Jeff Raines

Freelance Journalist, Farmer, Outdoorsman, and Entrepreneur

United States

I am a freelance writer and carpenter currently based out of Roanoke, Va. I grew up in rural southwest Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains as an avid outdoorsman, rock climber, backpacker, and eventually traveler. I have great interest in environmental issues, organic farming, clean energy initiatives, and conservation efforts. I will never shy away from any opportunity to travel, meet new people and study new cultures.

I learned Spanish over six months in 2018 studying conservation biology, setting up a hydroponic farming system, and monitoring fish populations in Costa Rica. In August 2019, I spent three weeks in Argentina through an internship with Guayakí studying yerba mate culture, fair trade practices, and biodynamic and organic farming methods. I have recently returned from a cultural immersion experience in Peru sponsored by Appalachian Gear Company. While in Peru, I spent time in rural communities observing their farming methods, visiting world heritage sites, and backpacking through the Andes.

I am a creative and dedicated writer with bylines in local, national, and international publications such as the Washington Post, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune. My journalistic endeavors and mindset translate well into marketing, blog and social media posts. I enjoy nothing more than weaving a narrative with a purpose. I can work and write in less than ideal situations and approach stories from unconventional viewpoints, allowing me unique experiences as a reporter and writer.

Outside of travel and writing, I am working on my business plan for a small farm and composting operation with an emphasis on sustainability and traditional farming methods, alongside community engagement and enrichment.

Appalachian Gear Company
Walking Through the Andes

I was about to live out my National Geographic dreams and hike mountain trails through the Andes that predate Jesus Christ walking this earth and be among indigenous peoples who have preserved their culture, language, farming, and mountaineering traditions for thousands of years.

Washington Post
Virginia legal landscape shifts as cannabis support grows

“We do grams, eighths, quarters, half ounces, pounds, wholesale pounds -- however you want it,” Jacob Stretch said, standing between crates of dried hemp in his living room that doubles as his hemp processing and drying facility. Stretch, owner of Chesapeake Blue, just finished his first season growing industrial hemp as a registered grower and processor on his family’s farm.

Washington Post
Virginia AG supports legalizing recreational marijuana

Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted his support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Virginia Tuesday night. “Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring said in his retweet of a study that revealed more than half of Virginians agree with him.

Tweets Create Tension Political Attacks Not Uncommon as Elections Loom

It's the homestretch of the election season and money is pouring in, campaigners are knocking on doors and politics are heating up. The Democratic Party of Virginia announced a website Thursday cataloging the controversial deleted tweets of the Republican Prince William County Board of Supervisors candidate. The attempt to discredit John Gray by the DPVA is not uncommon even in a local election, according to political analysts.

Virginia Mercury
Southwest Virginia looks to rock climbing for revenue boost

In light of dwindling coal resources and shrinking populations, eco-tourism is becoming an alternative source of revenue in the coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia as residents seek to diversify their economies.

NBC 12
Virginia Republicans mull over new House leadership

After Democrats seized control of the General Assembly on Election Day and proceeded to vote on key leadership positions, Republicans began meeting behind closed doors and mulling over who will steer their party forward.

College Precinct and Millennial Voters Hit the Polls, Bringing a Democratic Win

Voter turnout rates at college precincts and amongst millennials increased by 91% this election, almost doubling the 2015 turnout for the same demographics, according to a CNS analysis of voter precinct results. Middle-years voters and the Hampton Roads and central Virginia voters have flipped blue since the 2015 elections.

Checking Richmond's Pulse on Election Day

Health care and gun control were the two biggest issues among primarily Democratic voters on the bus this morning. That’s what Capital News Service reporters found today when they hopped on the Greater Richmond Transit Company’s Pulse line to administer an informal poll of Richmond’s voters.

Poll suggests independent Virginia voters want a Democratic legislature.

With elections less than two weeks away, a poll released Wednesday shows that Virginia voters identifying as Republican or Democrat are split almost evenly along party lines, but independent voters prefer a Democratic legislature. The poll, conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, collected data from a random sample of 801 Virginia residents by landline and cellphone interviews between Sept. 23 to Oct. 4.