One of the aims of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition is to collaboratively develop and deliver strategic trainings in critical topic areas to address culturally specific and advanced content needs. The four critical issues that the VBFRC has been addressing include: Marketing, Land Access, Stewardship Best Practices, and Historically Underserved Audience Outreach. Interested in learning more about one of the critical action teams or getting involved? Contact Allyssa Mark, VBFRC Program Associate, to be connected with the proper team.
The Marketing critical action team is currently working to aid farmers and ranchers in finding the appropriate marketing avenue for their products. The team is currently working to improve Market Ready materials and offer Market Ready workshops in Virginia. These materials and workshops are helpful to producers who are looking to sell their products to retailers and restaurants.
The Land Access critical action team is currently working on improving the Planning the Future of Your Farm booklets for both agriculture and forestry. In May 2016, the team offered a Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking training. This training was led by Kathy Ruhf, of Land For Good, a nationally recognzied leader in farm entry, succession, and tenure. Two attorneys, Andrew Branan (The Branan Law Firm, PLLC) and Mark Botkin (BotkinRose PLC), were also present to speak on their experiences in farm succession and discussed what farmers should do to develop a succession plan before talking to an attorney.
To read more about the Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking training offered in May 2016, visit the Beginning Farmer Connections blog!
Virginia Farm Link Website: https://farmlink.va-vdacs.com/
Stewardship Best Practices
The Stewardship Best Practices critical action team held a Sharing and Networking meeting in June 2016. At this meeting, farmer educators and service providers in Virginia gathered to discuss current and future programs focused on beginning farmer stewardship and field-based best practices. Their hope was to build excitement and collaboration as ideas are shared across partners.
Historically Underserved Audience Outreach
The Historically Underserved Audience Outreach critical action team is currently working to address military veteran farmers and women in Virginia. The team started the Virginia chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition in 2017. For more information on this effort, visit the FVC Virginia Chapter holding page on our site. Other members of the team have been working to address the needs of women in agriculture. In November 2017, a group of Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and other agriculture education providers attended an Annie's Project facilitator training, which will aid them in working with women involved in agriculture enterprises in Virginia.
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 or funding, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-5784.
For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.