Farm Bureau to emphasize ag issues at Jan. 28 Legislative Day

virginia farm bureauVirginia Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders will speak with state legislators about issues of interest to the commonwealth’s farmers during the organization’s annual Legislative Day on Jan. 28.

Member-identified critical issues for the 2016 session of the Virginia General Assembly are:

  • adequate funding for Virginia’s Agriculture Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program;
  • adequate funding for operational support and technical assistance for soil and water conservation districts;
  • additional funding to alleviate the backlog of requests from farmers for stream exclusion conservation practice;
  • maintaining state oversight and regulation of the application of biosolids and industrial residuals as a source of nutrients on farmland;
  • initiation of an unbiased review of current literature, science and regulation regarding the land application of biosolids and industrial residuals;
  • supporting legislation to clarify who is eligible to participate in the cost-share program for agricultural best management practices, to ensure that farmers remain eligible to serve on local soil and water conservation district boards;
  • not supporting legislation requiring the mandatory labeling of GMO food products;
  • including funding for Phase 1 of the renovation and replacement of Virginia Tech’s poultry, swine, cattle and equine buildings; and
  • maintaining funding such that the integrity of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ weights and measures program is not compromised.

“The theme for this year’s event is ‘For the Love of Agriculture,’ because that’s why farmers are in this business,” said Kelly Pruitt, VFBF governmental relations grassroots coordinator. “Farmers take time out of their busy schedules to lobby these issues in person, because each issue impacts what they love to do.”

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