ICYMI: Spanberger Hosts 2023 Farm Bill Summit with Virginia Crop & Livestock Producers, Agribusinesses

The Congresswoman — Recently Ranked as the Most Effective Lawmaker on Agriculture Issues in Congress — Heard Directly from Virginia Farmers & Producers to Make Sure Their Voice is at the Table During 2023 Farm Bill Negotiations

More than 100 Attendees Participated in Spanberger’s 2023 Farm Bill Summit on Tuesday in Caroline County

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. — This week, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — the only Virginian on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee — hosted her 2023 Farm Bill Summit to hear directly from Virginia crop and livestock producers, farm groups, conservation organizations, and rural advocates about their priorities as Farm Bill negotiations continue. Additionally, she brought several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials to the event to hear directly from Virginians.

More than 100 attendees participated in sessions focused on several Farm Bill titles and Virginia priorities — including commodities, crop insurance, livestock programs, workforce training, conservation, and rural development.

Spanberger and panelists took questions from attendees, provided their outlook on the future of federal programs that impact Virginia’s farm economy, and responded to feedback about existing rules and regulations in the ag industry. At the start of the event held at Meadow Event Park, she shared her outlook as a Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, which will help draft the 2023 Farm Bill.

“During Farm Bill negotiations, my top priority is listening to the concerns, ideas, and needs of Virginia agriculture. Washington shouldn’t have a monopoly on ideas — and the changes we make in the 2023 Farm Bill should be based on feedback from the folks on the ground,” said Spanberger. “I want to thank every single Virginian who took time out of their day to share their perspectives. Through events like these — and by listening to the people, producers, and rural communities I represent — we can deliver changes that grow our farm economy, protect critical programs like crop insurance and voluntary conservation efforts, and make sure our country is fueled and fed.”

“Virginia Farm Bureau thanks Representative Spanberger for taking time to meet with farmers and hear their personal stories of how Farm Bill programs impact their operations,” said Wayne F. Pryor, President Virginia Farm Bureau. “The Farm Bill Summit provided an opportunity for farmers in the District and beyond to have their voices heard by the Congresswoman and make sure their needs are taken back to D.C. during the Farm Bill development process. Virginia Farm Bureau is proud to have Rep. Spanberger on the House Agriculture Committee and commends her for her engagement and attention to the issues most important to family farmers.”

“Farm Credit of the Virginias knows the importance of a strong Farm Bill for the farmers and rural communities that we serve,” said Katie Frazier, Chief Brand Officer, Farm Credit of the Virginias. “We were pleased to work with Rep. Spanberger and Virginia Farm Bureau to help coordinate this important session to gather input from farmers, conservationist, educators, and service providers about the next Farm Bill, and look forward to working with Rep. Spanberger and other members of Congress to advocate for a strong Farm Bill this year.”

Panelists at this week’s 2023 Farm Bill Summit included:

Opening Comments & Farm Economy Overview:

  • Wayne F. Pryor, President, Virginia Farm Bureau
  • Andrew Walmsley, Senior Director, Government Affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation

Commodities & Crop Insurance

  • Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Adam Davis, Adam Davis Farms
  • Jenna Miller, Miller Farms
  • Jim Saunders, Saunders Brothers, Inc.

Livestock, Poultry, Seafood, & Dairy

  • Perry Hickman, State Director for Virginia, USDA Rural Development (RD)
  • Lindy Froebel, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, National Turkey Federation
  • Eric Paulsen, Executive Director, Virginia State Dairymen’s Association
  • Jim Riddell, Virginia Cattlemen’s Association
  • A.J. Erskine, Bevans Oyster Co. & Cowart Seafood

Rural Development, Agribusiness, Broadband, Energy, & Farm Credit

  • Andrew Berke, Administrator, USDA Rural Utilities Service
  • Ben Smith, Cool Lawn Farm, Farm Credit Young Farmer Representative
  • Cliff Williamson, Executive Director, Virginia Agribusiness Council
  • Jacob Newton, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives

Research, Extension, Biotech, and Conservation

  • Robert N. Corley III, Ph.D., Interim Dean and 1890 Extension Administrator, Virginia State University College of Agriculture
  • Mike Gutter, Ph.D., Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Associate Dean of Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Jacob Gilley, Senior Technical Livestock and Grazing Specialist, Eastern United States, American Farmland Trust
  • Adrienne Kotula, Virginia Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission

Spanberger was recently ranked as the most effective Member of Congress — in either the U.S. House or U.S. Senate — on agriculture issues.

BACKGROUND

The Farm Bill is a legislative package passed approximately every five years that directly impacts Virginia’s rural communities, food security, farm programs, crop insurance, and sustainable farming practices. The legislation has 12 separate sections — or “titles” — governing a wide swath of policy areas ranging from broadband internet access to nutrition programs to farm financing.

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