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Farm Bureau to emphasize policies built ‘From the Ground Up’ on Jan. 22

RICHMOND—Virginia Farm Bureau Federation members will talk with state legislators about issues of interest to farmers back home and statewide during the organization’s annual Legislative Day on Jan. 22.

Member-identified critical issues for the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly are:

• adequate funding for the state’s Agriculture Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program;

• adequate funding for operational support and technical assistance for soil and water conservation districts;

• increased funding for the state portion of the state and federal coyote control program to expand technical assistance east of the Blue Ridge;

• implementation of a central contact point for wildlife damage issues;

• opposition to attempts to weaken statutory changes to state law defining “lost profits” and “lost access” with regard to eminent domain; and

• support of legislation to amend the Code of Virginia to further protect landowners from trespassers and liability claims from those who trespass.

Protecting water quality, and ensuring adequate funding for cost-share programs that help farmers implement conservation programs, has long been a Farm Bureau priority.

Water quality, “is something that really does impact everybody,” and the public shares a responsibility to protect it, said Martha Moore, VFBF vice president of governmental relations. “While farmers are going to be doing their part, they’re going to hope others do their parts as well. What we’re focusing on is making sure that farmers can meet the goals that have been committed to protect water quality in Virginia and the bay.”

After lunch and a briefing session with Farm Bureau staff, members will have appointments with their respective state senators and delegates. They will present their representatives with copies of the agriculture-related children’s book Kelly’s Big Day by Tammy Maxey to encourage their participation in Agriculture Literacy Week March 17-23 at their local elementary schools.

The VFBF Women’s Committee will host a legislative reception that evening, at which Farm Bureau leaders will be able to talk with their representatives in an informal setting.

Contact Moore at 804-290-1013.

 

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