By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors recognized the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee and the Botetourt 4-H Extension Office for their partnership purchasing new jackets for the county’s 4-H Livestock Judging Team. The funding for the new jackets was provided by the Ag Committee who donated $500 and the remaining balance was paid for using funds from the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Botetourt office.
Buchanan District Supervisor Amy White introduced members of the committee and Livestock Judging Team to the board.
“In my opinion, this is so important and a celebration that is going to involve half the people in this room which, in of it itself, is very impactful and makes a tremendous statement on what we’re doing in this county and the great strides we have made,” White said to the meeting’s attendees.
White explained that approximately three years ago, the Botetourt Chamber started an initiative to start an agriculture committee, which had not previously existed within the chamber. In understanding the importance of agriculture to the Botetourt community, the committee formed a mission statement and soon began projects that include “Farm to Table” events where all food is outsourced from county locations.
Members of the county’s Ag Committee include Emily Bailey (Chair), Jennifer Vance, Adam Ford, Jenna Lawrence, Scott Stevens, Kevin Sutton, and Cody Campbell.
“It’s a team effort, it truly is,” Ag Committee Chair Emily Bailey said during the recognition. “It absolutely never would have happened without the team we do have… We have great things shaping up for the future.”
On August 31, the Botetourt Chamber will present a “Farm to Table” event at The Preserve in Fincastle featuring a dinner locally produced by the Botetourt Farmers Market. Farmers and producers will have tables set-up, displaying their products and educating the public about what they offer locally for food and goods to the community.
The Livestock Club members that were in attendance at the meeting and are a part of the 4-H Livestock Judging Team are Schylar Zollman, Sawyer Zollman, Stella Zollman, Katie Grace Barrett, and Cora Mullins. Another jacket was given to team member Addison Kelly, who was unable to attend last week’s board meeting. The club took a moment to each thank the board, their club leader, Emily Beavers, and the community.
Botetourt Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Khari Ryder shared his thoughts about the Botetourt’s ag community during the meeting stating, “I can not say enough about Botetourt County, what it produces, what it has, and how we are truly an agrarian society here. I have to give all credence and credit to Ms. Emily Bailey for being the spearhead behind our ag committee… Agricultural businesses need to be reinforced mentally, emotionally, and supported to know they are true businesses here in the community.”
Botetourt 4-H Extension Agent Tyler Painter was also on hand to commend the team on their efforts in recent competitions.
“I had the privilege of meeting with our Livestock Judging Team on Friday, Feb. 24, after they finished at the Block and Bridle event at Virginia Tech,” Painter explained in a recent email. “The team members provided me with great insight into what judging competitions are like and different things they have to do and know. Team members were discussing different types of meat cuts and I was curious about where on the animal specific cuts of beef and pork came from. They provided a thorough explanation and even a visual demonstration of the location of each cut. This was just a small piece from our conversations that day, but I left with knowledge that I learned because of them.”