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50-mile meal enjoyed by King George officials

The King George County Board of Supervisors sponsored and enjoyed a locally-produced meal with Virginia Cooperative Extension & Tri-County/City Soil and Water Conservation District reps organized by Mike Broaddus, Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent for King George and Caroline counties.

The meal took place earlier this month on Nov. 6, prior to the board meeting that evening. In addition to elected Supervisors, several county department heads and constitutional officers also enjoyed the bounty, along with reps from the participating agencies, many of them noted as producers or suppliers below.

Broaddus had likewise organized previous 50-mile meals in Caroline, but this was the first one in King George. Not only were the meal components produced within 50 miles, Broaddus noted that all food items had come from within King George.

Numerous farmers and producers took part, with the menu noting dishes offered, with producers and/or suppliers and preparers, as follows:  
Beef Brisket (supplier) - Waterloo Farm – Lewis Ashton –Waterloo Farm is located in the heart of King George in James Monroe District;
Beef Brisket (preparer) w/ homemade BBQ sauce, Greens and Freezer Pickles - Aspen Grove Farm – Janet Harris – Passapatanzy;
Deviled Eggs - Misch Goat Farm – Terry and Dan Misch –Welcome;
Roast Beef & Sweet Potatoes - Canning Farm – Miles Hastings – Dogue;
Cabbage and Broccoli - Hickory Point Farm – Lana and Kenneth Atwell – Gulvey;
Steamed Spinach - Oaken Brow Farm – Perry Bowen – Welcome; Dinner Rolls, Corn Bread & Butter - Howard’s Restaurant – Howard Burchell - King George;
White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies - Goodman Farm and Produce – Benny Goodman – Passapatanzy;
Pumpkin Pie – Sweet Potato Pie - C&T Produce – Craig and Tracy DeBernard – Dogue;
Iced Tea – Lemonade – Water - Colonial Farm Credit – Caroline Salisbury – Tappahannock;
Deviled Eggs - supplied by Jane Van Valzah, President of the King George Farmers Market.

WHAT ARE THE AG FACTS ABOUT KING GEORGE?
Following the meal, Broaddus quizzed participants on their knowledge of agricultural production in the county, with answers supplied from USDA, Tri-County/City SWCD and Virginia Cooperative Extension Statistics. Some of the facts are noted below.
~ What’s produced in the county?   Grains (wheat, corn, soybeans, barley); Beef/swine (traditional and grass fed); Vegetables (greens, peppers, squash, melons, tomatoes, hydroponic lettuce); Berries/fruits; Poultry (meat, eggs); Sheep (meat, wool); Goats; Horses; Hay/forages; Bees/honey; Value-added products (jams, jellies, soaps, etc.); Forest products.
~ There are 551 farms in King George that are worked by 266 producers. Many are small farms with as little as a few acres, with a total of 36,723 acres of King George County farmland.
~ There are 3,658 head of livestock in King George. 534 acres of vegetables are grown in King George.
~ The number of bushels of corn produced in the county in 2012 was 198,000 bushels. That year, drought and excessive heat caused King George grain farmers to lose about $1,200,000 in corn production, averaging out to a loss of $300 per acre.
~ In 2012, King George producers netted $4,461,000 in total sales cash receipts for livestock, grain and vegetables grown in the county.

HOW TRI-COUNTY/CITY SWCD ASSISTS
The Tri-County/City Soil Water Conservation District administers the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost-share program in King George County.  

The purpose of this program is to improve water quality in the state’s streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. Over the last three years, Tri-County/City SWCD spent over $185,000 in conservation cost share assistance to assist producers in this effort.

4-H FACTS
Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program is fueled by research-based programming, with hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living. 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

In 2012, 866 youth were involved in 4H programs in King George. Of those, 587 youth were involved in school enrichment agricultural and environmental programs. Of the remaining 279 youth involved in 4-H programs, 150 attend summer camp and 130 are enrolled in 4-H clubs.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development shows youth engaged with 4-H are nearly twice as likely to get better grades in school and to plan to go to college. They are likewise 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors and also 25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.

Phyllis Cook

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