Botetourt County’s agriculture will be featured on the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Real Virginia television program “County Close-up” segment in November.
Each month, the “County Close-up” features a different Virginia county and provides an in-depth look at the area from an agricultural perspective. Burke Moeller, video producer for Farm Bureau, will interview local farmers and others to explore the role agriculture plays in Botetourt County, which sectors are most prevalent, and how the industry is changing.
“I am going through a long list of places to visit,” he said last week, adding he will be in the county sometime between Oct. 14 and 16.
The most recent Census of Agriculture, conducted in 2017, found Botetourt County had a total of 551 farms on 88,842 acres and the market value of all agricultural products sold that year was more than $14 million.
Livestock, poultry and other animal products account for 71 percent of all farm income. Crops make up the remaining 29 percent, with the major plantings being hay and forage, corn, soybeans and wheat. Other commodities produced in the county include grains and fruits, tree nuts and berries, the Census found.
Preston Wickline, president of the county’s Farm Bureau, said Botetourt County’s agriculture sector appearing on the show is a way to showcase its farming community. “It will make people aware of the farming going on in the county,” he said. “We have lots of family farms, many have been working their farms for generations. This program will show the struggles we are facing ang what we are doing.”
The local Farm Bureau has between 220 to 240 members designated as producers, said Wickline, owner of Beaver Dam Farm in Buchanan, a dairy farm.
Sadly, he said, Botetourt County is losing farmers and farmland as urban development spans outward from Roanoke. “Where the Daleville Center is now used to be an orchard,” he said, adding that farming isn’t attracting a new generation.
The program airs nationwide at 3:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month on RFD-TV on Dish Network and DirecTV and on selected cable outlets around the state. It airs weekly on WBRA’s Southwest Virginia PTV at 6 p.m. every Thursday; or online at: https://www.youtube.com/user/VirginiaFarmBureau.