Recent Accomplishments

Legislative Victories

The Council is recognized as one of the most effective lobbying organizations in the State. On your behalf, the Council was successful in advocating for you on a wide variety of legislative proposals this year.

Produce Safety Rule

  • Working with our producers who are impacted by these new federal requirements, we successfully gained passage of legislation that ensured that food safety inspections on these farms were conducted by VDACS versus a federal regulator.  

Overweight Permits For Hauling Virginia-Grown Farm Products

  • We worked with legislators and our partners to pass a law that authorizes the DMV to issue overweight permits for vehicles hauling Virginia-grown farm products from the point of origin to the first place of delivery. 
  • This legislation takes the current five axle gross truck weight from 84K pounds to 90K pounds across the commonwealth.

Small Agricultural Electric Generation Program

  • With increased interest in alternative energy generation (including solar), a new state law was passed that creates a program under which small agricultural generators may sell the electricity generated from a small agricultural generating facility to its utility. 
  • New program would apply to those who operate their renewable generation facility as part of an agricultural business and caps the capacity of the generation facility and the land utilized for the renewable generation. The agricultural generator could then “sell back” its renewable energy to a utility for a premium price during peak hours when the utilities are heavily utilized.

Increased Distance For Use of Farm-Use Vehicles

  • The Council worked with legislators to increase the distance from 50 to 75 miles for maximum travel distance when utilizing farm use tags. 
  • New law also provides that any law-enforcement officer may require any person claiming the farm use exemption to provide, upon request, the address of the farm or lands owned or leased by the vehicle's owner, or if such address is unavailable or unknown, the real property parcel identification number of such land.

Defeated State-Level Regulation of Above Ground Storage Tanks

  • A proposal to direct DEQ to regulate aboveground storage tanks that measure more than 5,000 gallons in capacity and are used to contain dangerous substances other than oil was quickly defeated in subcommittee after the Council testified to its negative impacts.

Defeated GMO Labeling at State level

  • We worked to defeat a bill that would have required certain products containing a genetically modified organism (GMO) to bear a label stating, "Congress prohibits states from requiring the on-package labeling of the GMO content of this product.", and required retail food stores to post notices and information sheets regarding bioengineered foods and to install digital scanners to read the matrix barcodes that certain packaged foods may use to provide information on GMO content.

For a complete list, including state budget related issues, click here.  

    November 2017

Virginia Agribusiness Council
(804) 643-3555; vac@va-agribusiness.org
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