October 14, 2019
$605,385 granted to VSU Small Farm Outreach
vsu small farm outreach program logo
The USDA recently granted $605,385 to VSU’s Small Farm Outreach Program to equip VA’s socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers with the tools and skills needed to make informed decisions in owning and operating profitable farm businesses, while increasing their participation in USDA programs. These farmers have been traditionally underserved and have been plagued by several barriers such as limited access to credit, capital, and new and existing markets; lack of skills in business, financial planning and operating successful farm businesses; and lack of knowledge of USDA programs and services. This project will address these barriers with a holistic approach, with the expected result of an improved quality of life of these farmers, their families and communities. Learn more.
A Tree Grows in Colonial Heights
Wayne Covil, WTVR, Oct. 10, 2019
joel koci standing with a tree
Sitting high atop a hill in the 300 block of Virginia Avenue, right next to the historic Violet Bank Museum, you’ll find a truly unique tree that, in the words of one arborist, is hiding in plain sight.
Locals call it the ‘Cucumber Tree.’ Technically, it’s a Magnolia acuminate, native to the eastern United States, but very rare this side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “This is a remarkable, giant old tree,” said Joel Koci, an urban forestry expert for the Virginia Cooperative Extension. “I like to think it’s 300 years old and has seen an awful lot of history.” Watch video.
Antibiotic Resistance In Food Animals
Triples Since 2000
Morning Ag Clips, Oct. 10 , 2019
world map showing regions of antibiotic resistance
Researchers from ETH Zurich, Princeton University and the Free University of Brussels gathered nearly 1,000 publications and unpublished veterinary reports from around the world to create a map of antimicrobial resistance in low- to middle-income countries since 2000. The proportion of antibiotics showing rates of resistance above 50% increased in developing countries where meat consumption has sharply increased, meaning that antibiotics that could be used for treatment failed more than half the time. Black areas on the map had insufficient data. (ETH Zurich)
“Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem,” said Van Boeckel, who was a Fulbright Scholar at Princeton from 2013-2015. “This alarming trend shows that the drugs used in animal farming are rapidly losing their efficacy.” Read more.

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