Virginia representatives of the Morgmon church are plannning to buy a 380-acre farm in Faquier County that will be used to raise cows, church officials have announced.
The farm, halfway between the small towns of Remington and Fauquier Springs, is being purchaesd for about $350,000, according to the current owner, Warrenton builder Lofton H. White. The cows raised on the farm eventually will become part of the Mormons' dairy farm project in Trappe, Md., where they produced 8 million pounds of milk for sale last year. The Maryland farm has about 600 acres and is home to about 400 dairy cows.
The proceeds of the farm are used for the church's welfare program, said Washington stake president William D. Ladd. (A stake is an area of responsibility, like a diocese.)
"We believe that the welfare of our members is our responsibility," Ladd said. If a person is out of work or in need of food or clothing, we assist that person. Our feeling is that turning to government aid is the last resort. We discourage going on welfare."
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the formal name of the Mormon church, has about 20,000 members in the metropolitan Washington area, Ladd said. The farm is a project of the Virgina Mormons and will be managed by a paid staff and worked by volunteer church members, said Virginia president Ed M. Hayward.
Ultimately, Hayward said, the farm products will be given directly to "those in need," with only the surplus sold to make money. The Maryland farm sells most of its milk to Safeway.