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Advisory body may consider beer and wine sales, assembly uses for agricultural land in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – The Agriculture Advisory Commission will consider whether activities such as craft beer or wine sales or assembly uses, such as holding weddings, are appropriate on farmland, including properties enrolled in the city’s agricultural reserve program,… Continue Reading

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Agriculture: Recent soggy weather can have a cost for Virginia Beach farmers

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — This year’s growing season got off to a soggy start with heavy rains that damaged the strawberry crops and delayed planting for both grain and produce farmers. May’s hot, rainy weather damaged some strawberries,… Continue Reading

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Excellence in Agriculture: Recognizing farming heritage, a Virginia Beach industry and those who help it survive

BY WILL HARRIS OCEANFRONT — Call it a green carpet event. The paparazzi may not have been swarming around the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Thursday, March 22, but for the city’s agriculture community, the event going on within its walls… Continue Reading

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Agriculture: Blackwater farmer Don Horsley recognized for Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame honor

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – The Virginia Beach City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 7, recognized farmer Don Horsley for his recent induction into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame. Horsley was one of four people inducted into the hall this… Continue Reading

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Gooden, commonwealth’s ag secretary, meets with farmers in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO – Dr. Basil Gooden, the state agriculture and forestry secretary, visited Virginia Beach to meet with the city agriculture staff and state extension representatives and tour local farms in the southern end of the city. The… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach may consider cap on land use tax rate for agricultural land

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The city may consider a cap on land use tax rates on agricultural land, valuation that — using an example of class III cropland — has risen from $300 per acre in 2009 to $2,120 per acre… Continue Reading

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A change for agriculture department amid budget proposal; commission may discuss it Monday

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The details of the proposed city spending plan have been reported over the past weeks, and officials have touted a key headline after last year’s contentious process. “No tax hike — none,” said Catheryn Whitesell, director… Continue Reading

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Horsley returns to planning commission, growing district representation

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – A second member of the planning commission is from the Princess Anne District, and, though he is occupying an at-large spot, he is a familiar face. Farmer Don Horsley this year rejoined the advisory body… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach Farm Bureau resolutions approved, board members picked

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY – Virginia Beach Farm Bureau members last month elected six officers to two-year terms of service on the board. The vote came during a meeting Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Creeds Ruritan Community Center, said… Continue Reading