News Item Details

Botetourt County Endorses the Future of Agriculture

11/25/2015

Fincastle, VA – The Weldon-Cooper Center for Public Service has released its Agriculture Development Strategic Plan report for Botetourt County, highlighting the potential and future possibilities of agriculture in the County. The County initiated the study last spring as a part of the Board of Supervisors strategic planning implementation. Recognizing the importance of agriculture to the history and economy of the County, the Board wanted to ensure that a roadmap was in place to guide the future of agriculture.

While the study identifies that the farming sector has declined over time, residents and community leaders have continued to place a high value on preserving the farm economy in the County. The Board of Supervisors appointed a study committee, and the consultants also formed focus groups to better understand the history and culture of farming in Botetourt. Based on the information gathered and the research compiled, the consultants identified a number of recommendations that could reinvigorate and enhance the agriculture community throughout the County.

The recommendations from the study take a broad look at the current and future state of agriculture in the County. Foremost of the recommendations is to improve agriculture administration, planning, and policy coordination. The increased administrative and policy capacity will then allow the County to create new education, preservation, production, and marketing initiatives. Moreover, the recommendations seek to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, succession planning, and workforce development. All of these efforts will also allow the County to work in partnership with the agriculture community to help ensure best practices and optimal outcomes.

“Farming is my history and my legacy in the County,” said Fincastle District Supervisor Jack Leffel. “I am proud that the Board has taken a hard look at where agriculture stands in Botetourt and is committed to moving forward to guarantee its future.”

The Board of Supervisors received the report and a presentation at its regular meeting on November 24, 2015. In the coming months, the Board will begin planning the implementation of the recommendations, including the identification of key partners in this endeavor. The Board is supportive of a long-term, strategic approach to agriculture in the County.

“We want to ensure that Botetourt farms are as vibrant and as supported in the future as they have ever been,” said Leffel.

The full study is available on the Botetourt County website at http://www.botetourtva.gov/econdevelopment/index.php.

 

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For more information, contact

Cody Sexton, County Administrator's Office

(540) 928-2010