news unprecedented amount of funding general assembly approves 295 million for farm conservation

‘Unprecedented amount of funding:’ Virginia approves $295M for farm conservation

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The General Assembly’s passage of full funding for agricultural best management practices is a historic decision for farmers.

“Virginia Farm Bureau — on behalf of our state’s farmers — has been advocating for full funding of agricultural best management practices since 2009,” Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne F. Pryor told farmers on Nov. 30 during the organization’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Voting Delegates, according to a press release.

From July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024, $295 million will be allocated in Virginia’s budget for aid farmers in implementing conservation practices.

“This is an unprecedented amount of funding,” Pryor said. “Farmers have always been stewards of their land, and they want to continue preserving our natural resources for the next generations, but conservation practices can be costly. Now that this funding has been allocated, I know many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to improve the state’s farmland and help keep our waterways healthy.”

Farm Bureau, according to the press release, will ensure that $1.55 million in the state budget is for retention of Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and for hiring more agents.

“The boots on the ground that these agents provide is invaluable to our farmers,” Pryor said in the press release. The Farm Bureau, a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry, has 133,000 members in 88 counties. VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.