beginning farmers. That’s why we want to urge anyone interested in this program to get involved right away.” march 2012


Next generation of farmers seeking ‘partnerships, not handouts’ Virginia’s Farm Link program is a decade old, and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers are working to reboot the program and encourage more farmers and would-be farmers to get connected. “Young farmers are looking for partnerships, not handouts. We want to help preserve farmland by working it,” said Bob Harris, VFBF Young Farmers Committee chairman. “Many people, particularly older landowners, are still not familiar with what Farm Link is or what it does. We really want to reach that age group, the farmers in their 40s and 50s who might be interested in being mentors to younger farmers and passing their businesses on to them.” Harris said the Young Farmers

Committee has made it a priority to help in recruiting younger people into agriculture in 2012. A recent Associated Press article noted that it appears more and more young entrepreneurs are choosing to farm full time. Enrollment at agriculture colleges is rising, social media is full of stories about how young people are successfully running local food operations, and the economic downturn has convinced many Americans that there’s little job security in the corporate world. A Farm Link and farm transition pilot workshop was held last month in Pittsylvania County—one in a series of workshops designed to acquaint both older farmers and potential farmers with the challenges, benefits and process of passing a

farm operation to the next owner. Another workshop will be held this summer in the Shenandoah Valley. The current program consists of educational efforts and an online database that collects names and contact information of would-be farmers and current farmers interested in mentoring or business succession planning. The database and other resources can be found at vdacs. “A lot has been done in the past 10 years to collect some tremendous educational resources for young farmers and older farm owners,” Harris said. “Now we need to do more to encourage older farmers to connect with younger farmers and keep our state’s largest industry vibrant into the future.”

Beginning farmers have growing network Virginia’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project has been in development since late 2010, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Virginia Tech a $748,000 grant to get the ball rolling. That time has been spent building relationships between existing farmers, farm groups and would-be farmers, along with Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and other agriculture players such as the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer Committee. It also was spent creating a whole-farm planning curriculum, designed to take into account the unique circumstances that beginning farmers face in Virginia. There are five modules to the new curriculum: introduction to whole-farm planning, land acquisition and tenure, marketing, holistic business planning and sustainable farming practices. “We’ve developed the curriculum, now we’re going to take it out into the field for


Virginia Farm Bureau News

the next two years with various partners in our coalition,” said Dr. Kim Niewolny, director of the project at Virginia Tech and an Extension specialist. “It’s all about being the best fit between the audiences of wouldbe farmers and current farmers that these groups are working with.” One of those groups will be the VFBF Young Farmers Committee, and another will be Appalachian Sustainable Development in Abingdon. Arrangements for five other coalition groups are still being processed, Niewolny said. “Here in Virginia we have folks who are second-career professionals that may have capital to start a business, but they don’t necessarily have the technical knowledge or a background in farming,” she said. “We also have a subset of aspiring farmers who may or may not have an agricultural background but are young and eager to farm. But they don’t have the capital or land. And then we have mixtures of these

different circumstances.” That was the impetus behind creating a whole-farm planning curriculum, Niewolny said. “The challenges for beginning farmers are incredible,” she said. “If we want to help new farmers thrive, we need to offer more than just a business plan or set of resources. So we’re helping them to develop a whole-farm plan that’s unique to each of their needs and interests. It is helpful to remember that many people define success differently,” with some wanting some additional income, others a lifestyle change, and still others a steady income stream coming from the farm. In addition to developing the curriculum, the beginning farmer program has been reaching out and making personal connections among dozens of farm groups, agribusinesses and agriculture agencies to help start mentorship programs between (Continued on page 23)

Y o u n g

F a r m e r s

E x p o

Farmers, chefs embrace local food movement for success By Sara Owens Loading up on local foods and farming near urban localities was the focus of the first-ever joint Maryland Farm Bureau and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Expo. It took place in February at the National Conference Center in Leesburg. The event provided an opportunity for 185 young adults to learn about local foods and to tour farming operations in Maryland and Virginia. Farmers who grow local produce for urban markets shared what works for their businesses and the challenges they face.

Tyler Butler of Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Md., told participants people want to meet the person who grows their food, and finding a niche market and communicating with the public is key. Butler, who grows a little of everything, from strawberries and blueberries to flowers, pumpkins and Christmas trees, and has a pick-your-own operation, uses social media and the Internet to promote his business. “When I came back to the farm (after college) I was big with social media,” he said. “Anything I could do on social media, I did it. We also go on the local television station whenever we’re asked to do an interview. When you get invited to do a news story, do it. It gets your name out there.” Jay Yankey of Yankey Farms in Prince William County said it is important to see what opportunities exist, what the competition is doing and what an individual farmer can do differently. Yankey sells produce through his farm stand and community-supported agriculture operation and wholesales some of his products. He also has a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. “I started growing produce during high school,” he said. “We did the farmers’ market thing for awhile and then decided to do a farm stand, because why run to farmers’ markets when we can bring people to the farm? We’re located near the urban area of Manassas, and it has worked well for us.”

photos by sara owens

‘ When you get invited to do a news story, do it’

Mom’s Apple Pie Co. in Leesburg (top) and Mill Road Farm in Loudoun County were among Virginia tour stops during the Young Farmers Expo. march 2012


Y o u n g

F a r m e r s

E x p o

Chris Black of Cactoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont, Md.; Andrew Mason of Wayside Produce in Rockingham County; Jay Yankey of Yankey Farms in Prince William County; and Joe-Sam Swann of Swann Farms in Owings, Md., discussed marketing produce to consumers, restaurants, grocers and wholesalers.

Yankey said he experimented with an online farmers’ market for a few years but dissolved it because “it wasn’t immediate enough for people. “They want to have the produce as close as possible, so we run the produce to an office building in Reston, and that works better.” Yankey suggested partnering with operations that raise different products. “We partnered with a local orchard, so that fruit is available along with the vegetables we grow on our farm.” Joe-Sam Swann of Swann Farms in Owings, Md., has a wholesale fruit and vegetable farm. He said he tries to embrace the urban sprawl near his operation. “We have regular open house events on the farm and invite our neighbors to talk to us and visit,” Swann said. “We try to get out there and let people see our faces and be a good ag advocate and show our passion for agriculture.” Swann also said he likes the terms ‘locavore’ and ‘foodie,’ because that just means more people are interested in his product.

‘We need 200 to 300 pounds of tomatoes a day’ Like consumers who are interested in locally grown foods, chefs also want to


Virginia Farm Bureau News

know where their food comes from and how its raised. Craig Mason, chef at the National Conference Center, said he started sourcing local foods about two years ago, and his biggest challenge is volume. “We use 200 to 300 pounds of tomatoes a day, and we have to have a consistent supply without buying people out.” Mason said he searches for local foods on lists supplied by produce companies and also buys from local farmers when he can. “I’ve learned a lot about farming and about staggering the planting of produce so that we can spread out what we bring in,” he said. “It’s been a big help, and we have a more consistent flow of local foods.” Mason said he often gets his produce deliveries earlier in the day, and when he calls one of the farmers in the morning, they’re out in the field picking his order. “We get our delivery around 2 p.m., and it is produce that was just picked that morning,” Mason said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.” Chef Jason Lage of the Market Table Bistro in Loudoun County said volume isn’t a problem for him because his restaurant is smaller, but he buys produce from about 32 local farmers. “I cook with what is in season, and that’s

how I plan our menus,” Lage said. When asparagus starts to become available, Lage said he will use a lot of it in his menu. “It’s only around for a few weeks, so eat all of it that you can. I try to encourage consumers to eat what’s in season.” Lage said there is considerable opportunity for farmers and encourages them to go out and meet with chefs and show their passion for what they do. In addition to the panel discussions, expo participants had the opportunity to go on tours in Virginia or Maryland. The Virginia tour stops were Mom’s Apple Pie Co. in Leesburg and Endless Summer Harvest and Mill Road Farm in Loudoun County. The Maryland stops were Rocky Point Farm and Creamery in Tuscarora and Mayne’s Tree Farm and Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown. Other highlights of the event included a tour of Fabbiolli’s Vineyard in Loudon and a discussion about farming near urban centers with Dr. Alex White, instructor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech.

Agriculture Safety Awareness Week is March 4-10 Farm Bureaus across the country are making safety a top priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a part of ASAP, March 4-10 has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week. This year’s theme is “Agricultural Safety: Your Best Investment,” and the emphasis of the week is focusing on agricultural safety issues prior to planting. Virginia Farm Bureau has many safety programs, including rollover protective structure and all-terrain vehicle helmet incentives; special pricing on highway safety equipment; on-site farm inspections; and the availability of speakers for safety events. For more information, contact the VFB Safety Department at 804-290-1376 or, or visit

S P R I N G S A V I N G S ! Virginia saw increase in farm-related deaths in 2011 Members can order highway safety Nine lives were reported lost due to farm work-related accidents in 2011—three more than in 2010. Tractor overturns accounted for three fatalities, tractor or other equipment runovers accounted for two fatalities; other tractor or equipment incidents resulted in three; and one was the result of a farm work-related all-terrain vehicle accident, according to unofficial statistics from Virginia Farm Bureau. For the past 17 years, deaths resulting from tractor incidents have accounted for most farm accident fatalities. Rollover protective structures and seat belts are key items that can help prevent deaths due to tractor overturns. “There is still a lot of room for improvement when operating a tractor or any farm machinery,” said Jimmy Maass, Farm Bureau’s safety manager. “Getting more farmers to install ROPS and wear seat belts will go a long way toward reducing these numbers.” Fatalities and injuries related to ATV use continue to be a problem in Virginia and across the country. In addition to the one farm-related ATV fatality, six additional non-farm ATV fatalities were reported to Virginia Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau has kept unofficial records of farm fatalities and injuries occurring in the state since 1994. According to the organization’s 17-year totals, 106 people have died when their tractors overturned; 58 were involved in unspecified tractor or equipment mishaps; and 45 were run over by tractors or other farm equipment. The remaining 59 fatalities were attributed to operating farm equipment on public roads and to incidents involving animals and ATVs.

products for farm equipment Virginia Farm Bureau is offering members up to 20 percent off items to help prevent accidents while moving farm equipment on public roads. Slow-moving vehicle emblems, reflective tape kits and amber strobe lights can be ordered through any county Farm Bureau office at special prices through April 30. Virginia law requires an SMV emblem to be displayed at all times on farm equipment designed for operation at speeds of no more than 25 mph. Members can purchase both metal emblems and SMV decals from Farm Bureau. Two reflective tape kits are available: red, orange and amber strips, and red-and-white-striped strips. The amber strobe lights have a magnetic base and require two D batteries. Virginia sales tax will be added to all order prices. Orders are limited to 12 of each item per membership.

The following items are available: • Metal SMV emblem • SMV decal • Reflective tape kit (red/amber/orange) • Highway-use reflective tape kit (red/white), 10-foot roll • Highway-use reflective tape kit (red/white), 150-foot roll • Magnetic amber strobe light

march 2012


Teens encouraged to apply for Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS AND SENIORS with an interest in agriculture have until March 31 to enter Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award program. The annual award recognizes teens for outstanding academic, community and agribusiness achievement. Rebekah Slabach of Halifax County won the award in 2011. Slabach lives and works on her family’s cattle farm, Linger Longer. She attends Virginia Tech, where she is studying agriculture and history. Slabach said the competition was a “remarkable opportunity to develop and polish public speaking skills and to speak in front of agriculturalists, agriculture leaders and professionals from around the state. “The oral presentation part of the competition really challenges you to research, communicate and support positions on agricultural issues.”

She said she encourages others to enter the competition. “Just do it! There is a lot to gain. Being able to interact with other agriculturalists from across the state, build friendships, improve your public speaking skills, form positions on agricultural issues and represent the future of Virginia agriculture is such an experience of a lifetime.” Entry forms and details are available at county Farm Bureau offices and online at District winners will compete for the state-level award at the VFBF Young Farmers Summer Expo in late July. The state winner will receive an award valued at $1,500, including $250 from Virginia Farm Credit Associations, $500 from VFBF Service Corp. and $750 from the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and Women’s Committee. All prizes are subject to change based on sponsor availability.

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Virginia Farm Bureau News


Donors made a difference in classrooms throughout Virginia

If you helped support Agriculture in the Classroom last year, you helped fund numerous activities that made a difference in classrooms statewide.

AITC has created a series of interactive farm-themed lessons that can be posted on elementary school classroom bulletin boards.

More than 1,500 teachers have attended AITC workshops so far this school year, and AITC is on track to reach more than 2,000. Those teachers reach more than 55,000 students.

A mini-workshop unit called “Discover the Secrets of the Garden Chef” has been created for preschool and early elementary audiences.

The AITC website at has been updated to offer teachers more resources and information.

The fall issue of What’s Growing On in Virginia?, a newsletter for educators, was sent to more than 10,000 teachers last October. The spring issue, which will focus on farmers’ markets, has been prepared so that teachers receive it in time for National Ag Week.

Thanks to donors’ generous support, AITC makes its workshops and materials available at no cost to teachers and school divisions statewide.

New curricula and resources are being made available to teachers. One of those, “Math Ag-tivities,” features 29 lessons for students in kindergarten through fifth grade—because multiplication, division and fractions can be a lot more fun when they’re taught using agriculture.

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AITC supporters In addition to many individuals who contributed, these organizations made contributions to the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom between Dec. 12, 2011, and Feb. 20.

Leader Level ($1,000 to $9,999)

• Charles City-James City-New Kent-York County Farm Bureau • Henrico County Farm Bureau • Virginia Pork Industry Board Builder Level ($500 to $999)

• • • •

Houff’s Feed & Fertilizer Northern Piedmont Community Foundation Rockingham County Farm Bureau Virginia Crop Production Association

Find more information about AITC at Donations to the AITC program are always welcome and can be mailed to AITC, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond, VA 23261.

After ( Beginning Farmers continued from page 18)

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current farmers and beginners. It’s not always easy to do that, but they are off to a good start, she said. “We’re finding more peer-mentoring relationship possibilities in places like Floyd County in Southwest Virginia, where there are many farmers who just started themselves a few years ago. Then we have more established farmers in eastern Virginia, where we may need a different approach. … One of the big steps is going through a checklist, deciding whether you’re willing and able to share your farm finances and practices with newcomers, or even just to host farm tours or on-farm events,” Niewolny said.

While the pilot curriculum is being tested, the beginning farmer project is asking beginning farmers and wouldbe farmers to answer some survey questions online at march 2012


Managing stress to increase farm safety By Leah Gustafson Farming has been an essential human activity since prehistory. Historically, it’s also a dangerous business—ranked second only to mining as the most hazardous occupation in the United States. There are numerous specific health risks to which farmers are exposed: lung damage and respiratory problems resulting from dust and toxic gas exposure, skin cancer, joint and ligament injuries, hearing loss, and trauma from work accidents.

But have you considered risks posed by stress? Farm life is busy, hectic and often potentially stressful. Stress can be caused by balancing budgets, dealing with machinery breakdowns, working through family conflicts and managing difficult animals. And then there are droughts, floods, plant pests, livestock illnesses and, sometimes, isolation. Stress can affect many body functions. A little stress can keep you on your toes and help you get things done, but when it leaves you feeling like you can’t cope, it’s probably

doing damage somewhere. Stress also can be a factor in farm accidents. Studies show that some types of farmers experience more stress that others. Iowa State University’s Safe Farm Extension project found the following: • Younger farmers report more stress than older ones. • Farmers in dairy or mixed operations report higher stress levels than farmers in grain-only operations. • Farmers employed in off-farm jobs report more stress than full-time farmers.

Any number of occurrences on farms can be sources of stress. Having coping skills at the ready can help.


Virginia Farm Bureau News

• Farm women can experience additional stresses related to home and family matters. Everyone reacts differently to stress, and it helps to recognize that you will feel stress from time to time, and to know the symptoms, which can include headaches, stomach problems and changes in sleep patterns. Once you recognize the symptoms, then you can have coping skills ready to use. • Talk to yourself. Instead of getting annoyed and irritable when things go wrong, tell yourself you won’t let this get to you. Try telling yourself out loud—out on the farm who’s going to hear you?

• Talk to your friends. Chances are you’re not the only one who feels the way you do, and talking can help you find solutions you might not have thought of on your own. • Eat nutritious foods. Just as machinery needs quality fuel, your body needs nutrients to do its work. Breakfast is an important meal for farmers, and breaks for snacks can provide needed relief. • Do some type of daily relaxation and some form of aerobic exercise at least three times a week. Even though farmers get a lot of exercise, vigorous exercise is needed to raise the heart rate to acceptable levels.

• Talk to a professional. If you feel you can’t cope without some support, talk to an expert. If there are not many services in your area, there are confidential phone lines and online services you can use, and your doctor should be able to make recommendations as well. Farmers need to be healthy and fit, because it’s hard to take a sick day when there’s no one to take your place. So look after yourself, because it’s part of looking after your farm. Leah Gustafson is a marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Health Care Consultants.

Want to know more? Information on managing stress to increase farm safety is available from Iowa State University at PM1265L.pdf.


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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.

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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.

march 2012


Good for You!

EGG RECIPES CAN BE HEALTHY—AND DELICIOUS—CHOICES 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 at, 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 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 half-and-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.”

Lower-fat substitutions can keep omelet, quiche and other egg recipes in line with healthy eating habits. 26

Virginia Farm Bureau News

Good for You!

Bayou Omelet

Eggs aid in making on-the-run breakfast


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

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.

¼ cup half-and-half 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 12 large eggs, whisked 1/ cup 3


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.

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 whole-wheat wrap 1/ cup 8

chopped tomatoes, optional

Source: American Egg Board

march 2012


Heart of the Home

Deviled eggs can be dressed up, dressed down Kendra Bailey Morris’ crowd-pleasing deviled eggs “are not your average deviled eggs.” The cookbook author and food blogger 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.


Virginia Farm Bureau News

Heart of the Home

Sweet and Savory BLT Deviled Eggs INGREDIENTS


6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled

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.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon bread-and-butter pickles, finely minced 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into small bits

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.

pinch of cayenne pepper salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half shredded iceberg lettuce, for garnish

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

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march 2012



2012 magazine classified ad schedule and policies

Place online Marketplace ads year-round!

Members of Virginia Farm Bureau are entitled to one free 15-word classified ad per membership per year in Farm Bureau News, which is mailed to producer members, or in Cultivate, which is mailed to associate 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 30 or the online form at VaFarmBureau. org/marketplace to place your ad. No ads or cancellations will be taken by phone. Ads will be accepted only from members whose 2012 dues are paid. Magazine classified ads can be placed in the following five categories only:

If you want to advertise your farm stand, CSA or pick-your-own operation, your farm-related services, or special events on your farm, Virginia Farm Bureau’s online Marketplace is a good place to start. Farm Bureau offers online classified advertising opportunities to help members promote and find farm products and events. Information on using the service to find farm-fresh foods and special events has been shared with associate members via Cultivate magazine. Members can place free classified ads at marketplace in the categories that currently appear in Farm Bureau News—crops, farm equipment, hay and straw, livestock and livestock equipment—as well as in the following categories:

• Crops;

• horses;

• Farm Equipment;

• nursery and greenhouse; and

• Hay/Straw;

• on-farm sales.

• Livestock; and

Internet-only ads will have a 45-word maximum and will expire on your membership expiration date. Only members with paid 2012 memberships will be able to place ads.

• Livestock equipment.

• agritourism; • agricultural event notices; • agricultural services; • community-supported agriculture;

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 is on your membership card and also can be found above your name on the mailing label of your copy of Farm Bureau News. All member numbers will be verified.

Goats, mushrooms kick off spring in March edition of Real Virginia

Watch this!

To view Real Virginia, visit


More and more Virginia farmers are raising goats for meat, milk and fiber and for clearing brush. We’ll introduce you to one Virginia goat owner. Plus, it’s easier than you think to raise edible mushrooms in your own backyard. Find out more on this month’s edition of Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s monthly television program. Author and food blogger Kendra Bailey Morris has an egg recipe for spring celebrations, and we will have the latest on efforts to prepare the next generation of Virginia farmers. 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.

Virginia Farm Bureau News


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 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.

Ads and cancellations must be received (not mailed) by the following deadlines: Issue Deadline Mailed to producer members May April 4 August June 29 Mailed to associate members July June 1

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

ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

❑ Hay/Straw

CITY: _________________________________________________ STATE: ____________________________

❑ Livestock

ZIP:_____ _____________

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

ISSUE IN WHICH AD SHOULD RUN: ❑ May (mailed to producer members) ❑ July (mailed to associate members)

* Ad placement available for these issues only

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march 2012


Farmers don’t take a season off, and neither does Farm Bureau As Congress crafts the 2012 Farm Bill and the state legislature considers the rights of property owners, farmers like you all over the state are making plans for the coming year. As a Farm Bureau member, you’re helping to make it a good year for all of them. 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 successful, 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 this year by telling your family, friends and neighbors about Farm Bureau and encouraging them to become members as well. There’s never been a better year — and there’s never an off season.


March 2012 FBN  
March 2012 FBN  

Farm Bureau News is published six times a year and offers producer members agricultural news.