Virginia Farm Bureau is following approximately 200 bills in the General Assembly from the ones that have been introduced. There are hundreds and hundreds of more bills due out next week. For our county Farm Bureau leaders, we will be sending out a summary of all of the various bills that we are tracking on Friday, January 27.
This year our communications process has changed. If Governmental Relations can positively represent Farm Bureau members’ official policy position on these bills, we will not send out an action request through our electronic Capital Connections Action Request system. We activate our grassroots system on bills that we need an extra push on to help our lobbying efforts.
This has been the case regarding Virginia Farm Bureau’s position on Sunday hunting. We have asked our members to correspond with their legislators regarding our position. There is a grassroots movement pushing for its passage. Virginia Farm Bureau has had a policy position in opposition since 1993. We are joined by other agriculture groups including the horse industry and Virginia Agribusiness Council in opposing the passage of these bills. In addition, some hunting groups, religious groups and realtors are expressing their opposition.
Today, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee passed SB494 to allow Sunday hunting on private lands with landowners permission. This is one step in a multi-step process at the General Assembly. Today, Farm Bureau policy did not prevail but with grassroots support of our policies we can continue to fight for our member’s positions. If you haven’t signed up for our electronic action request system and you are a producer member, please email me at Kelly Pruitt at Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org. I will contact you to get you signed up.