Farmers ask legislators to support property rights, oppose estate tax
January 28, 2010
RICHMOND—More than 100 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation leaders asked their representatives to oppose reinstating Virginia’s estate tax, to oppose any legislation that would limit property rights and to support animal care that is science-based and allows production agriculture to remain in business.
It was all part of VFBF’s annual Legislative Day Jan. 26 at the General Assembly.
“A lot of our elected officials don’t have an agricultural background,” said Trey Davis, VFBF political education and legislative specialist. “That’s why it’s important for our leaders to educate them on bills that will adversely affect their farming operations.”
The annual gathering is part of Farm Bureau’s grassroots efforts to get its members involved in the legislative process.
“You may wonder if you did any good,” VFBF Director of Governmental Relations Martha Moore told participants during a briefing prior to afternoon meetings with legislators. “Yes, you did.”
The day concluded with a legislative reception for which the VFBF Women’s Committee served as hosts. During the reception, Farm Bureau leaders were able to talk with their representatives in an informal setting.
“Legislative Day is fun, and it’s great to see folks from the district that I might not normally see,” said Sen. Frank Ruff Jr., R-Clarksville. “[Legislators are] lousy mind readers, and unless we have a line of communication [with constituents] it’s awfully hard for us to know what they think.
“When we can put a name and face together, it makes it easier for us to connect with them.”
Copies of the children’s book Fantastic Farm Machines by Cris Peterson, which tells how agricultural practices have changed and become more efficient, were presented to legislators to donate to their hometown elementary schools.
Contact Davis at 804-290-1017 or Moore at 804-290-1013.