The kitchen ovens are fired up with tasty goodies rolling out each hour – Don’t miss the tasty line-up of goodies & meats for tomorrow.

The grass has stopped growing – now is the time for high quality hay. These newly acquired hay rings eliminate waste so the cows receive the most benefit from each bale.
Oh the fun moments on the farm….:-)
Drain pipes and water lines are installed at the site of the barn addition.
Load of gravel for a newly acquired walk-in cooler
Support Virginia Farmers & Oppose SB1195

Info below provided from the Farm to Consumer Defense Fund & the Virginia Independent Consumers & Farmers Association.

“SB1195 prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

“SB 1195 adopts federal produce safety regulations and also creates an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). All fines assessed for violations of the federal produce safety standards will be deposited in the fund. All money in the fund shall be used solely for carrying out VDACS responsibilities under the law.”

Unfortunately, this bill is another way to harm the small farms and actually provide incentives for penalizing farmers.

Contact the Senate Agriculture Committee
Talking points on SB1195

  1. “Constitutional issues of search and seizure and the potential litigation liability.

    Constitution of Virginia, Article I. Bill of Rights
    Section 10. General warrants of search or seizure prohibited
    That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.”

    “This bill seeks to expand the powers of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) without a defined health risk.”

  2. “Fresh produce is one of a very few foods not heavily regulated.”
  3. “This bill would expand inspection from actual production facilities to just about anywhere.”
  4. “This bill will authorize a “fishing expedition” by VDACS funded by USDA grants leading to its own source of revenue, outside of the legislature.”
  5. “Just this last year, VDACS imposed new produce regulations on farmers markets without legislation.”
  6. “The impact on orchard and vegetable farms would be dramatic, giving consumers few choices other then industrialized agriculture.”
  7. “This bill will have a detrimental impact on Virginia agriculture, particularly small farms.”
  8. “Small farms are failing due to over regulation.”
  9. “The loss of small farms will drastically damage Virginia’s agricultural nature. This is a loss of revenue issue for the state, in that the majority of the industrialized food industry is not based in Virginia.”
  10. “We need to keep Virginia’s consumers’ food purchases going to in-state producers, not to multi-national corporations.”
  11. “Buy local is a major trend with food consumers.The state should be finding ways to capitalized on that market, not minimize it.”

“How did the people of the Commonwealth survive for the last 283 years without this legislation?”

Guard geese on duty
This week on the farm
The farm is quite soggy these days. However, we’re very grateful for the hydration this area has been receiving while so many places in America are praying for rain.

Though the muddy conditions definitely add work and make matters a bit more memorable :-).

Kenan trimmed sheep hooves this week. We have sugar water ready for the bees. A team did a fantastic job cleaning up around the shed and preparing for the delivery of a walk-in cooler unit which arrived Thursday evening. Daniel has been prepping his seed planting area as deliveries of seeds continue to arrive. Joshua has been spending quite a bit of time in the office working on bookkeeping. Matthew headed up the fencing project around the dairy barn which is about completed. Dad has had a couple meetings with several regarding plans for new paddocks for the pork operation and layouts for the vegetable gardens.

It was a good full week of work. The good news is that the time spent planning out this first quarter has definitely brought the completion of several key projects for which we are very grateful.

Happy foraging chickens