Resource Management Plans will help document on-farm conservation efforts and compliance

virginia-blue-oversizeThe Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is introducing a new program this summer to help all Virginia farmers implement conservation plans, and to keep better track of conservation practices in use on farms.

For decades farmers have used conservation practices like buffer strips, no-till planting and carefully monitored applications of fertilizers and crop protectants. Those are all tools to decrease soil erosion and limit nutrient use to only what is needed for a good crop. But unless the practices were paid for with cost-share funds, farmers and regulators have had no consistent method of accounting for voluntary best management practices.

After two years in development, a Resource Management Plan program took effect July 1 to address that issue. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural groups were instrumental in supporting the program as a good way to improve water quality and document what farmers are doing to protect the environment. DCR will be introducing the program to farmers at events across the state this summer.

“The main goal is to get farmers to use a high level of conservation practices or best management practices, and what this plan does is gives them a new incentive,” said Gary Waugh, DCR public relations manager. “It would basically give them a certainty that during the life of their plan, … they would be assured that they are complying with water quality standards associated with chesapeake bay and other local clean-up plans.”

Certified nutrient management and certified resource management plan developers are available to help farmers interested in the program, Waugh said. It’s the first of its kind for any state in the chesapeake bay watershed, and supporters hope the program will make a significant difference for Virginia’s farmers and the future of the state’s waterways.

“We’ve got farmers who have put literally thousands of best management practices on the grounds, we’ve got farmers doing nutrient management plans now, doing soil and erosion plans now,” said Del. Ed Scott, R-Culpeper, who sponsored legislation that authorized the new program. “What we’re simply trying to do is kind of bring it all under one umbrella.” In a decade there will be a database showing the use of best management practices by farmers to protect water quality.

Virginia Resource Management Plans will be effective for nine years and undergo compliance inspections every three years. Farmers will enter into a plan agreement on their own; no law will force them to sign up, Waugh said.

Details about the program are available online at

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.