Authors as Published

Eric Bendfeldt, Community Viability Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension

This resource is available as a video only. 

Cave View Farms

Cave View Farms is a dairy farm business located in Augusta County in the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia owned by Gerald Garber, Keith Wilson, and Paul Wilson. In this interview, Gerald Garber discuss how cow comfort is a critical aspect of their production and environmental practices. Additionally, he shares how Cave View Farms is addressing soil health and water quality protection. The owners were early adopters of stream crossings, dairy rotational loafing lots, conservation tillage, livestock exclusion, grass waterways, cover cropping, and educating the general public and the environmental community about dairy farming and the life of a cow. Cave View Farms has hosted numerous educational tours and on-farm discussions about nutrient management and what farmers are doing to be profitable and environmentally conscious as stewards of their land and natural resources. Their operating benchmark is better!

Introduction to Soil, Conservation, and Place

This educational project aims to deepen community understanding of the importance of agriculture and soils to a sense of place, community, and culture. The project highlights the distinct voices and diverse farms of Virginia’s agricultural community who are protecting and conserving soil and water resources through a narrative inquiry framework.  

The project is generously funded and supported by a community viability grant from Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and the Agua Fund.

The project team includes Eric Bendfeldt, Mike Parrish, Kim Niewolny, Wade Thomason, and Maureen McGonagle from Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The project team especially wants to thank the participating farmers for sharing their time, experiences, and insights with us and the broader community.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

June 8, 2020