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An Agricultural Conversation: Rappahannock County w/American Farmland Trust

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Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue Hall

10 Firehouse Lane

Washington, Va 22747

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*PLEASE CLICK "REGISTER" TO RSVP*

What Are Your Ideas to Improve Rappahannock ‘s Farm Community? What’s missing to help farming and food enterprises thrive in Rappahannock County? What can the citizens of the county build on to improve our farm sector?

Farming has always been an important component of Rappahannock life. From apples to beef cattle to hay production to wine grapes, farm production has helped define our county. It is a way of life, it creates jobs, it defines our landscape. However, the face of agriculture seems to be changing.

In Rappahannock County, as in other parts of the country, agriculture is struggling. Farmers are growing older. Competition for markets is acute. Land is being priced beyond its agricultural value. However, again as in other parts of the country there are encouraging signs. New younger farmers are willing to try to establish new farm businesses, food entrepreneurs are looking to create markets for local production. The role of a healthy farm sector is being recognized as an important component of climate resiliency.

Community members, farmers and entrepreneurs in Rappahannock County are interested in exploring the potential to expand and strengthen the county’s local food system. In last year’s countywide survey, maintaining family farms was ranked the 4 th highest concern out of 25 countywide issues. Recent articles in the Rappahannock News have generated much conversation around land use, including how it relates to farming and rural economic development, as well as food insecurity.

We are looking to bring together a group of private Rappahannock citizens and interested persons to explore opportunities to improve the prospects for farming, food production and food related businesses in the county. Our initial public effort will be to convene an afternoon workshop on January 20 th to engage the public in a discussion of this topic. John Piotti, the new Executive Director of American Farmland Trust has agreed to speak on the linkage of national trends and the potential for Rappahannock County. The goal of the event will be to raise awareness about what’s happening with farming and local food issues nationally, and to explore what bearing this has for Rappahannock.

It is our intent that this is the beginning of a longer term program to initiate practical private and public efforts to strengthen our farm and food community.

A light lunch and beverage will be available (at no cost).

*PLEASE CLICK "REGISTER" TO RSVP*

For more information please email: AgChatRappCo@gmail.com

1/13/18 Update: The event is nearly "sold out". We do have a maximum capacity at our location. Once we've reached our limit here with those pre-registered we will have a small amount of space available at the door for walk-ins.

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Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue Hall

10 Firehouse Lane

Washington, Va 22747

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