An Agricultural Conversation: Rappahannock County with American Farmland Trust

Saturday, January 20th, 2018, 12:00 PM
Location: Washington Volunteer Fire Hall, 10 Firehouse Lane , Washington, Virginia

What Are Your Ideas to Improve Rappahannock ‘s Farm Community? What’s missing to help farming and food enterprises thrive in Rappahannock County? What can the citizens of the county build on to improve our farm sector?

Farming has always been an important component of Rappahannock life. From apples to beef cattle to hay production to wine grapes, farm production has helped define our county. It is a way of life, it creates jobs, it defines our landscape. However, the face of agriculture seems to be changing.

In Rappahannock County, as in other parts of the country, agriculture is struggling. Farmers are growing older. Competition for markets is acute. Land is being priced beyond its agricultural value. However, again as in other parts of the country there are encouraging signs. New younger farmers are willing to try to establish new farm businesses, food entrepreneurs are looking to create markets for local production. The role of a healthy farm sector is being recognized as an important component of climate resiliency.

Community members, farmers and entrepreneurs in Rappahannock County are interested in exploring the potential to expand and strengthen the county’s local food system. In last year’s countywide survey, maintaining family farms was ranked the 4th highest concern out of 25 countywide issues. Recent articles in the Rappahannock News have generated much conversation around land use, including how it relates to farming and rural economic development, as well as food insecurity.

A local steering committee is looking to bring together a group of private Rappahannock citizens and interested persons to explore opportunities to improve the prospects for farming, food production and food related businesses in the county. The initial public effort will be to convene an afternoon workshop on January 20, 2018 to engage the public in a discussion of this topic. John Piotti, the new Executive Director of American Farmland Trust has agreed to speak on the linkage of national trends and the potential for Rappahannock County. The goal of the event will be to raise awareness about what’s happening with farming and local food issues nationally, and to explore what bearing this has for Rappahannock.

A light lunch and beverage will be available (at no cost).

REGISTER online through the eventbrite page >>

For more information please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington Volunteer Fire Hall, 10 Firehouse Lane , Washington, Virginia

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