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Agriculture important to Virginia

Recently, I had the privilege of joining the Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau for its annual meeting in Chatham. Each fall, local farm bureaus gather farmers across the commonwealth and the country for fellowship and to discuss policies at the federal, state and local levels that will support an industry that has been vital to our nation since its inception. Farmers and their families gather together to recognize another year of hard work and the bounty it produces, which not only feeds the country and the world — it is also essential to the economies of our rural communities.

Agriculture is the backbone of our economy in Virginia and remains a critically important factor in our economic wellbeing. Combined with forestry, agriculture represents the largest segment of Virginia’s economy, generating more than $70 billion annually and accounting for nearly 415,000 jobs across the commonwealth. Our nation owes much of its prosperity to its deeply rooted history of agriculture, and we continue to rely heavily on its significant contributions to our economy and our country. Preserving and fostering our great legacy of family farming in Virginia has always been one of my top priorities and its importance continues to transcend generations.

At the federal level, there is no question excessive environmental regulation remains a top concern for our family farmers, which has only become more problematic under the current administration.

I cannot help make the government more responsive to the needs of agriculture without hearing from our local growers and producers, so I always greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with some of our hardworking 5th District Virginians.

Robert Hurt represents Lunenburg County in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120 or by email at hurt.house.gov.