Farm News for the Mid-Atlantic Region
Note: Some stories are written in broadcast style
Farm Credit of the Virginias reports 2nd Quarter Earnings
Staunton - Farm Credit of the Virginias, a customer-owned financial cooperative, reported second quarter 2014 net income of $7.5 million. This brings the net income of the cooperative for the first six months to $16 million. “We are pleased with our second quarter and year-to-date financial results, which reflect positive trends across most areas of our operations,” said David Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit of the Virginias. “We experienced increased loan demand across our markets, which resulted in the strongest quarterly loan growth we have experienced in several years.”
“We are also pleased to pay out our 2013 patronage dividend totaling $21 million in cash to our customer-owners during the second quarter. This demonstrates how the cooperative model works by having our customer-owners share in the cooperative’s earnings,” said Mr. Lawrence.
Farm Credit of the Virginias’ loan portfolio increased $34 million during the second quarter and totaled over $1.528 billion at June 30, 2014. Credit quality of the loan portfolio remained strong, with 95% of the loans classified as acceptable. Improved profitability in the livestock, poultry and dairy industries and a strengthening of the general economy has helped the cooperative maintain the credit performance of its loan portfolio.
Farm Credit of the Virginias provides over $1.5 billion dollars in financing to more than 10,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland. Farm Credit is a cooperative capitalized largely through investments made by farmers, ranchers and the rural homeowners and businesses that borrow from them. Farm Credit helps maintain and improve the quality of life in rural America and on the farm through its constant commitment to competitive lending, expert financial services and for facilitating and sharing knowledge and resources through the Farm Credit Knowledge Center. For more information, visit www.FarmCreditKnowledgeCenter.com or www.FarmCreditofVirginias.com.
Penn State's Great Insect Fair celebrates pollinators
UNIVERSITY PARK - Why are pollinators so important to our daily lives? Find out at Penn State's Great Insect Fair, taking place Sept. 13, at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus.
The theme of this year's fair is "PollenNation," according to fair coordinator Steve Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology.
"Insects pollinate approximately 75 percent of the food we eat, but there have been dramatic drops in pollinator populations worldwide," Jacobs said.
Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Entomology Department, the fair will provide information on what is killing bees and other pollinators and how to create and protect pollinator habitat. Related activities and displays will feature honey tasting, pollinator diversity and nesting habitat, bee observation hives, a pollinated-food table, and "pollinator theater."
Penn State Master Gardeners will be on hand with resources for pollinator-friendly home gardens. Attendees also can receive a "Pollinator Passport Book" and have it filled by visiting all of the event's pollinator booths.
The fair also will include other events designed to be fun and interactive:
--Build-A-Bug Contest -- Kids can bring their homemade insects for judging and a chance to win prizes (for rules and guidelines, visit the contest Web page)
--Arts and crafts at the Insect Construction Company
--Insect vendors, featuring insect pets, art, crafts, books and t-shirts
--The Bug Doctor Is In -- Get answers to your insect questions
Parking and admission for the Great Insect Fair are free, although donations will be accepted to help defray costs. Entrance to the fair is through the Founders Entrance on the east side of the Bryce Jordan Center.
Information on the Bryce Jordan Center's bag policy is available on the BJC website. All Bryce Jordan Center parking lots will be available for parking during the event.
To learn more, call the Department of Entomology at 814-865-1895 or visit the Great Insect Fair Web page.
North Carolina to offer new price reports for local farm products
RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services’ State and Federal Market News Service is launching a series of new reports focusing on locally produced agricultural products.
Reports for the state-operated farmers markets in Raleigh and Asheville, which list current wholesale prices, are now online, as is Farm to School information, which provides total produce sales delivered plus unit prices. In addition to these reports, Market News plans to develop reports for direct-to-consumer sales, which will capture the prices of commodities that farmers market to consumers. Reports on grass-fed beef are expected to be available starting in September.
The new reports will provide users with information that can assist them with making informed business decisions, said Sherry Barefoot, Market News manager. The information can assist producers with their financial planning, assist insurance companies with settling insurance claims and benefit other members of the industry, she said.
“Interest in, and demand for, locally grown foods has increased significantly in the past 10 years,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This has been a win-win for farmers and the economy, as consumers are enjoying more foods straight from the farm, creating new markets and supporting the local economy.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, the number of North Carolina farms selling agricultural products directly to consumers in 2012 was 4,475. That is up from 3,712 in 2007 and 3,054 in 2002. The total market value of direct sales in 2012 was $31.8 million.
The new reports can be found on the Market News website at www.ncagr.gov/markets/mktnews/local.htm.
U.S. farm production expenditures and farmland values rise
WASHINGTON — American farmers spent $367.3 billion to run their businesses in 2013, according to a farm production expenditure report published recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That figure tops 2012 expenditures by 2 percent.
Overall, crop farm expenditures in 2013 increased to $206.7 billion, up 0.9 percent, while livestock farm expenditures increased to $160.6 billion, up 3.4 percent.
The average per-farm expenditure was $175,270, up from $171,309 in 2012. The average crop farm expenditure was $211,659, compared to $143,521 for livestock farms.
“Per-farm expenditures can differ in various parts of the country due to the diversity of agriculture and the varied expenses that come with that,” said Jonah Bowles, senior agricultural market analyst with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Cotton is not grown in Michigan, and sugar beets are not grown in Alabama. Sandy soils in the East will have a different set of production costs than those with 10-foot topsoil in the Midwest.”
Farmland values also have increased, according to the NASS 2014 Land Values report.
The report noted that in 2014 U.S. farm real estate value averaged $2,950 per acre, up 8.1 percent from 2013. Regional changes in the average value ranged from a 16.3 percent increase in the Northern Plains region to a 1.1 percent increase in the Southeast region. In the report’s Appalachian region, which includes Virginia, the average farm real estate value was $4,320 per acre, an increase of 0.2 percent.
Pasture value in the United States increased to an average of $1,300 per acre, or 11.1 percent above 2013. At the state level, the average value of 2014 pasture land ranged from $360 per acre in New Mexico to $13,500 in New Jersey. In Virginia, the average was $3,930 per acre.
“Land values are a function of productivity and competition for other uses,” Bowles explained. He noted that $13,500-per-acre land in New Jersey would not be profitable in hay and that the value comes from potential development demand. “Conversely, New Mexico land is valued at $350 because there is little production per acre and demand associated with urban sprawl is slight.”
The two reports are available at www.nass.usda.gov.
Hay production down 20 percent in WV
Yields of hay for farmers in the Mountain State are not anywhere near 2013 levels. A recent report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service office of the USDA indicates all other hay production (excluding alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures) is forecast at 880,000 tons, down 203,000 tons from 2013. The area harvested is expected to total 550,000 acres, down 20,000 acres from the previous year. Average yield per acre is forecast at 1.6 tons, down 0.3 tons from 2013.
Tree fruits are expected to be down from last year as well. Based on August 1 conditions, apple production in West Virginia is forecast at 86 million pounds, down 9 million pounds from 2013. Based on August 1 conditions, peach production is forecast at 5,500 tons (11.0 million pounds). The forecast is down 200 tons (0.4 million pounds) from the 2013 crop season.
US tractor sales up 6 percent in July
According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturer's monthly "Flash Report," the sale of all tractors in the U.S. for July 2014, were up 6% compared to the same month last year.
For the seven months in 2014, a total of 125,296 tractors were sold which compares to 121,763 sold thru July 2014, representing a 3% increase year to date.
For the month, two-wheel drive smaller tractors (under 40 HP) were up 7% from last year, while 40 & under 100 HP were up 8%. Sales of 2-wheel drive 100+ HP were up 2%, while 4-wheel drive tractors were down 14%.
For the seven months, two-wheel drive smaller tractors (under 40 HP) are up 7% over last year, while 40 & under 100 HP are up 4%. Sales of 2-wheel drive 100+ HP are down 9%, while 4-wheel drive tractors are down 11%.
Combine sales were down 26% for the month. Sales of combines for the first seven months totaled 4,782, a decrease of 15% over the same period in 2013.
Large U.S. apple crop expected
RICHMOND—The nation’s fall apple crop is expected to be a big one, with a potential record crop in Washington offsetting lighter crops in the two other main apple-producing states, New York and Michigan.
Early estimates from the Premier Apple Cooperative in New York and the Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association indicate the national fresh and processing apple crop could reach 260 million 40-pound boxes, the third-largest crop on record.
There could be an oversupply of apples nationally, but a huge national crop is more manageable now than in previous years. That’s due to a better varietal mix and quality and to fast food restaurants using more apple slices.
While Virginia production is a long way, volume-wise, from that of Washington, the commonwealth is the nation’s sixth-largest producer of apples in both volume and acreage. Virginia orchards produced 4.6 million bushels of apples in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. More than half of last year’s crop was sold for processing into products like apple juice and applesauce.
“Right now our crop here in Virginia appears to be fair,” said Spencer Neale, director of commodity marketing for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “There have been reports of damaging hail in some orchards, too much moisture in some and not enough in others. It very much depends on the region. The next few weeks will be critical to finishing the crop, and then we will begin to see exactly what we have.”
Maryland awards $1 Million for Innovative Manure Management Technologies
POCOMOKE - The Maryland Department of Agriculture recently awarded more than $1 million in grants for three animal waste management technology projects. Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance, Maryland Energy Administration Director Abigail Ross Hopper, along with other state and local officials, joined together for a check presentation ceremony to Planet Found Energy Development and Green Mountain Technologies for implementation of their demonstration projects. The event was held at Millennium Farms in Worcester County.
“By working to reach our sustainability goals, we’ll grow our renewable energy portfolio and reduce the amount of run-off going into our precious Bay. This program is a win-win for our State,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Investing in Maryland’s in-state renewable energy boosts our economy, ensures that we have abundant energy resources well into the future and creates more jobs and opportunity for more Marylanders.”
The O’Malley/Brown Administration’s investment in innovation led to the revitalization of the Animal Waste Technology Fund. The Fund provides incentives to companies that demonstrate new technologies on farms and provide alternative strategies for managing animal manure. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. MDA plans to award a total of $2 million of the $2.5 million available in FY2014. Funds not awarded during FY2014 will be added to a new round of requests for proposals to demonstrate innovative manure management technologies, totaling $3 million in FY2015.
“These projects will help farmers address challenges in managing manure under new nutrient management requirements,” said Secretary Hance. “Projects funded have the potential to increase energy independence, enhance animal waste management, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gases – all of which will result in advanced Chesapeake Bay restoration and help farms become sustainable.”
National Corn Growers Assn. comments on "massive crop"
National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reports:
With the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently estimating a record corn supply of 15.2 billion bushels this coming year, the National Corn Growers Association is keeping a close eye on prices and pushing back against efforts that will reduce demand for the bountiful supply.
"Now is not the time for our federal policymakers to be cutting into the ethanol standard, imposing undue regulations or going slow on trade agreements," said NCGA President Martin Barbre.
"Our farmers are doing their part, working hard and smart on their farms to bring in a good crop. It's time Washington removed obstacles and cleared a path so we can sell America's biggest and most versatile crop at a good and fair price."
In its crop production and supply-and-demand reports released today, USDA estimated a record average national corn yield of 167.4 bushels per acre. Factoring in 83.8 million acres expected to be harvested brings the 2014 crop at 14.0 billion bushels and the overall supply at 15.2 billion bushels.
Due to the increased production, the average farm price was lowered a dime from its July estimate, to a range of $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel.
When it comes to corn prices and the cost of growing corn, Barbre cited three areas NCGA is watching in particular that affect its grower members. First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting by 10 percent the amount of corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, a step that means future years also may see reductions.
At the same time, EPA has proposed new regulations regarding the Clean Water Act and the definition of which waters will be covered. Farmers need clarity and the proposed rule regarding "Waters of the U.S." needs to be fixed. Farmers cannot afford more regulatory uncertainty that drives up costs, Barbre said.
Finally, to help exports of corn and corn products, NCGA is pushing for modernized Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation as provided in the bi-partisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. This would improve our nation's ability to advance trade agreements that open markets for U.S. farmers.
Turkey industry pleased with USDA action
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Turkey Federation praised USDA for moving forward with its Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule.
USDA recently released the final version of the rule, which will allow poultry plants nationwide the option to implement an enhanced inspection program that focuses even greater attention on the prevention of microbiological hazards.
This enhanced program was previously was limited to 25 pilot plants, but now that the rule has been finalized, NTF said it expects many turkey plants to adopt the new system.
"USDA is to be commended for standing up for food safety in the face of significant pressure," said NTF President Joel Brandenberger. "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection provides additional tools to plants and federal inspectors to verify that plant food-safety programs are protecting against foodborne illness.
"By allowing plant employees to conduct some preliminary sorting duties, federal inspectors will be freed to further verify testing on the spot, examine sanitation standards and enforcing safeguards throughout a processing plant."
NTF and its members view this as the most significant step forward in food safety since the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulation of 1996. That regulation was a turning point on changing meat inspection from one that was largely visual to one that included testing for microbiological hazards.
"HACCP has enhanced food safety considerably, and this expands on the concepts of that rule. It's the next logical step in the evolution of food safety," Brandenberger said.
NTF will continue to work with those members who opt to utilize the system and with USDA to ensure smooth implementation.
NC State professor wins award for work in animal nutrition
Jack Odle, Ph.D., an animal scientist at North Carolina State University, was recently presented with the New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award Sunday as part of the Nutrition Research Awards. The award is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association and the Federation of Animal Science Societies.
This is the 67th year AFIA has presented the Nutrition Research Awards, and the 11th consecutive year the organization has sponsored the FASS award. The purpose of the New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award is to stimulate, acknowledge and reward pioneering and innovative research relevant to animal nutrition.
The award recipient must demonstrate outstanding and innovative contributions to nutrition research concerning animals that benefit mankind and/or the nutritional value of food from animals. Odle manages a research program focused on "Nutritional Biochemistry of the Neonate."
"His research has relevance to both agriculture and to medicine in that his laboratory uses piglets as a model for neonatal nutrition and metabolism," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "His research, focused on lipid metabolism and on intestinal health, has previously received recognition by the society as he was awarded a Young Researcher Award, the Non-ruminant Nutrition Award and the Animal Growth & Development Award."
Odle has received $8 million for research, published 367 papers, abstracts and technical reports, and has trained 50 graduate students, post doctorates and visiting scientists.
Odle received his bachelor's degree with highest honors in animal science from Purdue University and his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a concentration in nutritional biochemistry.
After five years as Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, he joined the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University in 1995 and was named William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in 2005.
Peanut farming has its roots in Southeast Virginia
WAVERLY — Virginia’s peanut-farming roots are plenty deep. The first commercial crop of peanuts in the United States was actually produced in 1842 in Southeast Virginia.
The Virginia-type peanut is known for its large kernels compared to the other three types grown in the United States, said Dell Cotton, executive secretary of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. The majority of Virginia-type peanut production in the United States takes place in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
“The larger Virginia kernels support various prominent industries. The in-shell peanut is sold in grocery stores and at sporting events. The shelled extra-large kernels are used as cocktail peanuts. The super-extra-large kernels are used by gourmet processors to cook and package, usually in tins, for distribution,” Cotton said.
Virginia-grown peanuts are produced in about eight localities in the southeastern part of the state, where sandy soils are conducive to their growth. They typically are planted in May and harvested at the end of September or first part of October.
Kevin Monahan in Sussex County has grown peanuts on his multi-generational farm for 31 years. He used to farm with his uncle and grandfather, and now he farms with his sons, Drew and Brad. The family still grows peanuts on a farm that belonged to Monahan’s great-great-grandfather.
This summer he is growing 135 acres of Virginia-type peanuts—100 acres for seed and another 35 acres that will be sold as an in-shell product.
“Peanuts take a lot of work to grow,” Monahan said. “You have to scout the plants for diseases and keep them sprayed to prevent disease.”
Monahan used to grow as many as 350 acres of peanuts when the federal quota system was in place. Passage of the 2002 Farm Bill ended the 70-year-old federal system of production and price controls, and it was replaced with a more market-oriented approach.
“With the quota system we knew we could get a certain amount of money per ton of peanuts, and we planned our peanut acreage based on the average yield from the previous year,” Monahan said. He and other farmers now plant peanut acreage based on contracts with peanut processing companies, called shellers.
“I found I do a better job managing the peanuts since I reduced the number of acres we grow,” Monahan said. “It used to take a month in the fall to get all of those peanuts in, and now if we have good harvest conditions, it takes about 8 to 10 days.”
West Virginia expands forest insect program
CHARLESTON - WV Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick has announced that the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Program has expanded to include all counties currently infested with HWA.
“Additional counties were found to be infested this year so our Plant Industries Division Staff expanded our HWA program so landowners in those counties would be allowed to participate” said Commissioner Helmick.
The hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, is a non-native invasive pest that is quickly decimating hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis and T. caroliniana) in the eastern United States” said Quentin “Butch” Sayers, Assistant Director of PID with WVDA.
“Without long-term control of HWA, eastern and Carolina hemlock will be significantly reduced, if not eliminated, throughout its natural range.” “HWA causes damage to hemlocks by depleting the hemlock’s starch reserves, which in turn reduces the trees’ ability to grow and produce new shoots” said Sayers. “All ages and size classes of hemlock are susceptible to HWA infestations.”
WVDA is now accepting applications from landowners who wish to sign up and participate in the WVDA HWA Program to help protect their hemlock trees.
Landowners who want to participate in the HWA Cooperative Program must complete an application and submit it with a $100 deposit that will be applied to your treatment costs. The application can be received by calling the WVDA Charleston Office at (304) 558-2212 or downloading at: http://www.wvagriculture.org/images/Plant_Industries/About_Us.html.
Landowners must apply for the program by September 30th, 2014, provide WVDA with a map of their property, and allow WVDA to evaluate their site to ensure it meets the project qualifications:
-Only private lands within the project area are eligible.
-More than 50 percent canopy cover of hemlocks.
-A woodlot with a minimum of five acres. Adjacent and otherwise eligible landowners may cooperate to meet the minimum acreage requirement.
-Landowners with less than five acres may qualify if the proposed treatment area is adjacent to land being managed for HWA.
-Trees must have more than 50 percent foliage.
-Trees may not have been treated within the last four years.
-Treatment must not pose a safety risk to WVDA field personnel.
-Pesticides used in treatments must be purchased directly by WVDA.
-Treatments usually protect trees four-to-five years.
Cost share monies are available, however landowners accepted for the program must pay for a portion of the treatments. Applying for the program does not obligate landowners to participate – they may back out if they feel their portion of the costs is too high.
Farm Credit celebrates 98 years of service to American agriculture
Nearly 100 years after the U.S. Congress established Farm Credit to serve as a reliable source of credit for the nation's farmers and ranchers, the network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations remains a sound and vital resource for rural America. The organization recently marked it's 98th anniversary.
"For 98 years, the Farm Credit System has served agriculture and rural America as a dedicated, reliable, competitive, customer-owned source of credit," said Mary Fritz, owner and operator of Quarter Circle JF Ranch, Inc., a dry land grain and cow-calf operation in Chester, Montana, and chair of the Farm Credit Council board of directors. "America's agricultural producers and rural communities have benefited greatly from the vision and foresight that went into establishing the Farm Credit System."
Today, about 40 percent of the dollar volume of outstanding loans to U.S. farmers and ranchers comes from Farm Credit. The federally chartered network is comprised of 82 privately owned institutions, including four wholesale banks and 78 direct lending associations that operate in every county in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
These local Farm Credit System institutions specialize in providing credit and related services to farmers, ranchers, timber harvesters and aquatic producers. In addition, the Farm Credit System provides financing for the processing and marketing activities of these borrowers, as well as to rural homeowners, certain farm-related businesses, and agricultural and public utility cooperatives.
In support of their mission of service, Farm Credit System institutions also have programs specifically focused on meeting the needs of young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers. In 2013, more than 40 percent of new loans made by Farm Credit were to small producers, those with annual gross agricultural sales of $250,000 or less.
"Our cooperative model is designed specifically to ensure that our lending and related financial services are driven by the needs of our borrower-owners," Fritz said. "Our focus remains on the success of our owners rather than on achieving quarterly returns to impress stockholders."
Farm Credit's commitment to its borrower-owners is demonstrated further by the fact that associations share profits directly with borrowers through patronage dividends. In 2013, the Farm Credit System distributed more than $1 billion in cash patronage, allowing borrower-owners to reinvest in their own operations and to further support rural communities through local spending.
"Today, Farm Credit celebrates its heritage as it continues to fulfill its mission to serve U.S. agriculture and rural America," Fritz said. "Farm Credit was established as a permanent system of credit that is to be responsive to the needs of our nation's agricultural sector, and we look forward to continued success and a bright future."
Weekly crop progress reports
top three buyers of U.S. beef are:
a. Canada, China, and Australia
b. England, Mexico, and Russia
c. Russia, China, and India
d. Canada, Japan, and Mexico
Answer: d. The top 5 export markets are (in order): Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Previous Question - True or false - Pigs are native to North America.
Answer: b Hernando de Soto, the famous Spanish explorer, brought the first pig to North America in 1539. (Cows didn’t get here until 1611 with the Pilgrims).
Military vets, farmers invited
to free ag business plan seminar
Record Cover Crop Enrollment
observed in Maryland
North Carolina approves fees for
Safe Food classes offered in
Pennsylvania August crop
Virginia poultry industry is focus of new "showcase facility" at Rockingham County Fairgrounds
HARRISONBURG – The Rockingham County Fair in Harrisonburg expanded it's poultry facilities on the Fairgrounds this summer. The goal is to showcase the historic and economic importance of the Virginia poultry industry as well as to provide new and expanded space for exhibitor show birds during the annual County Fair. The Rockingham County Fair has been recognized on numerous occasions as one of the top agricultural Fairs in North America and is dedicating 2014 as “The Year of the Farm Family.”
“This project has been a long time in the making,” says Jeff Ishee, GM for the Rockingham County Fair Association. The current poultry exhibit building was transported to its present-day site in 1980 after being used for numerous years at the old Kratzer Road site of the County Fair. “It was time for a make-over,” emphasized Ishee, who added the renovated building and another, poultry-related new-construction building have been completed in time for the 2014 County Fair. Attendance at the 2013 Fair set a new record at 88,885 people.
The Fair Association and various poultry companies with operations in Rockingham County developed a plan several months ago to recognize the historic and economic importance of the Virginia poultry industry. Construction of the new showcase building began in late March.
“This is a big story and it needs to be told,” remarked poultry industry pioneer Charles Wampler, Jr. of Dayton. “I am pleased more people will learn about the significance of chicken and turkey production and the farm families involved.” The Wampler family was an integral part of the reason Rockingham County has become known around the world as the “Turkey Capital.” Wampler was also the 1st President of the Rockingham County Fair Association in 1949.
The old poultry building used for more than 3 decades underwent a complete, top-to-bottom makeover and now contains interactive displays, historic artifacts, and educational exhibits. Two prominent statues (one chicken and one turkey) welcome visitors at the main entrance. Another building for exhibiting live birds during the County Fair will be used to host other Fairgrounds events throughout the year.
Funding was provided by private donors, poultry companies and agriculture-related interests. The Fair Association also received a grant from the Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The project has received endorsements from Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, as well as the encouragement of local elected officials.
“Our mission statement requires us to promote agriculture and be a leader in the presentation and promotion of farm life and food production,” says Fair Association President Don Liskey of Cross Keys. “This is a win-win situation for the Fair and the poultry industry. Visitors to the Fair will learn all about the importance of chicken and turkey production here in Virginia.”
TN introduces new Mobile App for farms, farmers'
Cargill to remove
growth-promoting antibiotics from all turkeys
Source: Cargill News Release
successful in WV