Success Stories


Restoring the James River at The State Farm



Years of use and lack of available coordinated planning had reduced the size and effectiveness of riparian buffers on the farm’s many streams.



The farm need to exclude cattle from streams, then revitalize its wetlands and riparian buffer forests.



1,200 linear feet of fencing and 10 acres of riparian forest buffer have been installed, and inmates and staff have participated in training on buffer planning, installation, and maintenance. On this large site, the work is continuing.

Partners with a plan

State Farm has been in need of a Conservation Plan for years, but due to size and complexity, a strong collaborative approach had been missing. That’s where the Consortium comes in. The State Farm conservation plan was designed by a team of local, state, and federal agencies and private-nonprofit organizations that bring considerable expertise and financial support to the project. The plan calls for:

  • Over 100,000 linear feet of fencing to exclude cattle from streams
  • Restoration of over 100 acres of streamside forests and 10 acres of wetlands
  • Incorporating conservation training opportunities for offenders following the CBLP-Buffers Certificate developed through the Consortium.

A strong start

The first phase started in Spring 2021 with the installation of 1,200 linear feet of fencing and 10 acres of riparian forest buffer. Six inmates and four DOC staff participated in a Fixed-Knot Fencing Workshop in fall 2020, and eight inmates completed the CBLP-Buffers Certificate Training on buffer planning, installation, and maintenance. Planning and implementation are expected to continue into 2022 or beyond due to the size of the project.

The breaking of ground at the State Farm and the success of strengthening collaboration across agencies and organizations is an inspiration for what we can do together.


When the right people come to the table, we can accomplish so much.

Covering approximately 4,000 acres along both sides of the James River in Powhatan and Goochland lies the Virginia Department of Corrections State Farm facility. This working farm includes a 200-head dairy operation, 1100-head beef cattle operation, 1200 acres of grain, and a variety of other cropland and processing plants.

About the Project

Location: Powhatan and Goochland Counties, Virginia

Year Installed: 2021 and ongoing

Acres of Riparian Forest Buffer: Over 100

Trees Planted: ??, as of 6/2022 

Improvements: Fencing, restoration of streamside forests and wetlands, training

Programs Used: ??

Key Partners: James River Association, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Corrections, Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Installed by: Multiple partners