On Arbor Day, Spanberger Hosts Horticulture Roundtable in Rapidan, Calls for Local Producers to Make their Voices Heard

Following a Tour of Battlefield Farms in Orange County, the Congresswoman Addressed Many Issues Facing Central Virginia Producers & Greenhouses

ORANGE, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today convened an Arbor Day roundtable discussion with local growers to discuss issues facing Central Virginia’s horticulture industry.

Before a tour of Battlefield Farms in Rapidan, Virginia, Spanberger met with local producers to discuss challenges related to the agricultural workforce—including the impact of immigration policy and areas of opportunity for career and technical training programs. Spanberger is Chair of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry—which is responsible for legislation related to resource management, soil health, forestry, and water quality.

“The horticulture industry is vitally important to the success of Central Virginia’s rural economy. But to keep it strong, we need to monitor the needs of our area’s greenhouses, support investment in rural infrastructure, and work to pursue smart policy to address the employment and hiring challenges they face,” said Spanberger. “Today, I met with local producers in Orange County and enjoyed our detailed conversation about their experiences as growers, employers, and business owners in our District. As their Representative in Congress, I’ll keep fighting to make sure their voices are heard and informing the policies I’m pursuing on their behalf.”

At today’s roundtable, Spanberger was joined by representatives from Battlefield Farms, American Color, Clearview Greenhouses, and AmericanHort.

Earlier this week, Spanberger participated in an Earth Day roundtable discussion with area environmental organizations to discuss regional issues related to conservation efforts in Virginia, the impacts of climate change, and sustainable agriculture.

Since arriving in Congress, Spanberger has heard directly from Central Virginia crop and livestock producers about the challenges they face— and has sought bipartisan fixes to these issues. Last month, Spanberger met with Central Virginia livestock producers in Amelia and heard about issues related to electronic logging device (ELD) rules. After hearing their concerns, Spanberger joined a bipartisan effort to delay implementation of ELDs for commercial vehicles transporting livestock.

Earlier this year, Spanberger participated in her first House Agriculture Committee hearing, where she asked U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue about priorities important to Central Virginia’s farm economy and rural communities—including expanding high-speed, reliable rural broadband internet access. She also invited Secretary Perdue to visit her district to hear directly from Central Virginia farmers and to receive their feedback on current USDA policies and 2018 Farm Bill implementation. He accepted her invitation. Click here for a full video of her remarks.

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