MORE HORSEY NEWS
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Wellabled) and Steve Klesaris (Diabolical, Sky Diva), as well as Ferris Allen, Alan Bedard, Gerald Brooks, Robert Bordis, Mike Campbell, Candy Courtemanche, Michael Ewing; Jack Fisher, Karen Godsey; Kenny Huffman, Lilli Kurtinecz, Chuck Lawrence, R.B. McCutcheon, Sarah Nagle, Joan Scott and Tom Vance.
Those not stabling at Colonial, but who have expressed interest in shipping horses to race, are trainers Rusty Arnold, Chad Brown, Mark Casse, Arnaud Delacour, Shug McGaughey, H. Graham Motion, Jamie Ness, Dale Romans, Mike Stidham, Jonathan Thomas, Michael Trombetta, Todd Pletcher and Ian Wilkes, among others.
Along with the trainers, jockeys who plan on riding regularly at the meet include Adam Bishizza, Horacio Karamanos, who is the all-time leading jockey at Colonial Downs, Chuck Lopez, Feargal Lynch, Trevor McCarthy, Frankie Pennington, Ruben Silvera, Edwin Rivera and Erin Walker.
With Colonial Downs offering the highest jockey’s mount fee in the mid-Atlantic area, expect participation from top riders around the country.
“We are extremely excited by the level of interest from trainers coming in to stable from many locations, and the overall support we have received from the racing community as we approach the opening of our meet,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs vice president for racing operations. “Our goal from the beginning has been to establish the highest standards in delivering a first-class racing and stabling environment for our horsemen by improving the basic structures of the facility and hiring experienced professionals from around the industry to ensure quality and integrity in our product.”
In addition to the minimum daily $500,000 purse structure, there will be added incentives for horsemen. For example, each owner will receive $1,000 per start for any of its horses which do not earn $1,000 in that race. All trainers also will receive $300 each time they start a horse.
Colonial Downs will offer free horse transportation originating from Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. Photo © by Vicky Moon
Some good news regarding fresh herb production has been steadily increasing in Virginia, and so are the number of farms growing them.
“There are many opportunities to grow herbs in Virginia,” noted Tony Banks, commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Herbs are very popular among farmers for consumer direct sales at farmers markets. There are also several wholesale herb producers that provide cut and live herbs for restaurants and grocery stores in Virginia and beyond.”
In Virginia, 207 herb farms produced 84 acres of fresh-cut herbs in 2017. The number of growers has more than quadrupled since 2012, when 51 Virginia herb farms grew 29 acres of fresh herbs.
At the Green Barns Farmer’s Market one recent Sunday…none other than the aptly named….
NEW FEDERAL AID FOR VIRGINIA DAIRY FARMERS
“Dairy farmers have been struggling with low milk prices and other challenges for the past several years and we are losing dairy farms at the rate of one a week,” says Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Now potential help is available from the USDA in the form of the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.”
Eric Paulson, head of the Virginia Dairymen’s Association, encourages farmers to check out the new program made possible by the 2018 Farm Bill. “Working with their local Farm Service Agency office, they should be able to view the options available, evaluate the possible benefits, and determine the effect the program would have on their operation,” he said. “With the recent changes, I encourage farmers to take a look at this year’s program.”
The current DMC program is significantly different from the previous version offered prior to the latest federal Farm Bill. The updated program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between milk prices and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.
The program provides coverage retroactive to Jan. 1. To date, 2019 income over feed cost margins have triggered DMC payments for January, February, March, April and May.
Open enrollment for the 2019 program began on June 17 and the U.S. Department of Agriculture began issuing program payments to producers on July 11. Enrollment for DMC ends on Sept. 20. For more information, farmers should visit the USDA’s Farm Service Agency website or search for dairy-margin-coverage-program at fsa.usda.gov.