Agricultural vitality has represented a way of life and livelihoods for centuries in the Shenandoah Valley. Yet our farms and farmers are disappearing quickly from the landscape.
Across the nation, according to the American Farmland Trust, we’re losing an acre of farmland every minute in America to nonagricultural uses. The Virginia Farm Bureau notes that the rate of loss of farmland in Virginia has slowed recently yet we all remain gravely concerned about the continued loss of working farm and forest land across the state, especially here in the Great Valley.
Valley farmers sell more than $1 billion of crops and livestock – a staggering sum that indicates the productivity of the soils and services in our region today.
In 2011, the Valley accounted for nearly $2.1 billion in revenue from travel and tourism. Tourists enjoy the region’s resources as birdwatchers, hunters and fishermen, history buffs, antique collectors, travelers, and much more.
What happens to this infusion of income from agriculture and tourism into the local and regional economies if the farms, orchards, fields and forests and other open spaces largely vanish from the Valley? What happens to the multiple ways that each has contributed to the Valley’s heritage, landscape, commerce, and culture?
VCC, along with many citizens in the greater Shenandoah Valley region and beyond, feel a sense of urgency about protecting its legendary resources.
Your support of VCC helps us help landowners and communities meet these challenges and protect farms, forests, opens space, and cultural heritage of the Shenandoah Valley region.