Last week, we had an opportunity to share a portion of the agriculture diversity across southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore of Virginia with 16 members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau 2009-2010 LEAD Class. In addition to experiencing an evening on the ocenfront in Virginia Beach, the tour also included visits to see vegetable production at College Run Farms, the history of Chippokes Plantation, clam and oyster farming at Cherrystone Aqua Farm, peanut field at Tommy Rountree’s Farm and peanut combine production at Amadas Industries.
We have included below some additional information each of these operations, in addition to some pictures from our tour. We hope you enjoy a brief look at the diversity of agriculture within Virginia…
College Run Farms - College Run Farms is a diversified, family farm operation owned by Steve and Jordan Berryman. The farm offers “you-pick” strawberries, blueberries and sweet corn, as well as, a wide range of vegetables available from the farm store during the summer. During the fall, College Run Farms offers the opportunity to search for that perfect pumpkin and “get lost” in a corn maze.
Chippokes Plantation State Park - Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County.
Cherrystone Aqua Farm - Cherrystone Aqua-Farms is a division of Ballard Fish and Oyster Company, Inc., which has been in the shellfish business since 1895. Cherrystone has been farming clams since 1983, with the full-cycle of production, from nursery to mature clam, taking place in the high-salinity, ocean-flushed waters of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Virginia Peanuts - The group had the opportunity to visit with Dell Cotton of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association and Tommy Rountree, farmer, to learn more about peanut production and the challenges that Virginia producers deal with in producing the highest-quality, tastiest peanuts in the country. They also learned about how Virginia peanut production has changed with the elimination of the peanut program, with acreage being reduced from over 100,000 acres just several years ago to less that 20,000 acres in 2010.
Amadas Industries – Founded in 1963, Amadas Industries’ current product lines include pull-type and self-propelled peanut combines, peanut diggers, Reel Rain® irrigators, cotton stalk puller/choppers, edible bean combines and a line of industrial equipment for both the horticultural and recycling industries. In a joint venture with John Deere, Amadas developed the world’s largest and highest capacity self-propelled peanut combine.