Welcome to the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce

BoardMembersThe Culpeper County Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of over 550 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. Our mission is to be the voice of the business community working to promote, build, and support the most effective climate for economic development.

Since it was chartered in 1749, Culpeper County has been an important crossroads for business.  Culpeper’s economy is multifaceted and changing with the times. The County and Town governments along with various agencies and local representatives are working hard to bring and retain business in Culpeper and nurture long-term relationships with local businesses and industries.

Realizing a Lifelong Dream and a Deeper Appreciation for our Dairy Farmers

By on August 31, 2015

Having grown up in 1960’s suburbia, the closest connection I had to a dairy farm was the daily pre-dawn visit from “the milkman”.  Yet somehow, I’ve always wanted to milk a cow!  Lately, I found myself seizing opportunities to drop hints to those in the agriculture community about my hankering to milk a cow.  I’m not really sure how or when this “bucket list” idea took root, but it did.  Well, it didn’t take long; a ‘cow’ matchmaker stepped forward and I was introduced to Doug and Janice Mayhugh. Doug and Janice cordially invited me to their Brandy Station dairy farm to help with an afternoon milking session.  The realization of my life-long dream deserves to be shared, so I convinced my co-worker and friend, Martha Sanford, that milking a cow should be on her “bucket list” as well. Last week we set out for an afternoon adventure with Doug, Janice and our new bovine friends.

 

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According to Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest industry boasting an annual economic impact of $52 billion while providing 311,000 jobs. If combined with the forestry industry the economic impact grows to $70 billion and 400,000 jobs.  The most interesting statistic, in my opinion, is every job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.6 jobs elsewhere in Virginia’s economy.  The Mayhugh’s dairy farm is a microcosm of these statistics.  The majority of their supplies and services needed to operate the farm are purchased from local ag-related businesses and their farm has created a few jobs to assist in the daily operation of their demanding industry.

Milk is Virginia’s third largest agricultural commodity, preceded by broilers and beef cattle. Since 1982 milk has been the state’s official beverage.  Culpeper County has a rich dairy farm heritage but their numbers have declined the past few decades. Those that remain contribute not only to Culpeper’s agricultural tradition but have a significant economic impact. Today, Culpeper’s eight dairy farms with thirteen hundred cows contribute $4 million in gross revenue.

Martha and I enjoyed our afternoon with the ‘girls’.  We managed to milk about 20 cows and feed two calves.  We came home with a few souvenirs – manure covered boots, stained pants, the aroma of Eau de Bovine, and wonderful memories to last a life time.  More importantly, we have a deeper appreciation for the dedication and tenacity of dairy farmers.  Dairy farming is one of the most intense and demanding  agricultural endeavors.  Many thanks to Doug and Janice Mayhugh for giving us this experience – we truly enjoyed it.  Next time we savor a cold glass of milk, a bowl of ice cream, chunk of cheese, or cup of yogurt, we will think of your ‘bovine ladies’ and smile.  Thank you, Dave Durr, Chief Cow Matchmaker, for making my dream come true!

Posted in: Culpeper

Programs and Training will Prove Key to Culpeper’s Next Generation

By on August 24, 2015

  Last week, Delegates Michael Webert and Ed Scott presented the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce a resolution commending the organization for a century of service to the businesses and community of Culpeper.  As we all gathered in the chamber’s conference

Lessons from the Mushroom

By on August 17, 2015

This summer I have been spending a lot of time outdoors with my family.  I’ve really enjoyed watching the grandchildren experience the magic of a simple walk through the forest. Guided by some information from the National Park Service, my