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Recognizing local farmers

Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

March 23-29 is National Agriculture Week and the Women’s Committee of Farm Bureau in Westmoreland has been working hard to promote agriculture and educate our community about the importance of the agriculture industry.

Laurel Springs Farm thrashing beans on a gorgeous fall day.

Laurel Springs Farm thrashing beans on a gorgeous fall day.

“This is a farming community,” Chairman Minnie Reamy said of Westmoreland, and she and the committee want everyone to know and appreciate it. The committee pointed out that people new to the community may have never had contact with farmers and that even some long time members of this community may not realize the diverse range of farmers and agriculture in Westmoreland. Reamy said that this week and the recognition extends to farmers of all types and there are many here in the county. In Westmoreland there are produce, grain, dairy, cattle and organic vegetable farmers as well as nurseryman, winemakers and beekeepers. There are also other important parts of agriculture here in the county like livestock, forestry and seafood. Westmoreland is among Virginia’s top-ranked counties for production of corn, soybeans, barley, wheat and wine grapes. The demographics of farmers in the area are always changing. We have young and experienced farmers, farmers of all varieties, male and female farmers and farmers of a range of ethnicities all working hard so that the community can reap the benefits of agriculture.

Since before the establishment of Westmoreland County in 1653, agriculture has been and remains a major industry. With more than 160 farms that occupy nearly 68,000 acres as well as more than 88,000 acres of forest land, Westmoreland should be proud of it’s local farming heritage and its growth into a community where farming is still a viable way of life.

Agriculture is not only the largest industry in Virginia, but also an industry that touches the lives of every person in our community everyday.