Nine members of Congress in Va. receive national award

Nine Virginia members of the 112th Congress received the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Friend of Farm Bureau Award.  

This year’s Virginia recipients are Sen. Mark Warner (D), Rep. Eric Cantor (R), Rep. Randy Forbes (R), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R), Rep. Robert Hurt (R), Rep. Scott Rigell (R), Rep. Robert Wittman (R) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R).

The recipients were nominated for the award by the Virginia Farm Bureau, and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. The award was given based on their leadership on issues of importance to the Farm Bureau, as well as their accessibility and responsiveness to all Virginia Farm Bureau members.

AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through its grassroots organization to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. The organization’s priority issues include the 2012 Farm Bill, the Clean Water Act, regulatory reform, rural redevelopment and the permamnent repeal of the estate tax.

“In their own unique way, each of these members of Congress has demonstrated leadership on issues affecting farmers and the commonwealth’s economic welfare,” said Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne F. Pryor.

“Their action on the budget, the environment, labor and trade issues helped maintain agriculture as Virginia’s largest economic sector. Attention to tedious amendments and the marathon pace of federal legislation are reflected in the designation as a friend of Farm Bureau,” Pryor said. “On behalf of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, we thank and commend each of them for their service.”

Rep. Goodlatte receives ‘Golden Plow’ Award at Valley Farm Bill Forum

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne Pryor and American
Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman presented Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
with the AFBF Golden Plow Award last week.

Last week, Congressman Bob Goodlatte received the Golden Plow award for his continued support of America’s farmers and ranchers. The Golden Plow award is the highest honor bestowed on Members of Congress by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Goodlatte was presented the award by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne Pryor and AFBF President Bob Stallman during a forum on the 2012 Farm Bil Conservation Programl in the Shenandoah Valley.

“Congressman Goodlatte is a vigorous defender of private property rights, both real and intellectual, and he continues to lead the fight against regulatory overreach. He is a champion for private forestry and has worked tirelessly to ensure farmers of all sizes have access to the conservation programs that assist them in maximizing their farms’ economic returns while contributing measurable results toward enhancing the environment.”

The Virginia Farm Bureau nominated Goodlatte for the award. According to Stallman, since Goodlatte was first elected in 1992 to represent Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, he has “applied his common sense, expertise and determination to finding solutions to the challenges facing American agriculture.”

Goodlatte and Stallman also discussed the development of the next Farm Bill and the future of programs to help area farmers address water quality.

Many of the federal conservation programs that farmers across the Commonwealth use to implement a variety of environmental protection practices will expire on October 1, 2012. Practices include stream fencing, rotational grazing, buffers, cover crops, nutrient management, and many others.  These are critical for the management of our farms and the ability to comply with governmental mandates regarding water quality. The deadlines associated with the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) will not allow any delay or missed steps in implementation of such practices. 

“There are huge cuts compared to what was available when the last bill was written,” Goodlatte said. “It’ll be very difficult to write a farm bill in this environment.”

The event was held in a new winter feeding facility at Bob Threewitts’ Twin Oaks Farm in Keezletown. Installing the building was a voluntary conservation practice, which allows cattle manure to be contained in one area, Threewitts said.