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Farmers to discuss agriculture issues with legislators Jan. 23

RICHMOND—County Farm Bureau leaders from across Virginia will speak with state legislators about issues of interest to farmers during Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Legislative Day on Jan. 23. The event’s theme will be “Ask Me About My Farm.”

Farm Bureau’s member-identified critical issues for the 2014 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;

·         opposition to attempts to support mandatory labeling of genetically modified food products;

·         setting a baseline for the regulation of on-farm activities on agricultural operations;

·         including $7.6 million for Phase 2 of Virginia Tech’s dairy research in the capital expenditure authorization to enable the university to relocate the remaining parts of its dairy complex and replace six dilapidated buildings with three modern facilities;

·         protecting private property rights of landowners by resisting expansion of the term “navigable” to include all waters of the state; and

·         maintaining a minimal burden of proof of “crown grant” properties and their associated rights.

“Emails and phone calls can be effective, but any legislator will tell you meeting face to face with them has the biggest impact,” said Kelly Pruitt, VFBF governmental relations grassroots coordinator. “Legislative Day gives farmers from all across the state the opportunity to let their legislators know what issues are important to them face to face.”

Farm Bureau volunteers who meet with their representatives will be presenting them with copies of an “Agriculture Map of Virginia” puzzle to encourage their participation in Virginia’s fourth annual Agriculture Literacy Week, March 23-29, at their local schools.

Media: Contact Pruitt at 804-290-1293.


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