Production agriculture is largely a low margin, high volume business. The pressure on producers is ratcheted up even greater when the product is a global commodity such as milk, which is influenced by global agricultural trends. Farms like the Vanderhyde Dairy are competing in the global marketplace by embracing technology to increase efficiency and lower… Continue reading Never Seen a Lazy Susan like This!
In March, we had the pleasure of touring central Virginia. Before VALOR, I always thought that central Virginia was just metro-Richmond, but I quickly learned that it includes a much larger section of Virginia, including Charlottesville and nearby localities. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this area has proven to be… Continue reading Agri-Tourism is Thriving in Central Va.
Today we took a break from touring agribusinesses to focus on the history of Vietnam. Vietnam's "modern" history is ancient to us; the Vietnamese have been a people for over a millennia, whereas Americans as a group didn't exist until around 1776. Modern Vietnamese history can be divided into four phases: (1) occupation by the Chinese,… Continue reading A Visit Down Memory Lane
After leaving the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, Hoi An was our next stop. When we first exited the plane, we saw the famous "China Beach."While we didn't have much time to enjoy the sand, it is a place where we left a mental "bookmark" to make a return visit to vacation. The sand that… Continue reading WE SAW SAND IN HOI AN
We had the pleasure of visiting Omega Proteins in the Northern Neck. The intricacy of the operation, and the specificity of the machinery was a sight to behold. What was just as important was the impact that one business can have on a community. From pilots, to fishermen and engineer, in one way or another… Continue reading Big Business, Little Fish
One of the most important take-aways from my first year in VALOR is the importance of scale in agriculture. Since relatively speaking Americans spend so little of their income on food (around 10%), agriculture is primarily a low margin, high volume game. The overwhelming majority of agricultural concerns that we have visited who are able… Continue reading Farmers who are doing well at any size
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." Revelation 5:12 Our trip to the Valley was great! We visited television stations, turkey farms, and saw first hand just how important agriculture is to our state. The most noteworthy visit to me,… Continue reading Worthy is the Lamb
The 2nd seminar of the VALOR program led us to eastern part of our state. One of the many things that I already love about the VALOR program is that I get to carve out time to travel to different parts of my home state. My work with Milton’s Local takes me to different parts… Continue reading A Local Response to a Global Market
My name is M. James Faison and I’m a 4th generation farmer. Along with my siblings, I own a farm in Emporia, Virginia where I grew up. Although I proudly call Virginia home, I only moved back to Virginia 2 years ago. Before returning to my home state to take ownership of my Grandparents farm… Continue reading Hard Work