Roanoke, VA Industry

Appalachian Power offers tips on lowering winter bill

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - AEP has what’s called the Average Monthly Plan (AMP), which helps customers avoid the high fluctuation of getting higher winter bills. This program takes the average bills over the last 12 months, allowing customers to pay levelized bills. George Porter from Appalachian Power sat down...
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Winery tweaks harvest schedule for Hurricane Ian

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s peak harvesting season at Beliveau Winery in Blacksburg and the owner, Yvan Beliveau, says he’s thankful rainfall from Hurricane Ian didn’t cause too much damage to this year’s crops. Most of the grape harvesting at Beliveau Farm was completed by the...

Rain from Ian leads to power outages in Roanoke and New River Valleys

As expected, heavy rain and gusty winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ian caused damage in parts of Appalachian Power’s Virginia service area late Friday night, which left more than 29,000 customers without electric service. Outages. Most outages are in the company’s Virginia service territory in areas east of...

AEP preparing as hurricane Ian approaches our hometowns

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Anytime Appalachian Power hears the word storm, it starts preparing for the worst-case scenario. AEP has its employees on standby as they prepare for the heavy rains expected to hit our hometowns. If you experience a power outage, AEP spokesperson George Porter says you should check...

Power restored to most customers in Christiansburg

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: Power has been restored to most customers in Christiansburg. No cause has been determined, but AP says the outage was not weather-related. EARLIER STORY: More than 2,700 customers are without power in Christiansburg as of Thursday morning. Montgomery County Public Schools says Auburn Elementary School,...

Farmers rush to get ahead of expected impacts from Hurricane Ian

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Jeter Farm has been working day and night since last Sunday trying to get ahead of Hurricane Ian. The farm has a long day ahead, with a big to-do list. With harvest season in full swing. Jeter Farms co-owner Ned Jeter II says they have been waiting for the land to dry up from previous storms in the area.

Mechanical engineer explains NASA’s plan to nudge asteroid

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - NASA is intentionally crashing one its spacecraft Monday afternoon. This in an effort to see how well we might be able to protect Earth in the future. Lisa Wu is the Deputy Mechanical Engineer for DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. And that last...
Collegiate Times

Homefield Farm provides farm-to-campus flavors

Homefield farm is a six-acre certified organic operation owned by Virginia Tech. It is a partnership between Virginia Tech Dining, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Homefield provides about 50,000 pounds of fresh organic produce to Virginia Tech Dining Services and the Homefield farm stand on campus. According to Virginia Tech Dining Services, Homefield raises thirty varieties of vegetables, including radish, kohlrabi, lettuce, corn, peppers, tomatoes and more, with the addition of herbs, cut flowers and pumpkins. Homefield chose to raise organic produce after a big push from the community for more organic options. To maintain its organic practices, Homefield uses all organic seeds from producers, organic soils and fertilizer, organic picking processes and follows specific protocols for washing produce and product transportation. In the past, there has been a farm-to-table dinner at Homefield during Tech’s Fall Family Weekend that genuinely presents the organic farm-to-table aspect that Homefield Farm brings to Virginia Tech Dining Services.
Science Friday

Getting the Dirt On The World Of Competitive Soil Judging

If you’re looking for a new sport or hobby to try, forget about rock climbing or kitesurfing. If you don’t mind getting a bit dirty, consider competitive soil judging—a contest in which contestants work to best analyze, identify, and describe the layers of soil in a 5-foot-deep trench dug into a field. People can compete either individually, or in a team format, where different members of the team work to describe the soil’s characteristics—from color, to grain size, to how it interacts with water.
Franklin News Post

Virginia Tech gets largest ever grant to fund smart farming efforts

Living off the land requires sustaining that precious soil, and the largest grant in Virginia Tech’s history is set to help make climate-smart farming practices more affordable. An eighth-generation farmer in Blacksburg and researchers at Virginia Tech began cultivating the possibilities after the school announced the $80 million grant...

Sens. Manchin, McConnell butt heads over Mountain Valley Pipeline

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A controversial natural gas pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia remains in limbo, although details on efforts to save it are emerging. This is all tied to an effort to keep the federal government funded and open after Oct. 1, so there is some urgency.

Yard Bull Meats opens its doors in Roanoke, becoming only true butcher shop in the Star City

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A week ago, Yard Bull Meats opened its doors to the community, becoming Roanoke’s newest business, but also its only whole animal true butcher shop. “We have a skillset that we wanted to put to work, saw a void in the market where Roanoke needs a butcher and so we made it happen,” said Tyler Thomas, co-owner and butcher at Yard Bull Meats.

Virginia Tech gets $80 million grant to promote climate-friendly farming

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech will lead groundbreaking research to curb climate-changing gases, thanks to the university’s biggest grant ever. The university was awarded $80 million to research ways to implement climate-smart practices on farms. Most of the money, at least $54 million, will go directly to farmers...