Monday, February 10, 2014

SB 51: Agritourism

From Patricia Evans. That link to the Virginia Free Citizen should open a fairly long and informative article; if not, e-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo for a copy of Kate Miller's report. I've also added the link to Virginia Senate Bill #51:

" After House Bill 1430, The Boneta Bill was defeated last year, Senate Bill 51 was introduced because an agricultural working group developed a compromise. ( More on that below ) SB 51 which seeks to restrict local agritourism regulation passed the Senate this past week with a 32-7 vote. The measure has been referred to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. House Bill 268, a bill similar to SB 51 seeks to achieve the same effect. HB 268 passed the House two weeks ago with a 73-23 vote and has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

This compromise legislation came from:
The agricultural working group convened last summer by Commissioner Matt Lohr of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to address potential farm rights legislation. This meeting reinforced that county officials aspiring for more “local control” need controls on them – because some of them would not agree to reasonable measures to check their abuses of power.
The worst offenders in the state? Those opposing legislation to help protect farmers’ rights included    Larry Land of the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo),     Joe Lerch of the Virginia Municipal League,     Billy Vaughn of the Staunton Planning Commission,   Fauquier County BOS chairman Holder Trumbo...
AND  Pittsylvania Agriculture Director  Fred Wydner,

Sen. William Stanley, R-Moneta, says SB 51 would empower farmers.
“We want to make sure that we’re encouraging agritourism,” Stanley said, “that we’re encouraging the product of the small farmer to be brought to market on the farmer’s terms, rather than being the captive of a vendor.”

Read more / Bill Seeks to Restrict Local Agritourism Regulation

February 7, 2014  Virginia Free Citizen

By Kate Miller
Capital News Service
RICHMOND — An agritourism bill that would restrict local regulation of customary agricultural and farm activities has passed the Senate....
"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."  - Thomas Jefferson