To promote the agriculture industry within Bedford County, to increase the economic viability of farming and to advise the Bedford County Board of Supervisors on issues affecting the sustainability of agriculture.
Develop and implement a continuing plan to sustain and enhance the rural economy.
The Bedford Agriculture Development Program includes the following categories – Marketing, Land Preservation, Education and Other.
Provide leadership and coordination for new and existing markets for agricultural commodities.
Include the equine industry as a fundamental component of rural economic development and provide for its expansion.
Actively seek grant opportunities to assist the agriculture community. Examples include:
- USDA Value Added Grant program
- USDA SARE Community Innovation Grants
- Farmers Market Promotion program
Develop an agriculture directory to include:
- Custom services
- Agribusiness service providers
- Direct marketers
Support Bedford area farmers markets in their mission to enhance the relationship between farmers and consumers of local farm-based products.
Develop a “Bedford Grown” branded farm product program.
Promote and assist in developing land preservation programs (e.g. Agricultural and Forestal Districts, Conservation Easements, Land Use Assessment Taxation, Purchase of Development Rights).
Coordinate with the Bedford County School System to increase agricultural awareness and promote participation in agriculture programs.
Develop educational brochures that educate the non-farm public on agricultural issues.
Coordinate a focus group of agricultural lenders to study the economic viability of agricultural enterprises and the issue of generational transfer
Utilize an agriculture development advisory committee to achieve the mission and goal of the Bedford County Agriculture Development Program.
Work cooperatively to support the rural development efforts of other departments (Economic Development, Tourism, Community Development, Cooperative Extension, etc.).
Assist County Government with legislative issues and lobbying efforts that affect agricultural vitality.
Dedicate space on the County website to include the following:
- Agriculture Statistics in Bedford
- Farmland Exchange (land for rent, looking to rent, custom services, etc)
- Farm Product Guide
- Links to county farm websites
- Farmers Market information
Apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to have an Agriculture Enterprise District designated for Bedford.