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Rappahannock County, VA

Rappahannock County is in the northern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Washington, the County seat, is about 65 miles southwest of Washington, DC, and 120 miles northwest of Richmond, the State Capitol. The County extends north and south 24 miles and east and west about 21 miles. It has an area of approximately 267 square miles. The northwestern boundary is in the Blue Ridge Mountains and separates the County from Page and Warren Counties. The Rappahannock River forms the northeastern boundary and separates the County from Fauquier County. The County is bounded on the southeast by Culpeper County and on the southwest by Madison County.

The fertile soil enables farmers here to grow hay as supplemental feed for their 15,000 head of cattle. Farmers grow more than 380 acres of apples and a few acres each of peaches, blueberries, strawberries and snap beans. There are also seven Christmas tree farms in the county.

While the economy of Rappahannock County has historically been based upon agriculture, it no longer employs the majority of the work force as more residents depend on other sectors of the economy for their main employment needs. Indeed, the decade of 1990-2000 saw the most precipitate decline in Agricultural employment in our county’s history. Although the percentage of persons employed in that sector of the economy increased slightly between 1980 & 1990, it is still far below the 1970 figure, which in turn was lower than figures for previous decades. There have been a number of major investments made in agriculture over the past four years, particularly in heretofore “niche” areas such as grapes and organic products that may reverse this trend. For the moment, agriculture is still the foundation of the County economy.

Agricultural Acreage in 2007: 65,084 acres
Number of Farms: 416
Number of Farm Markets: 1
Top three to five Agricultural Products: Cattle & calves, horses, fruits and nuts

Total Local Economic Contribution of Agriculture:

  • Market Value of Agriculture Production: $7,539,000
  • Per farm average $18,122
  • Crop sales $2,465,000(33%)
  • Livestock Sales $5,073,000(67%)

Other Farm-Related Products or Activities in the County:
County 4-H Programs

Agricultural Lands protected: 26,630.00 (Virginia Outdoors Foundation)

Principal Agricultural Contacts:

Chris Parrish, President
Rappahannock Farm Bureau: 540-987-8225

Virginia Cooperative Extension: 540-675-3619 - Main Office

Current Partners in the
National Capital Farms Network:
Anne Arundel County Arlington County Virginia Calvert County Carroll County Charles County Clarke County Culpeper County District of Columbia Howard County Jefferson County Virginia King George County Fairfax County Virignia Fauquier County Virginia Frederick County Maryland Loudoun County Virignia Montgomery County Maryland Rappahannock County Stafford County St Mary's County Prince Williams County Prince George's County Maryland Washington County Warren County Berkeley County Morgan County
County Links

Rappahannock County
Rappahannock Farm Bureau
Soil and Water Conservation District