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Agricultural Stewardship

The Agricultural Stewardship Program works with farmers and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to resolve water quality problems reported to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) concerning nutrients, sediment and toxins from agricultural activities.

Why is this Program Important?

Virginia’s agricultural community promotes stewardship of our land and water resources. As a show of commitment to this concept, agricultural leaders supported the passage of the Agricultural Stewardship Act (ASA) in 1996. The ASA program gives the farmer an opportunity to correct a water quality problem voluntarily before any enforcement action is taken. The ASA can also be an opportunity to educate all parties involved regarding best management practices and agriculture.

How is the Program Structured?

The Agricultural Stewardship Program is administered by VDACS’ Commissioner's Office, which receives all complaints. If a complaint is under the jurisdiction of the ASA, the local Soil and Water Conservation District is notified and given the opportunity to investigate, assist VDACS with the investigation or defer to VDACS to perform the investigation. After a complaint is investigated, the Commissioner's Office reviews the findings and determines if the complaint is founded and requires further action under the ASA. If so, the farmer is required to develop a plan to correct the problem and complete plan implementation within 18 months. The Commissioner's Office contacts complainants to inform them of the findings.

What’s Not Covered?

The Agricultural Stewardship Program does not cover agricultural activities subject to water quality permits from the Department of Environmental Quality, forestry activities, air pollution, odor concerns or water quality problems that do not involve an agricultural activity.

What Are Examples Of Water Quality Problems?

Water quality problems may be caused by nutrients from manure in feed lot runoff, sediment from erosion on crop fields, toxins from pesticide runoff, etc.

More Information

Contact
For questions regarding the Agricultural Stewardship Act Program or to file a complaint, please contact your regional coordinator.

 

VALLEY REGION:

SOUTHWEST REGION:

CENTRAL/EASTERN REGION:

Tim Higgs
Agricultural Stewardship Program Coordinator 
261 Mount Clinton Pike
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Office: 540.209.9135
Mobile: 804.837.9312
Fax: 804.371.7679
tim.higgs@vdacs.virginia.gov

SWCD/Localities:
Mountain - Alleghany, Highland, Bath
Natural Bridge - Rockbridge, (Buena Vista, Lexington)
Headwaters - Augusta, (Staunton, Waynesboro)
Shenandoah Valley - Rockingham, Page (Harrisonburg) 
Lord Fairfax - Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick, Clarke, (Winchester)
Loudoun - Loudoun
Northern VA - Fairfax
Prince William - Prince William
John Marshall - Fauquier
Culpeper - Greene, Madison, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Orange

Lance Yates
Agricultural Stewardship Program Coordinator 
250 Cassell Road
Wytheville, VA 24382
Office: 276.228.5501
Mobile: 804.837.9311
Fax: 276.228.6579
lance.yates@vdacs.virginia.gov

SWCD/Localities:
Daniel Boone - Lee
Scott County - Scott
Lonesome Pine - Wise, Dickenson
Big Sandy - Buchanan
Clinch Valley - Russell
Holston River - Washington
Evergreen - Smyth
Tazewell - Tazewell
New River - Grayson, Carroll, (Galax) 
Skyline - Montgomery, Giles, Pulaski, Floyd
Big Walker - Bland, Wythe
Mountain Castles - Craig, Botetourt
Blue Ridge - Roanoke, Franklin, Henry, (City of Roanoke)
Patrick - Patrick
Peaks of Otter - Bedford

Darrell Marshall
Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager 
P.O. Box 1163 
Richmond, VA 23218 
Office: 804.786.2658
Mobile: 804.382.0904
Fax: 804.371.7679
darrell.marshall@vdacs.virginia.gov

SWCD/Localities:
Thomas Jefferson - Albemarle, Nelson, Fluvanna, Louisa, (Charlottesville)
Tri-County/City - Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, (Fredericksburg)
Hanover-Caroline - Hanover, Caroline
Northern Neck - Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, Lancaster
Three Rivers - Essex, King & Queen, King William
Tidewater - Middlesex, Matthews, Gloucester
Eastern Shore - Northampton, Accomack
Virginia Dare - Chesapeake, Virginia Beach
Peanut - Surry, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, (City of Suffolk)
Chowan Basin - Sussex, Southampton, Greensville
Appomattox River - Dinwiddie, (Petersburg)
James River - Prince George, Chesterfield
Colonial - New Kent, James City, Charles City, York, (Williamsburg)
Henricopolis - Henrico
Monacan - Powhatan, Goochland
Piedmont - Amelia, Nottoway, Prince Edward
Peter Francisco - Buckingham, Cumberland
Robert E. Lee - Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell, (Lynchburg)
Pittsylvania - Pittsylvania
Halifax - Halifax    
Southside - Charlotte, Lunenburg
Lake Country - Mecklenburg, Brunswick


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