Persistence Pays Plenty! Virginia is for ‘Food Freedom Lovers’.
Through grass roots efforts, the voices of the multitudes of farm and food freedom lovers has been heard. On Thursday, February 1, 2018, at least 100 Virginians showed up in force at the Richmond, Virginia General Assembly hearing to oppose SB962 Bill. A Bill sponsored by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26). Many that were not able to attend the hearing spoke up through phone, calls, emails, social media, and by word of mouth to spread through communities. The Farm and Food freedom advocacy group in Virginia VICFA ( Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association), has been working feverishly and diligently since 2001.
VICFA was started by a handful of individuals in central Virginia who were concerned about the over-regulation of small family farm sales direct to consumers. Consumers, (potential customers), were being denied their right to have fresh and wholesome foods from the farmers with whom they knew and had trusted. So VICFA was formed as a non profit corporation with the mission statement “To promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer to consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home produced food products”.
The bill, SB962 and what would have been on the docket for next week HB825, is an invasion of private property rights. The herd share agreement is a private contract between the farmer and the consumer giving the consumer an ownership interest in a dairy animal. Distribution of milk through a herd share contract is a private transaction which should not be subject to government regulation.
Here is the update from VICFA
SB 962- killed by 8/7 vote
HB 825 will be struck
Delegate Barry Knight will be striking HB 825 in the upcoming House Agricultural Subcommitte meeting scheduled for this coming Monday February 5, 2018.
This is posted on the agenda-
“PLEASE NOTE-At the request of the patron (Knight) HB 825 will be struck at this meeting. Any citizens interested in HB 825 (Herd Shares) need not attend the meeting.”
Yesterday Senate Bill 962, was heard by a packed house of 100+ citizens who filled the room beyond standing, spilling into the adjacent hall and beyond. In a joint effort, VICFA members, Weston A. Price members, FTCLDF members, herd share farmers, herd share holders, their families, and many others were there to speak against the bill.
Many had visited the General Assembly throughout the week talking with Senators and Delegates on SB 962 and HB 825. The phone lines were flooded and email inboxes were filled Virginians opposing the bill.
Because of the massive public outcry, SB 962 failed to pass and was killed by a narrow 8 to 7 vote..
NAYS–Ruff, Petersen, Stanley, Black, Chafin, Dance, Suetterlein, McClellan–8.
Voted to kill the bill
YEAS–Stuart, Hanger, Obenshain, Marsden, Ebbin, Lewis, Mason–7.
Voted to pass the bill
To see the recorded session, here is the link http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php…
(Start at the 45 min mark to go straight to SB 962)
We would like to thank all who called, emailed, shared, and came to the General Assembly to speak about these bills.
Please contact the Senators that voted to kill SB 962 to thank them for their support and please thank Delegate Barry D. Knight for striking HB 825,
for striking the bill…
Senator Phon Email
Richard H. Stuart (804) 698-7528
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Mark D. Obenshain
Frank M. Ruff, Jr.
J. Chapman Petersen
David W. Marsden
William M. Stanley, Jr.
Richard H. Black
Adam P. Ebbin
Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.
A. Benton “Ben” Chafin
Rosalyn R. Dance
David R. Suetterlein
T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason
Jennifer L. McClellan
Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources