The Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked me to write several articles about farmers doing their part to improve the soil and water resources on their farms. These articles are designed to showcase how and why, these farmers installed Best Management Practices such as “stream-side fencing” to exclude livestock from streams. The...
When converting grasslands to forest it has been a common practice to plant bare-root, hardwood tree seedlings directly into the sod. Most recently tree shelters have been used to increase the growth rate and survival of hardwood (not pine) tree seedlings. Shelters are recommended in Virginia's Hardwood Tree Planting Guide. Many...
This week's flood prompted this post on how we deal with floodwater from our river with our cattle. It was an out-of-bank flood event but it didn't wash our cattle crossing out because we've learned to work with the river not against it. Middle River is a tributary of the...
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Bay states, the District of Columbia, federal agencies and thousands of volunteers including teachers and farmers have been working to restore the Chesapeake Bay since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. There are many successes. For example many of the localities...
Note: This post is expressly written for public servants. I spent 31 years in public service. Yes, I was a bureaucrat. Just the mention of the “B” word makes a lot of people cringe – included myself. Many people and most politicians think of bureaucrats as lazy government employees on...
False Indigo Bush, Amorpha fruticosa This native, leguminous shrub is one of the best riparian plants for creating wildlife habitat and improving water quality. It is fast growing and deer don’t like to eat it, so if you want success in your shrub or wildlife plantings this is a winner. ...
Why don’t farmers just do it? I mean fence their cattle out of the streams. If farmers would do this one practice, at least in the Shenandoah River watershed, agriculture would probably be finished with its part of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Excluding livestock from streams is possibly the single...
Monday I went to see a farmer that was interested in fencing his cattle out of a stream on his farm. He operates one of those down-home, “buy your local meats here” farms. They raise beef cattle, “free range” turkeys and hogs. They sell all kinds of meats, from bacon...
Yesterday I went to a farm in Northwest Augusta County to talk to the manager of a farm about fencing his cattle out of the most polluted river in the county – Middle River. The farmer was very receptive and expressed a need to fence them out not only to...
“Bobby and Jeanne show us how agriculture and conservation can work together, just as the couple’s remarkable marriage does. This book is about their journey together on the farm to produce healthy livestock and clean water.
This book gives us a blueprint not only for the restoration of the Bay and the waters of the United States but also for the family farm.”
Will BakerPresident, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
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