This feature on Farmer Mike is part of Loudoun Economic Development’s award-winning Farmer Trading Card series, spotlighting farmers as heroes to our community. For more information on the Farmer Trading Card 2023 starting lineup, please visit Loudoun Farms.
Farmer Mike and his family have been working the land in Loudoun County since before the American Revolution – about 300 years, by his estimation.
Over that time, the land, the people and the needs of their neighbors have changed. The 350-acre Meadow Hill Farm in Purcellville, was once owned by early radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey, who employed the Virts family before selling it to them.
Regardless of who is on the deed, the Farmer Mike’s family has always pursued its passion: feeding the community.
“Here, we raise beef cattle,” he said, standing in front of a cavernous barn. “We have another farm in Waterford where we take the mama cows and we breed them and they have babies.
“Then when we raise them up, we bring them here to this farm, and feed them until they’re ready to eat. They’re all beef cows, so that’s the hamburger and steaks and everything you guys eat at home.”
If you have bought beef from a Wegman’s or Whole Foods grocery stores in Northern Virginia, there’s a good chance you’ve had beef from Meadow Hill Farm. If you shop from the farm market at Harvest Gap Brewery, another Virts farm business, you’ve definitely tasted the difference.
“All of the beef we raise here is natural, so that means it’s hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and that keeps all the animals happy and healthy throughout the growing season on the farm,” Farmer Mike explained.
But don’t take his word for it: the farm’s former Simmental bull, Triple Threat, took home top honors from the prestigious National Western Stock Show in 1988. So what’s the secret to Farmer Mike’s bovine?
“We also do row crops, which is the corn and soybeans, you guys see, grow it out in the fields,” he explained. “Most of the corn and soybeans we harvest stays here on the farm to feed our cows.”
The rest of the feed makes its way down I-81, to supply the chicken farms in Harrisonburg, Va.
“Everything that we raise goes to feed animals,” Farmer Mike said. “In the spring, we prepare all the fields and soil with the big tractors. We harvest everything and usually finish up by Thanksgiving.”
There’s never a dull day on the farm, but Farmer Mike is happy to field farm tours in between caring for the cows and raising high-quality feed from the land.
“If you guys ever want to come out to the farm and visit, that’d be great,” he said with a grin. “We’d be happy to take you around and see more of this place.”
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