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.

 

Marketing

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 working with Appalachian Sustainable Development to improve their "Sell What You Grow" booklet, which includes information on: available marketing channels, regulatory agencies, and various regulations outlined per product to be sold. In addition to the "Sell What You Grow" booklet, the critical action team is 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.

 

Land Access

The Land Access critical action team offered a Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking training in May 2016. 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. 

Virginia Farm Link Website: https://farmlink.va-vdacs.com/

To read more about the Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking training offered in May 2016, visit the Beginning Farmer Connections blog!

 

Stewardship Best Practices

The Stewardship Best Practices critical action team held a Sharind 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 in Virginia. The team is working to start a chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition in Virginia. For more information on this effort, visit the FVC Virginia Chapter holding page on our site.

If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program 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 #2015-70017-22887. For more information, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at niewolny@vt.edu or 540-231-5784.

 

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.