Video Highlight: Protecting Working Land in the Shenandoah Valley
- Posted Monday, 15th, 2020 By: Emily Bender Category: Agricultural Vitality, Conservation Easements, Land Conservation, Natural Resources
This video highlighting best management practices at Big Rock Dairy in the Shenandoah Valley is part of the Virginia CSP Champions series, which profiles producers across Virginia in the Conservation Stewardship Program with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Over the span of 2018-2020, the Simmons family engaged Valley Conservation Council to protect this working land for generations to come.
Fifth generation farmer Lee Simmons’ 320-acre enterprise in Augusta County includes beef and dairy cows, poultry, and corn and alfalfa grown for feed. Like many farming families in the Shenandoah Valley, the Simmons family is one that values the land and its impact on family and community. After a collaboration with Conservation Partners to guide these dedicated landowners through the process, Valley Conservation Council now holds conservation easements on a total of 302 acres of Big Rock Dairy.
The Simmons family understands the importance of land conservation; maximizing the good health of soil, water, and farm animals; and the impact that has on the overall community. They have worked with multiple organizations to improve their farming and land stewardship efforts including securing technical assistance for soil, water, and nutrient management and have realized the results with greater tonnage and yield per acre of crop, better water quality, and healthier animals.
As you can see from this video feature, their commitment is evident in the operation of the business and its success.