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Business

  • A farmer never retires

        Ray Turner, a Bedford County dairy farmer, has seen huge changes in agriculture in his 88 years of life. As a teenager, he plowed fields with a horse-drawn, single blade plow. Now, he uses a computer-controlled system to feed Holstein calves.

        “I was born in that house,” he said, pointing to the large, white farmhouse where he still lives today. “My dad built that house. He came here in nineteen and twelve.”

  • Local fish farm brings fresh fish to customers

    John Graham has been interested in farming fish since the mid-1990s—now he’s doing it, right in his own backyard.

        Graham, who lives off Peaks Street in the town of Bedford, has seen his dream grow from a few fish in his living room aquarium into a combination of large-recirculating systems and ponds with, at any given time, hundreds of fish successfully growing to the proper size for harvest.
        In essence, he has a series of “very large fish tanks on steroids.”

  • Johnsons win state award for young farmers

        W. P. Johnson, and his wife, Dr. Amy Johnson, were awarded this year’s American Farm Bureau Federation Excellence in Agriculture Award for Virginia.

        “We competed as a couple,” said W. P. Johnson.
        “That’s quite an honor,” he commented.
        Johnson said the awards are based on what a farmer does to promote agriculture and educate people about it. Candidates are asked what they believe the three main challenges are that young farmers face today.

  • Peaks of Otter Lodge reopens

        Although the Peaks of Otter Lodge is operated by a private company — none of its staff or management are federal employees — it was closed by the Federal Government shutdown on Oct. 1. Va. 43, which uses a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, remained open, however, as did the Parkway itself.
        Now, the Lodge is open again.

  • Peaks of Otter Lodge a shutdown casualty

        It wasn’t open for long.
        After reopening with a new company late this summer, the Peaks of Otter Lodge was just starting to head in the right direction and get its feet back on track.
        Now the shutdown.
        The Lodge is operated by a private company, Delaware North, and none of its employees are federal employees. Nevertheless, it was forced to close when the federal government began a partial shutdown on Oct. 1. Of the Lodge’s 88 employees, only two are working right now.

  • Alpaca by Jaca finds a new home

        A growing business led the owners of Alpaca by Jaca to look for a new home earlier this year. They found it at The Forum at Westlake.

        The shop first opened on the Bedford County side of the Smith Mountain Lake in March, 2012. Jack and Sally Hutslar, retired educators, moved to Bedford County in 2004 because Jack thought this would be a good area to set up a business selling log homes, which he proceeded to do. Sally planned to sell real estate.

  • New location offers benefits

        Bob and Jann Sloper are excited about Floors and More’s new location.

        The business moved to Burks Hill Road on Aug. 1 and now occupies the upper level of the large building across the street from The Duchess of Bedford. The Blue Ridge Fitness Center is in the building’s lower level.
        “I think more exposure,” was Jan Sloper’s comment when asked about the advantages the new location provides.

  • Glenwood marks 60 years

        Glennwood Oil and Automotive marks 60 years in business this year and its owner, Curry Martin, has been around for all of it.

        He was a small child when his father, Wilbur Martin, started an Esso station on Va. 24 in 1953 and Martin has a photo of himself, in a little Esso uniform, standing beside his father on the gasoline pump island.

  • It's fresh and Va. grown

        Pete Hancock greeted a group of children from the Little Light Early Learning Center with a big “hello”—and a slice of cantaloupe.

        Several came back for seconds. One of the young girls wanted thirds.
        It was a Friday morning at the Bedford Farmers’ Market and the vendors there were staying busy.
        Hancock and his partner, Bob Stohr, were doing their fair share of business as well.

  • Ivy Bridge Frozen Yogurt

        People who love frozen yogurt don’t have to leave Bedford to get it. Ivy Bridge Frozen Yogurt is now open on the corner of Main and North Bridge streets.

        Ivy Bridge Cafe and Ivy Bridge Yogurt are one business. Joe Marino runs the cafe and his wife, Sherrie, runs the frozen yogurt shop. An interior door connects the two and customers can walk from one to the other. They can bring food from the cafe into the yogurt shop and frozen yogurt into the cafe.