Educational Resources
  • FAQ
  • 0
  • 0
Soil, Conservation and Place -- C.J. Isbell of Keenbell Farm

Keenbell Farm

Keenbell Farm is a third-generation family farm located in western Hanover County, VA that was established in 1951. Keenbell Farm specializes in grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork, free range poultry, eggs, and specialty non-GMO grains, which are available at their on-farm store. The Isbell family strives make their farm a part of the community and have the community be part of the farm. Therefore, they work to be environmentally conscious, sustainable, and socially acceptable. They take pride in conservation and preservation of their land and natural resources. Keenbell Farm has been recognized for their soil health building practices, multi-species grazing, grain production, and soil and water conservation as they work at direct marketing and serving local and regional food markets, while ensuring resources are available for the next generation and beyond.


Introduction to Soil, Conservation, and Place

This educational project aims to deepen community understanding of the importance of agriculture and soils to a sense of place, community, and culture. The project highlights the distinct voices and diverse farms of Virginia’s agricultural community who are protecting and conserving soil and water resources through a narrative inquiry framework.  

The 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.