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Soil, Conservation and Place -- C.J. Isbell of Keenbell Farm



Authors as Published

Eric Bendfeldt, Community Viability Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension

This resource is available as a video only. 

Keenbell Farm

Keenbell Farm is a third-generation family farm located in western Hanover County, VA that was established in 1951. Keenbell Farm specializes in grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork, free range poultry, eggs, and specialty non-GMO grains, which are available at their on-farm store. The Isbell family strives make their farm a part of the community and have the community be part of the farm. Therefore, they work to be environmentally conscious, sustainable, and socially acceptable. They take pride in conservation and preservation of their land and natural resources. Keenbell Farm has been recognized for their soil health building practices, multi-species grazing, grain production, and soil and water conservation as they work at direct marketing and serving local and regional food markets, while ensuring resources are available for the next generation and beyond.

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.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

June 8, 2020