“This Place Augusta” speaker offers farmer’s perspective

Steve Saufley, a board member of the Virginia Farm Bureau and a farmer, will talk on “Town and Country Augusta”  at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona.  The program is the third in the “This Place Augusta Series” hosted by the Augusta Community Partnership and organized by the Valley Conservation Council.

Saufley will share a farmer’s view of living within the working landscape of Augusta County by describing the many ways in which farming has changed and then lay out the challenges faced by those who want to continue farming. Farms and forests add to everyone’s quality of life and the agricultural lifestyle predominated until recently, but can agriculture and a rural heritage survive today? And, if it survives, who benefits? What challenges lie ahead for the Augusta County farmer?

This is the third session in the “This Place Augusta” series, intended to help area residents appreciate the past, understand today’s trends, and take part in the future of Augusta County.

The first talk, in October, given by Ken Fanfoni and Bobby Whitescarver, discussed the use, protection and the future availability of the county’s water resources. In November, historian Ken Koons described how, from the early settlement, productive farms in the countryside have spurred the formation of related industries in the towns.

Future talks will include “Planning Augusta,” on February 29. Augusta County planning officials will explain how  the County’s Comprehensive Plan guides development, what the various land use categories mean, and how county policies address the water, historic, and agricultural resources discussed in previous sessions.

On March 27, planner and award-winning author Sara Hollberg will present “Conserve as You Grow Augusta.” She will explain how (and why) policymakers and developers can incorporate conservation into their development plans.

The final session in April will be Future Augusta, an opportunity for group discussion.

The series is hosted by the Augusta Community Partnership and organized by the Valley Conservation Council, in coordination with the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Augusta County Farm Bureau. Funding comes from the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, and the USDA Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

The talks are free and all are welcome. The ACP will provide refreshments. For information, contact Sara Hollberg at 886-3541, or sara@valleyconservation.org.


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