Vice President, Governmental Relations
As the General Assembly concluded without a budget, Farm Bureau policy positions prevailed on 34 out of 40 issues. This number will change once we know the outcome on the state budget.
A big thank you goes out to those of you who made legislative contacts when we asked you as well as those of you who participated in Legislative Day. We can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is for legislators to hear the issues and how they affect agriculture straight from Virginia farmers like you. Your contacts made all the difference this year, and we can attribute our success to you.
If you are a producer member and would like to receive our action alerts, please email Kelly.Pruitt@vafb.com.
Below are some highlights from this year’s session:
• Successful in defeating all legislation that place arbitrary and unscientific animal husbandry practice restrictions on farmers and prevented giving human rights to animals
• Made coyotes and feral hogs nuisance species so that this would allow some permanency beyond regulations for an open season on these nuisance species
• Defeated all bills that would have allowed Sunday hunting
• Passed a resolution placing a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2012 to permanently protect property owners from eminent domain takings for private benefit
• Ensured that landowners are fairly compensated for factors that impact the fair market value as “lost profits” and “lost access”
Please stay tuned on this issue as we are working on developing a statewide campaign on getting the ballot initiative passed. Look for more information on how your county Farm Bureau can help ensure that are successful in a major final piece of achieving our policy position on protecting your property rights from eminent domain abuse.
Virginia Cooperative Extension/ Agriculture Experiment Station
• Passed a commending resolution on the Agriculture Experiment Station’s 125th Anniversary to highlight the programs that have helped support farm profitability