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Events for Farmers and Ranchers in Virginia

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) aims to keep farmers and ranchers in Virginia informed about the events and opportunities happening near them through our bi-monthly newsblast sent out via our listserv and linked to on this page. The events, also listed below, include educational and social opportunities. This list is not all-inclusive, and not all events listed are by the VBFRC.

If you would like to add your beginning farmer events to the list, please send an email including the event title; dates; a short summary; and any flyers, attachments, or hotlinks to vabeginningfarmer@vt.edu

Bi-monthly Newsblast

Click the image below to be taken to a .pdf of our most recent newsblast. Events from the newsblast are also listed below, with links to more information.

FSA Application Deadline on March 16th!
If you have not already visited your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to make your election for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and to sign your annual enrollment contract, you should call and make your appointment now. March 16, 2020 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year.

Plenty! Accepting Applicants for Civic Agriculture Internship
This position is ideal for someone who is interested, but not yet experienced in farming and food security. The focus of this internship will be learning through participating in the daily workings of high density regenerative vegetable growing. This includes the basics of growing, tending, harvesting, seed saving, and distributing vegetables and fruits. Although the focus of this internship is developing basic healthy farming practices, we will also cover forest and watershed management, developing land based community, and many other topics that tie into our practices as people on the land. Sessions available: Late March - May , June - August, Sept - Mid November (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 - 1:00). Minimum commitment is one session. In person Interview and references are required. Please Contact: plentyfarmer@swva.net and visit https://plentylocal.org

Farmer grant opportunity from Little Sesame
Little Seedlings is our initiative to fund support of our next generation of local farmers. We are excited to share that award monies this year have increased to $10,000, which will be given as two $5,000 grants, and awarded via our nonprofit partner organization, the National Young Farmers Coalition. The Little Seedlings application is open to those who are currently farming in DC, Maryland or Virginia, and will remain open until Tuesday, March 31st.

VDACS Specialty Crop Grant Program Funding Opportunity
Guidelines and Instructions for applying can be found here http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov//sales-specialty-crop-competitive-grant-program.shtml. Groups seeking to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Virginia are eligible to submit proposals for grants up to $60,000 per project. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) anticipates administering nearly $540,000 in funds for the development of specialty crops. The deadline for submitting applications is March 23, 2019. Individual producers are not eligible for grants. Agricultural associations, industry and producer groups, community-based organizations, educational institutions and non-profits may submit applications to VDACS for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block Grants.

Millstone Kitchen is Hiring! (Blacksburg, VA)
Check out the job description here: https://oldschoolpricesfork.org/we-are-hiring/

Central Appalachian Young Farmers Coalition Listserv
Central Appalachian Young Farmers Coalition is a new network of farmers in southwest Virginia and the surrounding areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina.  It is a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition (www.youngfarmers.org) and in the beginning stages of development.  If you would like to join and/or participate in the formation of this chapter, please subscribe to the google group listserv by emailing erdobson7@gmail.com with subject "CentApp NYFC listserv".  They will share meeting information, educational opportunities, volunteer events, and relevant news.  Their first gathering will be Sunday, March 22 in the Blacksburg/Christiansburg area, details TBD.  Further information will be shared over the listserv.

Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation Listserv
The Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation is launching a new listserv to connect practitioners, researchers, and community members who focus on food systems and community transformation work. Click here for more information about the Center. If you would like to join the listserv, please request to be added by emailing Katie Trozzo at ketrozzo@vt.edu with the subject line “Join Center listerv.”

March 17-18: Veteran Farmers Conference: Boots to Roots (Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA) **CANCELLED**

March 22: First Gathering of the Central Appalachian Young Farmers Coalition (Christiansburg, VA). The first gathering of the Central Appalachian Young Farmers Coalition will be Sunday, March 22 from 12:00-3:00 held in Christiansburg, VA.  Further information will be shared over the listserv (see above). For more details contact Liza Dobson at erdobson7@gmail.com.

March 25-May 2: An Introduction to Getting Your Hand Dirty (Warrenton, VA) Program brochure link here

Mar 26: Forest Farming in Virginia [webinar]

March 30-April 1: Virginia Agritourism Conference (Smithfield, VA)

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If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to our listserv

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program, housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2017-70011-26861, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center Grant #545015. For more information about the program, contact Katie Trozzo, Program Coordinator, at vabeginningfarmer@vt.edu or 540-231-4582.   For other questions, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director, at niewolny@vt.edu.

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact vabeginningfarmer@vt.edu