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Food for Thought >> save the date

Save Our Food Holiday Festival will take place Dec. 10 Virginia Farm Bureau’s Virginia Holiday Food and Wine Festival will run from noon to 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Farm Bureau Center exhibition hall at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. Last year, more than 5,000 people attended. The festival will feature Virginiabased vendors, including wineries and specialty food companies. Tickets and additional information are available at

Eminent domain has the potential to affect any landowner, not just farmers. Farm Bureau is encouraging state legislators to amend Virginia’s constitution to prevent eminent domain abuse.

Down Home Virginia to become Real Virginia in 2012 Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program will get a new name and new content starting in January. Down Home Virginia, now in its 11th year, will become Real Virginia and feature a new chef and a vegetable gardening expert. Todd Schneider, the executive chef at Virginia’s Executive Mansion, will replace John Maxwell and will share recipes in a segment called “Heart of the Home,” some of which will be taped at the governor’s mansion. Andy Hankins, a longtime professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist at Virginia State University, will be featured in a new monthly segment on vegetable gardening called “From the Ground Up.” Landscape gardening expert Mark Viette and his segments “In the Garden” will remain on the program.

This land is whose land? Virginia Farm Bureau has long taken an interest in legislative actions related to eminent Want to know more? domain—government’s ability to take privately owned land for public use. For more information, visit That’s because farmers can’t farm without land. the “Policy & Action” section And because, if eminent domain laws are of abused, or they aren’t stringent enough, a farmer can end up not only losing land but also not receiving fair compensation for it and for the effect a taking has on his or her business. But eminent domain can effect any landowner, regardless of your profession. In the past year, your Farm Bureau membership has helped support a campaign that will go a long way toward ensuring fair treatment for all Virginia landowners. The “Stand Our Ground: Property Rights” campaign (See related article on Page 6) has focused on the second passage of a proposed state constitutional amendment by the 2012 General Assembly to prevent eminent domain abuse. The proposed amendment would tighten up the state’s definition of “public use” with regard to eminent domain. It would ensure your land cannot be taken without just compensation or given to a private entity, and ensure that no more property is taken than is necessary. To amend the state constitution, the General Assembly must pass the proposed amendment in two consecutive years. If the amendment is passed a second time in 2012, it would go before Virginia voters in November 2012. And we’d all get an opportunity to say how we’d want to be treated if a governmental entity wants something that’s ours. Cultivate NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011


November 2011 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...