As you have been trekking around the Valley in search of the perfect Christmas tree or visiting our downtowns for some holiday shopping, maybe you have thought about how fortunate we are to live in this special place that provides so much—local foods, clean water, breathtaking views and a vibrant economy.
As we go about holiday preparations, our state and federal legislators are weighing decisions that could be consequential to our region. When thinking about what we love about the Shenandoah Valley— local foods, ample waterways, iconic scenery and an economy that supports those things—it is apparent that our working farmers are responsible for many aspects of what makes this a wonderful place to live, work and play.
Here in the Valley, we have rich and productive soil, active working landscapes and many waterways, and our farmers are the caretakers of all of it. And it is under their careful management that the land produces higher yields, cleaner water, and a more robust local economy.
You’ve probably read the stories about how the farming economy is in decline nationwide, but our farmers are still heading out to their fields every morning to make sure we have food on our tables, even amidst a pandemic and supply chain disruptions. And thank goodness, because can you imagine a Valley without our working landscapes??
Please take a second to contact your state and federal legislators. Ask them to support the farming community by investing in programs to help farmers implement practices that boost their bottom line and benefit us all with cleaner water and richer soil—ensuring farming remains a core industry in our region.
Further, ask your legislators to support programs that open the door for new farmers and can connect them with land that needs a caretaker.
In this season of giving and gratitude, thank you for taking a second to speak up for our farmers on behalf of all of us who benefit so much from their hard work.