Category Archives: Forestry

Southside Venture Outdoors Series

Attention Landowners!  Are you a new or existing forest landowner wishing to know more about your trees from tree identification to improvement techniques within your forest? Each spring Virginia Cooperative Extension offers one-day short courses on management options for your timberland. Learn what you should know about thinning a stand of timber for the benefits of stand health, profit, wildlife and overall satisfaction. A new topic this year is an update on our forest inventory as it pertains to harvest versus supply, a must know for future planning of our forests.

Class size is limited to the first 25 registrants so register early!

What? Venture Outdoors landowner education programs will showcase timber stand improvement, invasive plant species management, wildlife and your woods, and Virginia’s Forest Inventory update.

 When and Where?  Three sessions (attend one) are

April 29, May 6, and May 21. All sessions run 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and are FREE due to our sponsors, however attendance confirmation is crucial to classroom and field tour planning. Deadlines are 10 days prior to each session. Lunch is provided and the day will consist of morning classroom, lunch, and afternoon field tour nearby (dress for the weather). See registration brochure at

For additional program information details, contact Jason Fisher, Extension Agent ANR, Forestry and Natural Resources at (434) 476-2147 or . See you there!

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 during business hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Governor McAuliffe Announces $565,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests

Governor McAuliffe Announces $565,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests
~Request for Applications Now Open, Deadline for Submittal is April 2, 2015~

VDACS will give priority to projects with the sole purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops as they pertain to the following issues:

• Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
• Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
• Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain in developing Good Agricultural Practices, Good Handling Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices;
• Investing in specialty crop research, including organic research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
• Enhancing food safety;
• Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops, pest and disease control;
• Developing organic and sustainable production practices;
• Developing local and regional food systems; and
• Improving food access in underserved communities.

Guidelines, instructions, and the application for the USDA Specialty Crop Competitive Grants are available online at (click on Application Form to apply), via e-mail to Melissa Ball, or at VDACS, 102 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

According to a 2013 economic impact study conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry are two of Virginia’s largest private industries with a combined economic impact of $70 billion annually. Agriculture generates more than $52 billion per annum, while forestry contributes more than $17 billion. The industries also provide more than 400,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. More information about the Weldon Cooper Center’s study can be found at:

Spring Venture Outdoors Series

2015 PSA

by: Jason Fisher, Sr. Extension Agent/Forestry

and Natural Resources


Attention Landowners!  Are you a forest landowner wishing to know more about hot topics regarding forested land in only a day? If so, then you need to register today for the Venture Outdoors program!

What? : Each year we at Virginia Cooperative Extension offer a number of landowner workshops that have topics of interest based on research and issues impacting our forestland to include invasive plant and insect species management, tree identification, and timber stand improvement techniques for hardwoods and pine. Partnering with state, federal and private expertise provides a reliable program the public has come to depend on. All classes have similar topics in nature.


When and Where? : Brunswick County  (April 24) SVCC Alberta Campus, Bedford County (May 8) Claytor Nature Center and Halifax County (May 15) Halifax Extension Office. Detailed classroom locations are noted on the attached registration sheet.

If you are concerned about the health of your existing and planned forestland, then this is a must class to gain sound advice from experts in the field of natural resources.  Class size is limited to the first 25 registrants so register early!

NOTE: Registration is FREE due to sponsor donations, however attendance confirmation is crucial to classroom and field tour planning. Lunch is provided and the day will consist of morning classroom, lunch, then afternoon field tour (dress for the weather). Visit for a registration brochure soon, or call 434-476-2147 or to obtain a brochure to pre-register. Registration deadline will be two weeks prior to the event listed.


For additional program information details, contact Jason Fisher, Extension Agent ANR, Forestry and Natural Resources at (434) 476-2147 or . See you there!


If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistance or accommodations, please notify the VCE- Halifax County Office at 434-476-2147 at least one week prior to the scheduled event.



Forestry & Wildlife Updates

Here are a few things going on with forestry and wildlife in the area. Check ’em out!



38th Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Tours
Sept. 29-30   –    Chesapeake Bay Bus & Boat Tour
Oct. 10   –   Halifax County
Oct. 30   –   Grayson & Carroll Counties
*Click the flyer for full .pdf pamphlet 


Waynesboro Tree Care Workshop
This Friday, September 12, 2014
Best Western Inn & Conference Center
104 Apple Tree Lane
Waynesboro, VA
Cost: $100

Backyard Wood Workshops
**Two locations, each is a two day workshop (note: dates are non-consecutive)
September 22 & 29 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm in Warrenton, VA.
September 25 & October 2 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm in Manassas, VA.
Cost: $20, includes manual and CD

Make It Yourself Charcoal Demonstration
October 6, 2014 from 8:00am – 12noon
Madison County Farmers’ Market

1st Annual Trapping Workshop
Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
October 11, 2014 from 10:00am – 5:00pm
Meherrin Volunteer Fire Deparment
64 Moore’s Ordinary Road
Meherrin, VA
*Must register, no walk-ins

Agroforestry Workshop
November 8, 2014
Lord Fairfax Community College
Warrenton, VA
Cost: $15, includes lunch



Fall 2014 Webinar Series: Non-Timber Forest Products
*Click on flyer to enlarge and use links for registration.



Virginia Department of Forestry Acorn & Seed Collection
Looking to get involved? The VDOF is seeking your help in collecting seeds and acorns of many tree species across the state. Check out this press release for details!


This is just the tip of the iceberg, to check out more events visit the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program page or join their listserv for a monthly update!

Family and Farm Day!!!

It’s that time again… time for the annual Family & Farm Day at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Blackstone, VA! Bring the kids out for fun and farm on Saturday, September 13 from 9:00am – 2:00pm for games, crafts, animals, and more!


Family & Farm Day.pdf

Biosolids Information


tractor_biosolids_spreadWith the recent interest in land application of biosolids in Lunenburg County, I wanted to pass along the information Virginia Cooperative Extension has available regarding the use of biosolids on agricultural land regarding the practice and its safety. The publications are from 2009, but still give a great overview of the major questions and concerns.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications

1. Production and Characteristics of Biosolids
2. Regulations
3. Managing Biosolids for Ag Use
4. Risks and Concerns
Other Resources

The EPA website for biosolids information:

The DEQ website for biosolids information:

Also, the Virginia Biosolids Council, though obviously in favor of biosolids, does provide some good resources and links to other resources for the general public through their website:

“Generation NEXT” Program coming soon….

Don’t Leave Your Forest Behind;

Keeping A Forest in the Family for Future Generations


More than 10 million acres of Virginia’s woodlands belong to nearly 374,000 family forest owners.  And, 51% of these owners are ages 65 years or older.  Some have owned their land for generations; others, only a few years. As they look ahead, many landowners want to keep their land in the family but don’t know where to begin or how to engage the next generation of owners. The upcoming “Family Forest Landowner” workshop series introduces concerned landowners to the options available to transfer their land and legacy to the next generation.

 “Focusing on Forestland Transfer to Generation ‘NEXT’” is being offered July 29 and August 5  at the Moton Museum in Farmville. This two-day program will help family forest landowners successfully plan the transfer of their woodlands, intact, from one generation to the next.

Current and future owners of family woodlands will learn family communication basics, estate planning tools and succession planning strategies to help ensure their family woodland legacy.

 Speakers include legal and financial experts experienced in estate planning, forest landowners who have worked through succession planning, and natural resource professionals who work with landowners to conserve and manage land.

“Few challenges faced by Virginia’s family forest landowners are more important than the concern of passing the family land and carrying its stewardship forward to the next generation,” said Mike Santucci, assistant director of forestland conservation with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). “Family forest landowners own their woodland for many reasons.  A consistent theme is that nearly all of them express a deep connection with their land and a desire to ‘do the right thing.’  With many reasons for owning forestland, sometimes it’s difficult for current landowners to consider – what will happen to my forestland beyond my lifetime?”

 Santucci continues: “While many landowners want to pass their forestland on to family members, few have started the process to do so. Only 2 – 3%  have an estate plan or succession plan in place. Succession planning takes into account what happens to the land when ownership is passed forward.  Without a succession plan, landowners stand to lose more than just the property out of the family.  They risk their family heritage and a portion of the wealth they have accumulated over the years.”

 “We’re on the verge of the largest intergenerational land transfer in Virginia’s history,” said Jason Fisher, extension forestry agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Central District region. “The management decisions made by family forest owners play a crucial role in maintaining a viable forestland base in Virginia. These family woodlands are relied upon for not only the sustained flow of forest products, but for invaluable natural benefits, such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat and overall quality of life.”

 The workshop is co-sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension and the VDOF, with support from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tree Farm Committee, The Black Family Land Trust and the Piedmont Environmental Council.Family Lands Transition Workshop FinalFlier shortcourse-application

For more information, please go to or contact the Central District Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Program at 434.476.2147 or the VDOF at 434.220.9182.