KING & QUEEN – Lawrence Simpkins, president of the King & Queen County Farm Bureau, along with District Rep. Ellis Walton, met with representatives from Ryan McDougle's office and Delegates Buddy Fowler, Keith Hodges and Chris Peace to discuss the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly.

Fifteen Farm Bureau leaders from six other county Farm Bureaus participated in a regional meeting at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell as part of Virginia Farm Bureau Federation's legislative process.

Virginia farmers discussed the need for adequate funding for the Agriculture Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program and operational support and technical assistance for Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Continued funding for Virginia Tech replacement dairy facilities was also a critical issue.

Farmers urged legislators to support legislation to set a baseline for the regulation of on-farm activities on agriculture operations. Members were very concerned about protecting property rights granted to certain landowners during the colonial period and maintaining the current definitions of navigable waters to lessen the unintended consequences. Lastly, members urged legislators to oppose any attempts to label food containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

"It is very important that we keep our legislative representatives informed about issues that could affect King & Queen farmers, and appreciate them taking the time to meet and discuss our concerns" said Simpkins.

King & Queen County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With nearly 150,000 members, VFBF is Virginia's largest farmers' advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia's farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply. To find out how you can get the Membership Advantage, call Mike Pumo at (804) 785-9431 or Randy Kelley and Jim Woolford at (804) 769-2580.