Thursday, January 17, 2008

Catawba Landcare


The Catawba Landcare group is something I think some of you may be
interested in - maybe you already know about it. Please note the
meetings and topics near the end of this e-mail from Christy Gabbard
at Virginia Tech. I wrote a story about the group for The New Castle
Record which was published in December; if you're interested you can
read it here

Catawba Landcare had a successful year in 2007 and the schedule is
filling in for 2008. Read on to learn more about our accomplishments,
current projects, and upcoming meetings. As always, feel free to
suggest topics for meetings, make comments, or provide suggestions.
Please pass this email on to others that might be interested.

Stream Restoration and Enhancement
Last year Catawba Landcare spent a great deal of energy and time
focused on water quality and stream restoration and enhancement in the
Catawba Creek and North Fork watersheds. Catawba Landcare and the
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) created an effective
partnership promoting stream restoration and riparian enhancement by
holding educational meetings, developing outreach materials, as well
detailing financial assistance available through DGIF's Landowner
Incentive Program.

To date 2,965 ln. ft. of stream and riparian buffer have been restored
in the North Fork watershed with 2400 linear feet proposed for 2008!!

**We have also received a number of inquiries from landowners
interested in stream restoration in the Catawba Creek watershed.
Unfortunately the Landowner Incentive Program is not active in this
watershed. We are currently exploring other opportunities and
options for these landowners. **

Catawba Farm
Catawba Landcare and other residents are concerned that the Catawba
Farm may be sold and want to take strides to keep it in active
agricultural production. Catawba Landcare held an informational
meeting about the farm in November and is helping to organize an
advisory team made up of landowners, VT and other stakeholders. At
the meeting, it was agreed the most important first step is to
generate activity (projects on the ground) at the farm and to research
the possibility for a conservation easement. If you want to learn
more or are interested in serving on a steering committee for the farm
please let me know.

Upcoming Meetings
*January 27th* -- "Forest Landcare for our Mountains and Valleys"
offered by the Blue Ridge Forest Cooperative at the Blacksburg
Country Club, 1-3pm

Those interested in Forest Management may also want to check out the
short course "Online Woodland Options for Landowners" offered by
Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension. For more information go to or contact Jennifer Gagnon at 540)231-6391

February 15th, "The Potential of Warm Season Grasses for Use as a
Forage and Cash Crop", 11 am – 1 pm, Catawba Community Center, lunch
RSVP requested - Christy Gabbard 540 357 3744

February 19th -- "Adding Value to your Products" - Location and time
to be announced -- please call or email for more information.

March 2nd- Whole Farm Management, Location To Be Announced.

April 13th – "Capitalizing on Agritourism" at the Maison Beliveau Bed
& Breakfast, 3-5 pm, directions see, refreshments provided

We could not have been as effective without the generous support from
the landowners in Catawba, United States Department of Agriculture,
Western Virginia Water Authority, Western Virginia Land Trust, New
River Land Trust, and Virginia Tech. Thank you!

Funding for the Landowner Incentive Program was provided by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service (Landowner Incentive Program) & FishAmerica

Sunday, January 13, 2008

If You Missed Yesterday's Meeting... missed meeting Watusi cattle up close and personal. I think they're pretty impressive.

The meeting was quite productive. We decided to call our group Botetourt Family Farms and to produce a flyer, press release for local publication, and much, much more.

We'll be posting more information about the meeting here and on our email list. Stay tuned.
And, as always, if anyone has information that may be of interest to the group, please don't be shy. Let us know and we'll post it where all can see.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Announcements of Interest

There are new tax credit guidelines and applications available at the Dept of Agric. website

There are new IRS Farmers Tax Guides for 2007

New 2007 Agriculture Census will be mailed out 12/28/07 This gives us an opportunity to have our voices heard at a national level as the forms also ask for information on land use, production practices, expenditures, etc. The forms can also be filled out online at

Jan 22, 23, 24 Augusta Expoland at Fishersville, VA Virginia Farm Show

Jan 8, 9, 10 Keystone Farm Show at York, PA

We missed the deadline this year, but we have to get on the ball and get our information out in time for next year's Virginia Grown Guide!!!! This guide is for all direct marketers who sell agricultural products. It lists products, locations, hours, and special features. The guides are distributed throughout the state by way of pamphlets and have listings on the website ( and I think they have links to the listers' websites. The cost for 2007 is $50 / listing [hopefully that won't change and go up next year!] You can sign up to list your operation online at or you can call Cathy Belcher at 804-786-4046

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another Meeting

Valley Conservation Council's Botetourt Community Partnership (BCP) will be meeting on Friday, February 1, at 9am at the Fincastle Library. At the upcoming farmer's group meeting, please invite anyone who might be interested in land conservation issues to attend.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Meeting Announcement

Hi, everyone.

I'm hoping that this site will be a good place for us to share information easily. If you'd like items posted, just let me know, either through our email list or via telephone. I'm not going to post telephone numbers or addresses here, because it can be read by the general public.

Anyway, links to members' farm websites, interesting online articles, events, etc. can be added to this site. Just let me know, and I'll do it.

Reminder: there is a meeting planned for January 12, 2008 at 1 P.M. Check the email list for directions.