Last week, the Chesapeake Bay Journal published an article called, “Farm Bureau can choose to be a sore loser or part of the solution.” Below is Virginia Farm Bureau’s response:
It’s disappointing to read the Chesapeake Bay Foundation—Virginia‘s call for American Farm Bureau Federation to stop the rhetoric and be part of the solution. Implying that Farm Bureau is a sore loser and that farmers are lacking effort for a healthy Chesapeake Bay simply continues rhetoric; and is anti-farmer. If we all took the time to read the May issue of the Chesapeake Bay Journal you’d learn the following: Submerged Aquatic Vegetation is at 30 year high, crab populations are at 4 year high, oysters and shellfish are off slightly due to cold winter (not water quality). If you read further, Virginia leads the East Coast in oyster and clam production. These things would not be occurring if Farm Bureau members were not doing their part; and in many cases more than their fair share. It’s sad to hear that the recent Agriculture Census shows that the bay model was using data that overestimated the number of cattle in Virginia and therefore overstated their role in the condition of the bay. That’s not rhetoric.
The Clean Water Act, and the associated federal and state regulations, has been debated and litigated since it was passed decades ago. There is no doubt that will continue. CBF has done, and will likely do, its fair share to perpetuate that debate, litigation, and rhetoric. The advice provided in CBF’s commentary is one everyone should follow, stop the rhetoric and work to maintain a healthy Chesapeake Bay. We know the farmers are doing their part; are you?