NBC29: Rep. Spanberger hears concerns from central Virginia farmers

NBC29, DRYDEN QUIGLEY

Dozens of farmers from across central Virginia are meeting with 7th District Representative Abigail Spanberger (D) to let her know why the problems that they face touch everyone who shops at a grocery store.

Farmers raised several concerns with Rep. Spanberger Thursday, February 23, including being blamed for high prices and difficult bureaucracy.

“The red tape that exists, the challenges that exist for producers,” Spanberger said. “There are a lot of important federal programs that exist to help producers get access to capital, access to dollars, access to loans, and federally-backed loans. But some of the concerns were about how long that process takes.”

Farmers also sounded alarm bells about a shortage in Penicillin used to treat sick animals. These loses make the livestock that do survive more expensive on the shelves.

“Anybody who goes to the grocery store wants to make sure that their beef might be locally sourced, or that their poultry is raised nearby, or the fruits and vegetables that they’re buying at the grocery store or at the farmers market is grown by people who are really good stewards of the land,” Spanberger said.

The representative says she plans to help fix these issues as part of the 2023 Farm Bill.

“Understanding what’s working, what are some challenges facing producers, really informs my ability to advocate for continuation of programs that are working great, and adjustments and changes to programs that really could be improved upon,” Spanberger said.

This was Spanberger’s first trip to Madison County since the 7th District was redrawn.

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