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Fauquier Education Farm hires coordinator

Wednesday, Mar. 19 | By A Fauquier Times Staff Writer
Jim Hankins
The Fauquier Education Farm has hired Jim Hankins as its new coordinator.

Hankins has worked as a part-time agriculture-management agent with the Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach program since June 2011. He will continue that work along with the part-time position with the education farm.

The 54-year-old Rixeyville resident succeeds Jim Hilleary, who took a job with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service in Loudoun County.

Founded in 2010, the Fauquier Education Farm provides instruction including a beginning farmer program, demonstrates best practices, and grows produce to support local food banks.

Hankins will lead the farm’s classroom instruction and best-method demonstrations.

Last year, the farm grew 15,000 pounds of produce on 10 acres of the county-owned Stafford tract, along Meetze Road just east of Warrenton.

“I am looking forward to enhancing the education farm’s role as an education platform by focusing on ‘on-farm’ demonstrations,” Hankins said in a prepared statement.

In addition, Hankins plans to hold a series of workshops and workdays as a means of educating and involving residents. One of those, a free program called "It’s Time to Start Planting," will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Extension Office on Pelham Street in Warrenton. Information on planting schedules as well as early spring gardening, successive planning, double-cropping, and season extension will be presented.

Born in Charlottesville, Hankins earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s in sculpture from Ohio University.

He has worked as a commercial orchard manager and as a furniture maker.

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