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Virginia Producers Have Until Aug. 1, to Submit FSA County Committee Nominations

Richmond, VA, July 17, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director for Virginia, James M. Dunn today reminded farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1, 2017, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide there are over 7,700 farmer and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

"The Aug. 1 deadline is quickly approaching,” said Dunn. "If you know of a great candidate or want to nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee, go to your county FSA office right now and submit the nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, and reside in the local administrative area where the election is being held. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA county office by Aug. 1, 2017. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 6 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 4. The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.

USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

“County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”

County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.  Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide there are over 7,700 farmer and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, and reside in the local administrative area where the election is being held.

After the nomination period, candidates will encourage the eligible producers in their local administrative area to vote.  FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6, 2017. Ballots will be due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 4, 2017. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2018.

To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nomination forms for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2017.  Locate your local office at https://offices.usda.govand visit to get more information.

CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR AMERICA’S FARMERS AND RANCHERS

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 – America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

“The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”

The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

“Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers,” said Hamer. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services and assistance programs – for years to come.”

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540. 

Civil Rights/Discrimination Complaint Process

As a participant or applicant for programs or activities operated or sponsored by USDA you have a right to be treated fairly. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or marital or familial status, you may file a discrimination complaint. The complaint should be filed with the USDA Office of Civil Rights within 180 days of the date you became aware of the alleged discrimination. To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA,

Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD), USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the date the complainant knew, or should have known, of the alleged discrimination.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Expands Bridges to Opportunity Nationwide

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds.

“By partnering with numerous local, state, regional and national agricultural organizations, FSA employees now can provide farmers and ranchers with comprehensiveinformation aboutresources, grants, courses, events and activities provided throughout USDA and from external partner organizations,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “Bridges to Opportunity is another example of how USDA is working to reconnect people to their government and provide enhanced services to farmers and ranchers, who, in turn, provide our nation and the world with safe, affordable and reliable food, fuel and fiber.”

FSA’s presence in over 2,100 county offices, in nearly every rural county, puts the agency in a unique position to partner with non-governmental organizations to reach thousands of agricultural producers who can benefit from the programs and services.  Bridges to Opportunity allows FSA employees to search and obtain a list of all local, state, regional and national organizations that may be able assist local producers with their specific need.  For example, FSA’s Houston County office in Texas partnered with many agricultural organizations to serve producers affected by severe drought.  When drought-stricken agricultural producers came to the county office looking for assistance, FSA employees were able to provide traditional services, such as the Livestock Forage Program and the Emergency loan program administered by FSA, as well as connect local farmers with local, regional, and national organizations that provide drought assistance and education.

Bridges to Opportunitywas developed by FSA to provide producers with a more comprehensive customer service experience by connecting them with other USDA agencies and nonfederal partners. Through Bridges to Opportunity, FSA county office employees have the tools to connect farmers, ranchers and anyone interested in agriculture with customized expertise on topics ranging including organic production, beginning farmer resources, integrated pest management, disaster assistance, conservation practices, agricultural educational courses, loans, grants and other financial assistance that can start, grow or benefit farming and ranching operations.

“Bridges to Opportunity embodies FSA's modernized approach to customer service. By providing a broader array of resources than FSA or USDA alone, FSA is bringing farmers and ranchers one step closer to achieving their version of the American Dream,” said Dolcini.

For more information about Bridges to Opportunity, please contact your local FSA county office. To locate your FSA county office, please see https://offices.usda.gov.

Over the past eight years, USDA has taken big, bold steps to forge a new era for civil rights and ensure all Americans who come to USDA for help are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Through coordinated outreach and consistent engagement, USDA is forming new partnerships in diverse communities and regaining trust where it was once lost. Learn more about our progress during the Obama Administration to increase access to opportunity for all Americans, and to create a more equal and inclusive USDA in chapter 8 of our yearlong results project: The People’s Department: A New Era for Civil Rights at USDA.

USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to Greensville County Producers

Subscribers Can Receive Important Program Reminders and Updates

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Melvin E. Hill, Jr. in Greensville County announced that farmers and ranchers in Virginia now can receive notifications from their FSA county office through text messages on their cell phone.

"In addition to the free FSA GovDelivery email news, customers now can choose to receive text message alerts from their county office," said Hill. "These text messages inform producers of important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events, and updates.”

Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service will enable FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go.

Producers can text VAGreensville to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Greensville County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

To receive GovDelivery email notifications, subscribe online at www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribeor contact the Greensville County FSA office for subscription assistance.  Producers can establish subscriber preferences by choosing to receive federal farm program information by topic, by state or by county. Producers can select as many subscriber options as they want, which allows producers who farm in multiple counties or across state lines to receive updates from each county in which they operate or have an interest.

According to Hill, GovDelivery is a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date USDA program information.

Please contact your local FSA office at 434-634-2462 Ext. 2 if you have questions regarding FSA’s electronic news service or new text message option.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,700 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Expands Bridges to Opportunity Nationwide

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds.

“By partnering with numerous local, state, regional and national agricultural organizations, FSA employees now can provide farmers and ranchers with comprehensiveinformation aboutresources, grants, courses, events and activities provided throughout USDA and from external partner organizations,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “Bridges to Opportunity is another example of how USDA is working to reconnect people to their government and provide enhanced services to farmers and ranchers, who, in turn, provide our nation and the world with safe, affordable and reliable food, fuel and fiber.”

FSA’s presence in over 2,100 county offices, in nearly every rural county, puts the agency in a unique position to partner with non-governmental organizations to reach thousands of agricultural producers who can benefit from the programs and services.  Bridges to Opportunity allows FSA employees to search and obtain a list of all local, state, regional and national organizations that may be able assist local producers with their specific need.  For example, FSA’s Houston County office in Texas partnered with many agricultural organizations to serve producers affected by severe drought.  When drought-stricken agricultural producers came to the county office looking for assistance, FSA employees were able to provide traditional services, such as the Livestock Forage Program and the Emergency loan program administered by FSA, as well as connect local farmers with local, regional, and national organizations that provide drought assistance and education.

Bridges to Opportunitywas developed by FSA to provide producers with a more comprehensive customer service experience by connecting them with other USDA agencies and nonfederal partners. Through Bridges to Opportunity, FSA county office employees have the tools to connect farmers, ranchers and anyone interested in agriculture with customized expertise on topics ranging including organic production, beginning farmer resources, integrated pest management, disaster assistance, conservation practices, agricultural educational courses, loans, grants and other financial assistance that can start, grow or benefit farming and ranching operations.

“Bridges to Opportunity embodies FSA's modernized approach to customer service. By providing a broader array of resources than FSA or USDA alone, FSA is bringing farmers and ranchers one step closer to achieving their version of the American Dream,” said Dolcini.

For more information about Bridges to Opportunity, please contact your local FSA county office. To locate your FSA county office, please see https://offices.usda.gov.

Over the past eight years, USDA has taken big, bold steps to forge a new era for civil rights and ensure all Americans who come to USDA for help are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Through coordinated outreach and consistent engagement, USDA is forming new partnerships in diverse communities and regaining trust where it was once lost. Learn more about our progress during the Obama Administration to increase access to opportunity for all Americans, and to create a more equal and inclusive USDA in chapter 8 of our yearlong results project: The People’s Department: A New Era for Civil Rights at USDA.

Farm Service Agency Extends Voting Deadline for County Committee Elections

Virginia Producers Now Have Until Dec. 13 to Submit Ballots

RICHMOND, VA Nov. 29, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Virginia Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Dr. Jewel Hairston Bronaugh, today announced that the deadline to submit ballots for the 2016 County Committee Elections has been extended to ensure farmers and ranchers have sufficient time to vote.Eligible voters now have until Dec. 13, 2016 to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.

“We’re extending the voting deadline to Dec. 13 to give farmers and ranchers a few additional days to get their ballots in,” said Dr. Bronaugh. “I urge all eligible producers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s elections. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

FSA has modified the ballot, making it easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 13, 2016. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2017.

Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of County Committee seats are up for election each year. County Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support, conservation, indemnity, disaster and emergency programs.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the County Committee election. Approximately 1.5 million producers are currently eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA service center or FSA office. Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,700 bio-based products through USDA's Bio-Preferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 7

 Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2016 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 5, 2016, to ensure that their vote is counted.

“Producers elected to FSA county committees play a vital role in local agricultural decisions,” said Dolcini. “Their contributions are essential to the daily operation of nearly 2,200 offices across the country. It is a valued partnership that helps us better understand the needs of the farmers and ranchers we serve.”

Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs,conservation programs,indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Approximately 1.5 million producers are currently eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving their ballots the week of Nov. 7. Ballots include the names of candidates running for the local committee election. FSA has modified the ballot, making it easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can pick one up at their local FSA offices. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 5, 2016. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2017.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office. Visit http://offices.usda.govto find an FSA office near you.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,700 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

FSA Urges Farmers and Ranchers to Vote in County Committee Elections

USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections. Beginning Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, USDA will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 5, 2016, to ensure that their vote is counted.

Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs,conservation programs,indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.

The candidates in this year’s election are:

Oscar C Gatewood and William E Tomko Jr are nominated in LAA #5, Prince George County, to serve as a committee member.

Richard Gay and Christopher Parker are nominated in LAA #3 Sussex County, to serve as a committee member.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving their ballots the week of Nov. 7. Ballots include the names of candidates running for the local committee election. FSA has modified the ballot, making it easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Voters in local administrative area #3 or #5 who do not receive ballots in the coming week can pick one up at their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 5, 2016. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2017.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/electionsor contact the Sussex/Prince George County FSA office at 434-246-8541.

USDA Rural Development Announces $3.9 Million for 20 Virginia Farms and Businesses

RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 27, 2016) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Virginia Rural Development office today announced it has approved $3.9 million that will aid in developing new bio-based products and expanding markets for 20 Virginia farms and businesses.

The 20 grants announced today are part of USDA Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grant program. The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program.

“We have a strong history working with local producers and small rural businesses through the VAPG program, and we continue to give the program careful attention each year because those who benefit are innovative leaders working to expand their businesses,” said Acting USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director Janice Stroud-Bickes. “We’re proud to help rural farmers, producers, business owners, families and communities maximize the return on their hard work and creativity.”

For example, Botanical Bites & Provisions in Spotsylvania will use grant money to conduct a feasibility study on creating natural cosmetics made from beeswax.

Papa Weaver’s Pork in Orange will use its funding for marketing, labor, and supplies to help expand business and customer base as it processes pork into individual cuts and sausages.

The Good Earth Peanut Company in Greensville will use its funds marketing and operational costs to increase the volume of peanut butter, butter toasted peanuts, and peanut brittle lines.

Grant applicants may receive priority if they are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a veteran, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition.

Funding announced today is contingent upon recipients meeting the grant terms.

Business

County

Value added activity

Amount

Vintage Virginia Apples
dba. Albemarle Ciderworks

Albemarle

To provide working capital to hire more staff, purchase packaging, and hire a marketing firm to expand cider business.

$250,000.00

Farmer's Direct, LLC

Bedford

To cover processing costs, labor and operation costs, and increased marketing.

$49,999.00

Upper Shirley Vineyards, LLC

Charles City

To increase wine production, marketing and inventory.

$250,000.00

The Good Earth Peanut Company, LLC

Greensville

To fund marketing and operational costs to increase the volume of peanut butter, butter toasted peanuts, and peanut brittle lines.

$250,000.00

Kats Ag Energy Farms, LLC
dba. CEA Farms

Loudoun

To increase marketing, labor, and supplies to expand value-added beef business.

$250,000.00

Rosemont of Virginia, LLC

Mecklenburg

To support marketing and labor expenses to increase sales of sparkling wine.

$180,000.00

Rappahannock River Oysters, LLC

Middlesex

To increase oyster production, implement consumer friendly packaging, and hire staff.

$250,000.00

Seaman's Orchards, LLC

Nelson

To increase the marketing and sales of locally produced apples.

$250,000.00

Silver Creek Orchards

Nelson

To assist with advertising and operational costs to transition into local sales.

$250,000.00

Miller Farms, Inc.

Orange

To purchase operational supplies, hire staff, and increase marketing to add value to goods through baking and canning.

$250,000.00

Papa Weaver's Pork

Orange

To provide working capital for marketing, labor, and supplies to help expand business and customer base.

$250,000.00

The Garden Patch

Orange

To purchase packaging and operating supplies, offset marketing costs, and pay for post-production labor.

$49,999.00

Stanburn Winery, LLC

Patrick

To increase marketing, labor, and supplies necessary for business growth.

$250,000.00

Cobblestone Milk Cooperative, Inc.

Pittsylvania

To determine the feasibility of owning a processing plant for specialty, aged cheeses.

$62,000.00

Manakintowne Specialty Growers, LLC

Powhatan

To purchase packaging supplies, marketing, and labor to increase sales of locally sold produce.

$250,000.00

Cana Cellars Inc.
dba. Rappahannock Cellars

Rappahannock

To assist with marketing, labor, and supplies for increased wine production.

$250,000.00

Marceline Vineyards, LLC

Rockingham

To increase production and marketing to increase wine sales.

$250,000.00

Botanical Bites & Provisions, LLC

Spotsylvania

To conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of producing natural cosmetics made from the beeswax produced on the farm.

$22,250.00

Garner's Produce, LLC

Warsaw

To provide working capital to market produce to a wider customer base

$250,000.00

Mountain Rose Vineyards, Inc.

Wise

To assist with increased marketing, labor, and processing necessary to add sparkling wine to production line.

$49,999.00

USDA Rural Development in 2015 invested more than $1 billion in rural Virginia through 40 loan, grant and loan guarantee programs in housing, business, agriculture, energy, health care and community facilities. It has employees stationed in 14 offices across the commonwealth to better serve residents where they live and to improve the economy and quality of life in rural Virginia.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Jackson-Feild’s Public Release for Free and Reduced Price Meals

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is eligible and participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. A copy of the policy governing this program is on file at the school and may be reviewed by any interested party.

 The USDA announced that up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create and strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Administered by USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service these annual, competitive grants will help further USDA’s efforts to increase locally owned foods in America’s school meals.

The program receives support from the Federal government. Although all children receive the meals at no charge, the household size and income will be used to determine the number of children eligible for free or reduced price meals.  The result of this process determines the amount of support received from the Federal government.

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination  against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race ,color, national origin, age,disability,sex, gender identity,religion,reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form(PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA  through the Federal Relay Service at (800)877-8339; or (800)845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

USDA Rural Development to Invest $24 million for Greensville Water System Improvements

Richmond, Virginia, July 12, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office in Virginia today announced it will award Greensville County Water and Sewer Authority a $22 million loan and a $2 million grant to be used in updating the county’s water system.

“Our water and wastewater loan and grant programs empower counties and towns across Virginia to host business, industry and residential expansion, and Greensville is a shining example of how a project can empower a community,” said Basil Gooden, Ph.D., Virginia’s USDA Rural Development State Director. “We are establishing critical infrastructure that is needed in order for economic development to take hold. Both the infrastructure and the development that our loan/grant combination enables will benefit the entire region for many years to come.”

Improvements are necessary, in part, to accommodate Dominion Virginia Power’s new natural gas-fueled power station. Need for an updated system has also emerged from nearly 100-year-old water pipes throughout the county and also from recent drought conditions in and around the Meherrin River.

Construction will include a 500,000-gallon water storage tank, two new booster stations, approximately 50,000 linear feet of water line and raw water mains, a new raw water intake and pump station, and a 900-million-gallon reservoir that can be accessed when river levels are low.

USDA funds for the project were made available through the department’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal and storm water drainage.

The total project cost is $46.2 million. Funding beyond what USDA Rural Development is providing will come from public and private entities as well as from local connection fees.

In 2015, USDA Rural Development invested more than $35 million in Virginia through 32 water infrastructure loans and grants.

USDA Rural Development in 2015 invested more than $1 billion in rural Virginia through 40 loan, grant and loan guarantee programs in housing, business, agriculture, energy, health care and community facilities. It has employees stationed in 14 offices across the commonwealth to better serve residents where they live and to improve the economy and quality of life in rural Virginia.

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Stories on Emporianews.com are be searchable, using the box above. All new stories will be tagged with the date (format YYYY-M-D or 2013-1-1) and the names of persons, places, institutions, etc. mentioned in the article. This database feature will make it easier for those people wishing to find and re-read an article.  For anyone wishing to view previous day's pages, you may click on the "Previous Day's Pages" link in the menu at the top of the page, or search by date (YYYY-M-D format) using the box above.

Comment Policy:  When an article or poll is open for comments feel free to leave one.  Please remember to be respectful when you comment (no foul or hateful language, no racial slurs, etc) and keep our comments safe for work and children. .Comments are moderated and comments that contain explicit or hateful words will be deleted.  IP addresses are tracked for comments. 

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Emporia News welcomes your submissions!  You may submit articles, announcements, school or sports information using the submission forms found here, or via e-mail on news@emporianews.com.  Currently, photos and advertisements will still be accepted only via e-mail, but if you have photos to go along with your submission, you will receive instructions via e-mail. If you have events to be listed on the Community Calendar, submit them here.

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