Carl Arey's Bridgewater farm is a century farm, having been in his family for more than 100 year.
He has been farming since 1980, and 31 years later, he says it was a natural decision for him.
"My father, grandfather, all farmed this farm. It's a fifth-generation farm, so I guess it's part of our heritage, part of our blood, you either love it or you hate it and I love it," explains Arey.
Over the years though, he's struggled with that love, even to the point of considering leaving farming all together.
"We weigh that everyday because I tell a lot of people: agriculture used to be fun. I enjoyed it and loved it and now it's becoming more and more challenging and it's a struggle," says Arey.
He says part of that struggle stems from the high costs of keeping up with increasing government regulation.
"State dairy. I've been inspected by federal dairy. I've also been inspected by the state for my chemical records to make sure I'm doing my chemicals correctly," comments Arey .
Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr was in Weyers Cave Monday evening to hold a farmland conservation workshop.
The workshop is part of Gov. Bob McDonnell's efforts to conserve 400,000 acres of farmland during this term.
Lohr says state agencies are working hard through initiatives like the conservation efforts to not just help farmers survive but also thrive.
"There's lots of things that we do to work with the farmers to keep them profitable, because you're right it doesn't really do any good to have open space unless we can keep it viable and really keep agriculture thriving," comments Lohr.
While the challenges and soaring costs may frustrate Arey, it's how he wakes up feeling everyday that lets him know that ultimately he's doing the right thing.
"It's just a feeling in your gut and heart that you're part of God's creation, your part of what God wants you to do. I think that's my calling from the Lord," says Arey.
© Copyright 2013 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.