Madison agriculture will be highlighted in a television program in early November.
Last week, Real Virginia Video Producer Burke Moeller spent time in the county, interviewing farmers and highlighting Madison’s beef industry. Real Virginia is a show by Virginia Farm Bureau that highlights agriculture in the state and is show on 40 stations across Virginia including PBS affiliates in Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke and Hampton Roads as well as nationally on RFD-TV. Each month, the program spotlights a county from an agricultural standpoint.
Burke said Madison was chosen for the fall since it’s a great time to show off the county’s beauty. He said he contacted extension agent Brad Jarvis who then lined up interviews with local farmers. He said farmers chosen were mostly involved in cattle since it’s the most dominant sector of agriculture locally.
“Madison has that bluegrass that cattle seem to like,” Burke said. “It’s the best use of the land locally and a very strong sector.”
Madison Farm Bureau President and cattle farmer Lucky Graves, Jarvis, Shepherd and Sons Grain Farms owners and Senterfitt Farms owner and board of supervisors chairman Clay Jackson were among those interviewed for the program.
Burke said like in other areas, there’s also agritourism, which shows how farmers are diversifying. He interviewed Graves Mountain Lodge owner Jimmy Graves about his agritourism operation.
Burke said he learned a lot from his time in Madison.
“I learned that Madison has a strong relationship to agriculture and that the county leadership has been active in preventing the type of sprawl found in other counties,” he said. “I also learned that the individual players in agriculture are committed to helping each other out and supporting agriculture in all areas even if it’s not in their own sector.”
Burke said he was also blown away by the scenic views in Madison.
“It was everything everyone told me and more,” he said. “It seems like a great place and is a videographer and photographer’s dream to just spend time there.”
The Real Virginia episode featuring Madison County will air Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. on PBS affiliate VPM, formerly known as WCVE. Episodes are also available on YouTube after they air and can be found online at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL452EF3CDF63878B9.