See how Virginia beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
Overhome Farm in Crozier, Virginia is owned by Ronnie Nuckols and has been in his family since 1876, when his great-great grandfather first purchased the land. Fast forward to today and Ronnie is actively involved with restoring and protecting the land his family has owned for close to 250 years. Overhome Farms worked with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service to implement a conservation plan on the farm. This plan included installing fencing around important water sources. In order to get water to cattle, Overhome Farm installed pumps from local reservoirs to ponds which then gravity-feed water tanks on the various pastures. With the water system providing clean drinking water for the animals through the farm, Nuckols was able to create a grazing plan to help improve the condition of his pastures by letting the grass rest while cattle moved to another area. But the work didn't stop there: Nuckols and his wife, Cheryl, placed the farm in a permanent conservation easement which protects the land from future development. For their work in conservation, Overhome Farm was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).
"It's about the history as you look back at how many people in the family have farmed here. You just hope you can carry that on and continue the legacy. That's our hope." - Cheryl Nuckols, Owner, Overhome Farm
Tom Nixon and his family owns Glenmary Farm LLC in Orange County and Western View Plantation LLC in Culpeper County, Virginia. In addition to their grain and poultry operation, they run over 1,000 commercial cows where they calve in both the Fall and Spring. All beef is sold either wholesale or direct sale to high-end restaurants, school systems and grocery stores in Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.
Virginia's beef industry sustains the Virginia families that raise it, and sustains the families that eat beef with a wholesome, flavor-packed protein. Virginia's farming families are a lot like you. With an average herd size of around 30 cattle, many Virginia cattlemen and women balance caring for their cattle and land with other full-time occupations. They juggle farm and house chores, meal prep, and raising a happy and healthy family. Get to know more about some of the families who raise beef in Virginia.
Virginia’s agricultural production is one of the most diverse in the nation. In fact, 60% of Virginia Farmers own cattle and they also rank in the top 10 producing states for apples, grapes, peanuts and tomatoes.