Totaling 830 acres, Mount Vernon Farm is nestled along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Rappahannock County, Virginia and has been farmed by the Miller family since 1827. On our 230 acres of pastureland we sustainably raise cattle, lambs, and pigs. The farm is under a conservation easement and has won awards for its Chesapeake Bay friendly riparian conservation and grazing practices. We work with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) through the USDA to fence cattle out of the waterways on the farm. The CREP program has made rotational grazing possible for us. Mount Vernon Farm was awarded the 2006 Outstanding Forage Producer Award by the Virginia Forage and Grasslands Council.
Our farming methods promote the health of the land. Mount Vernon Farm is managed by modeling the sustainable processes found in nature. One technique used is management- intensive rotational grazing. This is a complex management skill that ensures top quality health for the land, pastures, and animals by preventing the livestock from overgrazing the grass. This ensures that grazed pastures have enough time to recover before being grazed again. Using this technique allows the livestock to have access to high quality pastures and to fertilize the land. This eliminates the need for dietary supplements and synthetic fertilizers. We also do not feed much hay, if any, in the winter. Our cattle graze grass year round, which is one of our secrets to raising quality beef.
Farm owner Cliff Miller has been innovative in his desire to encourage and incorporate young, pioneering farmers in the sustainable working of his land. He works with a young couple who have a 40 year lease on 30 acres of the farm on which they raise and market ecologically grown vegetables as Waterpenny Farm, LLC (www.waterpennyfarm.com).
"Our bodies live by farming; we come from the earth and return to it, and so we live in agriculture as we live in flesh...it is hardly surprising, then, that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and the treatment of the earth...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope." - Wendell Berry
Purchasing meats from Mount Vernon Farm and vegetables from Waterpenny Farm supports young ecologically friendly farmers