Sausage Cook off

Carolina Pride vs Carando Mild Tuscano vs Jones Dairy Farm pre-cooked Chicken Sausage.

And the winner is …….

Carando Mild Tuscano. Carolina Pride has too much salt and Jones Chicken Sausage tastes like chicken…not pork. Between these sausages I liked Carando Mild Tuscano the best.

Photos from TN and VA during 10/21-10/27 holiday.

Wild ponies at Grayson Highlands state park, VA.
Wild ponies at Grayson Highlands state park, VA.
Country Music Hall of Fame wall of gold, silver and platinum records
Country Music Hall of Fame wall of gold, silver and platinum records.
Oprey Country Classics Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019
Oprey Country Classics Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019
Looking ouside from Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019
Looking outside from Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 10-24-2019

View from Alum Cave on Mount La Conte 10-22-2019
2 Views from Alum Cave on Mount La Conte 10-22-2019
Elk Herd near Smokemont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Elk Herd near Smokemont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Panorama of Honky Tonk section of Nashville, TN
Panorama of Honky Tonk section of Nashville, TN

Organic SEO – Let’s Get Real

Imagine that friend of yours searched for Virts Family Farms on Google. You’re concerned since you just created this site and this friend said it didn’t show up in their search results. gven this scenario one might ask; “How can I improve my search rankings?” I’ll offer some solutions and advise about the proper way to address this common issue.
Only Google’s algorithm decides who gets precedence in searches. However, there are some strategies to get businesses like Dennis and Linda Virts’s farm market to show up higher in search results organically.  (Note the use of the word “organic” – its definition is “real”) While a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trick like linking from a “link farm” may work in the short term, (not an organic approach) search engines can catch up with this trickery and flag the site for attempting to game the system.  This may affect the search results for the long term, even after the website has divorced itself from the SEO trickery. (see
First – Your business needs to be verified by Google. This is done online and you can designate a ” manager” to add the information on your business or you, as the business owner, can do this yourself. This isn’t a manager in the traditional sense but a “manager” that manages the data that google will use to index and verify your website and the existence of your business.  Since Google dominates with 83% of the mobile search market and 63% of desktop search, this should be a really good start. (source
Second – Your business needs links about its website on other websites. The more popular and relevant the site that links to yours, the better. Google’s algorithm searches websites to see which websites they link to. One questionable and slightly inorganic strategy is to use a service like PR Web ( you have to pay them) and create a press release. You create the release and they send it off to all kinds of media and websites. Say, for example, you wanted to create a press release about your Grand Opening and the recent business creation. This will create a lot of links back to your website. But Google could identify this method as a scheme to “game the system” (much like a link farm might) and that might eventually thwart the growth of your online presence. This probably isn’t worth the risk.
However, to be safe for the future you can always let your web presence grow “organically” – and it will, with a little work.  If you, your friends, or people in your family have facebook pages, twitter accounts or other social media accounts, ask them to post a link about your grand opening, or the website homepage. This will help increase web presence. Also, if you have other businesses that you buy or sell from, ask them to add a link to your site from theirs and of course in return you will do the same for them.
Google also looks to see how recently and frequently a website has been updated. So it is always a good idea to have a new post about a sale or new product on your “posts” page.
When I search on Virts Family Farms on Google’s browser chrome recently, (I did this yesterday on May 17th, 2018) I got 8 links to different pages on CEA Farms website or about CEA  Farms mentions in local newspapers and THEN a link to the Virts Family Farms Farm Market’s website. This isn’t too bad since the farm markets existence on the web is relatively new and both CEA Farms and Virts Family Farms have the same physical location, down to the specific address at 15485 Purcellville Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132.
In addition to location adding a wrinkle to online presence, one persons Google search results may be different from another depending on their individual search history. So if you try the same search as another person you may get different results. This is because google normally indexes search and browsing history and takes one’s search history into consideration when searching for search terms a person enters.
So your friend might not see the link to the farmers market you searched for ( for example) listed as high up in the search rankings as you did yet since he/she has a certain search history and is relatively new on the web.  However, as relevant content is added on the site, links back to the site from other affiliated sites are added and an owner initiated verification of Virts Family Farms Farmers Market by Google is completed, the rankings will definitely change for the better for anyone that searches.
Please feel free to call, post a response or text with any questions/comments about this post or any other issue with your site or this article. I may be able to offer a solution.


Ricky Rodriguez
Web Development and Internet Support

WV Rivers Policy Updates: Tank Bill Improvements, Help Keep Science a Priority, Contact Your Senators



If scientific and fact-based water policy analysis and advocacy matters to you, please make a tax-deductible donation to WV Rivers’ Science Fund. The Science Fund pays for critical needs like fact sheets, expert testimony, and tools that make it easy for you to submit comments. This is expensive, labor intensive work and it depends entirely on support from people, like you, to happen.

Thanks to a pledge from a generous donor, the first $10,000 donated to WV Rivers’ Science Fund will be matched, doubling your impact! Any amount helps, please donate today!

At yesterday’s House Judiciary public hearing and committee meeting on HB 2811, legislators heard concerns from citizens and public water systems about the exemptions the bill adds to the Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Act. Theintroduced version of the bill would have exempted 29,000 oil and gas tanks fromWVDEP’s AST registry – a database established after the Freedom Industries tank leak to have information available on ownership, location, size, age and contents of ASTs across the state.

The committee responded to our concerns by restoring the requirements for these tanks to register, label and to provide notice to downstream public water systems. Though the bill passed out of committee would still exempt near 2,300 oil and gas tanks from regulation under the AST Act, maintaining the AST registry is a significant victory! The bill now goes to the full House for vote. Read more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail here.

Contact Your Senators Now on HB 2506
We’re still in a holding pattern as we wait for the West Virginia Senate to take up HB 2506, the bill that would allow more toxins to be discharged in to our water. If you haven’t already, please send you senators a letter asking them to reject HB 2506. Already sent a letter? Ask your friends and family members to get involved!

Looking for some more clarification on how HB 2506 is bad for rivers? The bill proposes to change the way discharge limits are calculated. In essence, through the calculation change, rivers would appear to have much more water flowing through them at their low flows, which would create the potential for a higher amount of toxic discharge. WV Rivers’ science advisor, Evan Hansen, created the chart below to show how changing the calculation would apply to rivers throughout the state.

Last week a bill, HB 2909, was introduced that would abolish the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of the Environmental Advocate. The Environmental Advocate serves an important role in state government, providing daily assistance to the public on environmental issues and WVDEP related questions. Important issues handled by the Office of the Environmental Advocate include: questions about the public comment process; how to appeal agency decisions; and how to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this bill and we’ll let you know when it’s time to take

: WV Rivers Policy Updates: Tank Bill Improvements, Help Keep Science a Priority, Contact Your Senators

Vote for WV Rivers in the Best of West Virginia Awards!

The polls are open! WV Living is collecting votes for the 2016 Best of West Virginia Awards. Last year WV Rivers was voted the “Best Conservation Organization” and this year we are in the running again.

Help WV Rivers and YOU, our members, keep our title! Cast your vote for WV Rivers here. Make sure to vote by October 17, 2016. Results will be published in the Winter 2016 issue of WV Living.

Source: Vote for WV Rivers in the Best of West Virginia Awards!

Volunteer Opportunity – Water Quality Monitoring – Oct. 1, Elkins


We are so excited to offer a volunteer opportunity as part of Trout Unlimited’s and WV Rivers’  WV/VA Water Quality Monitoring Program! We are hosting a one day Watershed Snapshot Day for folks to help us collect water quality samples in the Monongahela National Forest (MNF). No prior water quality monitoring experience is needed.

The event is limited to 35 participants, please register by September 23. Register here:

Watershed Snapshot Day brings together volunteers from throughout West Virginia to collect water quality data and samples within the Monongahela National Forest (MNF), providing a “snapshot” of water quality conditions within the forest. This data helps establish baseline conditions in advance of any potential development within or adjacent to the forest, including pipelines and shale gas development. Snapshot Day is a great opportunity to meet other volunteers and explore a beautiful part of West Virginia.

Registration begins at 9:45am and the day will wrap-up around 4:30pm. We’ll provide you with an event t-shirt and bagged lunch for the field. We’ll have a BBQ picnic when you get back!
Here’s How it Works
In the morning, we will assign groups of 2-4 volunteers with their monitoring routes, which will consist of 4-8 sites. We’ll provide detailed directions on how to get to each monitoring location. Before folks start monitoring, we’ll hold a mini-training on the sample collection protocols. The monitoring groups will then fan out to collect data from throughout the MNF. We’ll have dinner ready as groups return. We’ll be meeting at the Stuart Recreation Area right on Shaver’s Fork near Elkins, WV. This is a beautiful part of the state and a great time to visit.

You can find further information and registration instructions here.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email Jake Lemon, Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator, if you have any questions, 814-779-3965,

Source: Volunteer Opportunity – Water Quality Monitoring – Oct. 1, Elkins

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