Farm Bureau president: Whether focus is crops or politics, farmers always looking to next year

Even as the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation celebrated 90 years of service to Virginia agriculture at its 2016 Annual Convention in Hot Springs, the organization’s president issued a call to stay focused on the future.

“We must also look forward to new challenges. The state budget will be tight, and the knives will be sharp in the next General Assembly. We will need all of you to be outspoken in support of funding for vital agriculture programs,” VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor told county Farm Bureau delegates from across Virginia.

“2017 is a major election year in Virginia, and your Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC board of trustees will be busy meeting with candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. And all of the seats in the General Assembly will be up for re-election. Farm Bureau members will need to be more engaged than ever to make sure our concerns are heard by all the candidates,” Pryor said.

While the recent presidential election has changed the political picture in Washington, Farm Bureau has always been nonpartisan in working toward solutions for farmers, he added.

“Work will begin on the 2018 Farm Bill next year,” Pryor said. “This is the most complex federal legislation farmers face, and it typically takes at least two years to sort through. Meanwhile, immigration reform is still badly needed for agriculture. Here and elsewhere in America, farmers need foreign workers to keep our crops from rotting in the fields. This is an issue that has been delayed too long.”

Farm Bureau also will continue to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of the Chesapeake Bay clean-up program and the Clean Water Act to expand federal regulations to cover every pond and puddle on American farms, he said.

With 126,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life. View more convention news as it becomes available at

Contact Greg Hicks, VFBF vice president of communications, at 804-290-1139.

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