A group of farmers are heading to Richmond to discuss issues affecting the agriculture industry with state lawmakers.
This is the second year the Virginia Young Farmers Committee from the Virginia Farm Bureau is meeting with legislators in Richmond.
“What they do in Richmond has effects back here on us,” said Casey Phillips, a Radford dairy farmer who serves as vice chair of the Virginia Young Farmers Committee.
Phillips is one of about ten to 15 farmers scheduled to meet with state officials, including the lieutenant governor. They plan to discuss topics like food safety, wages for workers and the governor’s budget, he said.
“We’re looking at about $7.6 million in the budget for things like agricultural best management practices,” Phillips said. “We need that to be at about $100 million.”
The group is set to meet with legislators from both rural and urban areas since agriculture reaches all parts of the commonwealth, Phillips explained.
“We’re just as important to the urban areas and people in the urban areas as we are to the rural community because we feed everybody,” he said.
Phillips said his group will continue to keep in touch with the lawmakers they meet.
“My hope [for] what we accomplish is that we remain to have a viable future in agriculture because it is the few of us that feed everyone,” he said.
The young farmers group leaves for Richmond on Saturday, Phillips said, and many of their meetings with lawmakers are planned for Monday.
The group is hoping to make this an annual trip, Phillips said.