I am an organic vegetable and livestock producer based in Aldie. I am writing in support of the preservation of prime agricultural soils in our county, which is something that is currently being considered by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.
Quality soil is at the heart of agriculture, which is the foundation of our society (everybody eats, after all). Unfortunately, soil is an often overlooked and under-appreciated feature of a landscape. It is easy to assume that dirt is dirt, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are immense differences between soils that are productive, supporting production of food, fuel, and fiber, and those that are marginal or unusable for production.
Prime agricultural soils are an invaluable resource that must be protected from development or misuse. This will have numerous positive impacts, from maintaining and boosting agricultural productivity in the county to protecting valuable environmental features and ecosystems to enhancing the rural economy through agricultural activity. These efforts were outlined in the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, and the initiative being considered by the Board of Supervisors provides actionable steps to protect and maintain prime agricultural soils, something that will benefit all Loudoun residents.
While soil may not be the most glamorous of topics, it is truly an essential resource that takes millennia to develop and moments to destroy. We must put protections in place to ensure the productive capacity of our county is maintained over the long term.