U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) visited a local horse breeding farm on Sept. 7 to learn more about its operations as part of a four-stop farm and agribusiness tour in Central Virginia.
“I heard from a wide range of crop and livestock producers in both Culpeper and Orange counties — including Jim and Carolyn Miller.”
Jim and Carolyn Miller, who own Greenstone Farm in Culpeper, began producing German Warmblood horses in the hills of Orange County in 1997.
They spent time last week speaking to Spanberger about the successes and failures on their farm as well as how they managed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Last year, and when things quieted down due to Covid, we had, you know, a number of people coming to visit to pick a horse, a number of people asking for videos," Jim Miller said. "As Covid increased, everybody canceled their appointments. The phone didn't ring, and there were no emails, and so we decided to really not breed anything because we kind of really wanted to reduce the size of the herd anyway."
“(I) appreciated the opportunity to learn more about some of the recent challenges they have faced due to COVID-19 and weather conditions, as well as how they are strengthening their farm’s resiliency,” Spangerger said.
The Millers, who own 115-acres and rent about the same amount for hay production, explained their use of rotational grazing as well as their battles with Armyworms, similar to other farmers in the region.
“Greenstone Farm demonstrates how voluntary conservation practices and responsible pasture management techniques can succeed,” Spanberger said. “I was honored to learn more about how they take care of their horses, protect the soil, and focus on practices that can grow their business.”
Throughout her tour, Spanberger was joined by representatives from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Credit of the Virginias and the Virginia Agribusiness Council.
“As chair of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, I am committed to making sure Central Virginia operations like Greenstone Farm continue to prosper long into the future,” Spanberger said.