Time running out for Chesapeake Bay cleanup

At their current pace, the three major states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, responsible for 90 percent of pollution in the bay, will miss their targets for reducing sediment and nutrient runoff by 2025, said the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Wednesday. Maryland and Virginia need to step up efforts to address agricultural pollution, and "Pennsylvania remains far off track," the foundation said.

Biden chooses Virginia ag commissioner for deputy secretary at USDA

Two days before his inauguration, President-elect Biden selected Jewel Bronaugh, the Virginia state agriculture commissioner, as his nominee for deputy agriculture secretary, the No. 2 post at USDA. Bronaugh was among five women who were announced on Monday for deputy secretaries of federal …

Big Beef targets Virginia ranchers with increased checkoff tax

Virginia State Sen. A. Benton Chafin last week introduced a bill that would significantly hike “checkoff” taxes that cattle growers in the state must pay. The move follows efforts in other states to increase or introduce state-level checkoff taxes, which are charged in addition to the $1-per-head tax collected at the federal level. (No paywall)

Urban–rural polarization grows in Virginia election

Rural Virginia has trended Republican in the past two decades, and the statewide election this week underlined its political divergence from the state’s metropolitan areas, said the Daily Yonder.

Will rural Virginia decide the governor’s election today?

A year ago, rural America voted two-to-one to put Donald Trump in the White House. Rural Virginians are certain to vote heavily for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in today’s election, and “the margin ... may affect the statewide result,” says the Daily Yonder.

Rural job growth is less than half of urban. Do elections play a part?

Cities are creating jobs faster than rural areas with a 13.3 percent growth rate in the past year, compared to 4.8 percent in rural counties, says a Daily Yonder analysis of Labor Department statistics. "Unemployment remains a bigger problem in rural counties than metro areas," says the Yonder, which tried to gauge local conditions in battleground states.