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US (VA): Region’s agribusiness harnesses technology

The invitation to step into Endless Summer Harvest’s walk-in cooler to escape Monday afternoon’s heat was accepted with a smile from Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10). “I won’t turn that down,” she said, surrounded by crisp butter lettuce grown on the hydroponic farm near Round Hill.

While Congress is on recess this month, the freshman congresswoman used the time off the U.S. House floor to get a better sense of the 10th Congressional District’s agriculture industry. The district includes some of the most congested portions of Northern Virginia to the east, including parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, but to the west, it covers miles of bucolic farmland in Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick counties.

During Comstock’s six-stop agribusiness tour, she said she was impressed to see farmers embrace technology and other creative solutions to save energy and money and improve their product. She toured Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing on the far western end of Loudoun, and stopped by Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester and Harvue Farms and Mackintosh Fruit Farm in Berryville.

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