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Robert Hurt: Preserving and strengthening Virginia’s agricultural industry

During this past district work week, I traveled to Charlottesville, Danville, South Boston, Altavista, Chatham, Buckingham, and Nelson and talked with constituents there and in the surrounding areas.

I heard from students at the University of Virginia and Danville National College, met with many business leaders across the District, and held several constituent roundtables to discuss the pressing issues that face Central and Southside Virginia.

One of those roundtables was held at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex in Chatham where, along with Delegate Danny Marshall and Delegate Don Merricks, I had the chance to hear directly from local farmers about matters related to the agricultural industry.

Of the many issues that were raised, there was concern regarding the vast expansion of regulatory agencies and the increase of excessive regulations imposed on agriculture by the federal government, especially the Environmental Protection Agency, that hinder economic growth and stall hiring.

With agriculture remaining the top industry in the Commonwealth, bringing in billions in revenues and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs for Virginians, unnecessary regulations placed on our famers and small businesses by an over-reaching EPA is the last thing we need at a time when we are trying to move our economy forward.

That is why during the recent budget debate, I voted to cut $3 billion out of the EPA’s budget and voted to impose a number of prohibitions on the agency’s authority to implement job-destroying regulations, such as the EPA’s ability to further regulate dust emissions and delaying the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

Additionally, I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 153, which would prohibit any funds at the EPA from being used to implement a Cap and Trade system that would harm our agriculture and manufacturing sectors, destroy over 50,000 jobs in Virginia, and amount to a job-crushing national energy tax when we can least afford it.

The Fifth District’s agricultural communities play a large and important role in producing a wide variety of products that are enjoyed throughout the Commonwealth, and I believe that our farmers and small businesses are truly the backbone of our economy. That is why I remain committed to supporting policies that reduce unnecessary regulations and reduce the size and scope of the federal government so that they can have the confidence and ability to continue to innovate, hire, and expand.

If you need any additional information on these or any other issues, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, or Danville office: (434) 791-2596.

Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.