Gerald Garber is the co-owner and operator of Cave View Farms, a 600-head dairy and feed operation in Weyers Cave, Virginia. Observing the advice from a former mentor that said ‘You can’t fool a cow, she’ll get even,’ Gerald focuses his management strategies on creating a clean and comfortable environment for his cows through rotational loafing lots, concrete stream walkways, stream fencing, and large, spacious, and comfortable indoor facilities. Gerald’s conservation ethic has evolved from this focus on ‘clean cows’ to include practices such as cover cropping, and wildlife and pollinator habitats. Recognizing the importance of sharing his first-hand farming experience with policy makers and the broader public, Gerald allows open-access and full transparency on his farm operation for advocacy and education. 

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The Soil, Conservation, and Place Project is generously funded and supported by a community viability grant from Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and the Agua Fund. The project team includes Eric Bendfeldt, Mike Parrish, Kim Niewolny, Wade Thomason, and Maureen McGonagle from Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The project team especially wants to thank the participating farmers for sharing their time, experiences, and insights with us and the broader community.