Political Endorsements

While Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC issues endorsements in state races, it does not endorse congressional candidates during federal election years. Instead, Virginia Farm Bureau sends a questionnaire to all candidates with questions regarding federal agriculture issues. Below are the responses received from the candidates.



Candidate Q&A

*Incumbent candidate

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Mark Warner*
markwarnerva.com

No Response

Daniel Gade
gadeforvirginia.com

No Response


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Mark Warner*

No Response

Daniel Gade

No Response


Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Rob Wittman*
Robwittman.com

I have been honored to serve the 1st District in Congress, and it would be my privilege to continue advocating and delivering results to farmers and rural communities. I grew up working on my parents’ farm in Westmoreland County. The contributions farmers make to Virginia and our nation are deeply ingrained in me, and I will do all I can to keep farming as a critical and vibrant part of the 1st District economy.

Qasim Rashid
rashidforva.com

I’m a proud immigrant and a devoted father and husband. As a human rights lawyer who has dedicated my life to supporting women who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence as well as serving children from vulnerable communities, I’m running to transform my advocacy into policy for the working families of Virginia’s 1st District. I understand the law and how our government works, and how in recent years it’s been failing to work. Too many laws written by Washington lobbyists decades ago do not reflect the needs and realities of Virginians today. I am running for Congress to protect the American dream, to pass the dream on to our children, and to open the dream up to those from whom it has been withheld.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Rob Wittman*

Provide for a strong national defense and to keep Americans safe while continuing to improve veteran care.

Support rural communities with rural broadband expansion, improved infrastructure and accessible healthcare.

Ensure our nation’s economy leads the world and that small businesses are able to thrive by lowering taxes, reducing burdensome regulations and reforming the education system to provide low-debt career and technical education options to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century.

Qasim Rashid

On top of the health and economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, folks in Virginia are struggling with quality of life. We need access to quality healthcare, access to high-speed broadband internet. We need to address increasing income inequality, fix the lack of a living wage, and ensure truly equal protection under the law. We also must take emergency action to address the existential threat of climate change. These three issues are all interrelated. Ultimately what it comes down to is that we have to put people first. America must stand for human dignity and do so with urgency.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Rob Wittman*

My leadership on the issue of rural broadband dates back more than 20 years, and in Congress, I’ve led key initiatives to expand broadband access through programs such as the First District Broadband Task Force and as co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus.

I introduced the bipartisan Serving Rural America Act, which creates a pilot grant program at the FCC to expand broadband to unserved parts of the country by authorizing $100 million a year for the next 5 years.

As co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I authored and led a bipartisan appropriations request for robust funding for rural broadband.

I will continue to work with state and federal officials, local stakeholders, internet service providers and communities to improve mapping, coverage and funding to expand internet access.

Qasim Rashid

I recently released a detailed high-speed broadband plan. You can read it here: https://rashidforva.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Rashid-for-Congress-Last-Mile-Broadband-Plan.pdf.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Rob Wittman*

Tariffs and retaliatory trade practices are harmful to farmers and many Virginia businesses and are not helpful in promoting free and fair trade. Trade assistance may offer temporary relief for some farmers, but strong new trade agreements that expand access for Virginia farmers and producers around the world is the help the farm economy needs to grow.

I was proud to support the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, at the end of last year. Ratifying this agreement was absolutely critical to the 1st District and the entire commonwealth. By increasing duty-free access of the world-class agricultural products from the commonwealth and improving outdated policies will significantly benefit Virginians.

Qasim Rashid

The best way to protect agricultural goods is not to pick unnecessary fights, and to instead negotiate and enforce trade agreements that respect and protect our farmers. We must remember that no mistake is an abstract concept. When any level of government fails, real people get hurt, and people are always more important than any public official.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Rob Wittman*

Congress has passed three phases of legislation so far to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, and I supported this legislation to help businesses, individuals and our economy, setting our commonwealth and nation up for success not only in the short term but the long term as well. I was proud to support the CARES Act. I wrote to the president and congressional leadership several times on behalf of those economically impacted by the coronavirus urging bipartisan solutions to these nonpartisan issues, including expanding broadband.

I support the ongoing work by USDA, including the creation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). I also supported the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), which has served as another lifeline for agricultural producers. I look forward to continue working in Congress to provide additional resources for recovery for farmers and rural America.

Qasim Rashid

We need a robust posture on healthcare, with the scaling up of testing being of utmost importance. It is wide-scale testing that will effectively restart the economy, short of a COVID-19 vaccine.

By using testing scientifically, we can effectively trace the spread of the virus to kill off transmission lines. We must protect medical professionals and patients, ensure that essential supply chains continue to flow, and ensure that workers and small businesses are protected.

We also must support workers on the frontline of this crisis, in hospitals and grocery stores and warehouses all across America. They need a living wage, hazard pay, and paid sick time off. They need personal protective equipment. They need the federal government to do its job.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Rob Wittman*

I supported and voted in favor of the most recent farm bill. Food security is national security. This bill keeps family farmers and foresters that live right here in the 1st District in mind by providing them certainty and stability as they continue to provide food and fiber to markets across the world. Agriculture and forestry are the most important economies in the commonwealth, employing over 442,000. This farm bill provides solid support for our rural economies and provides low-cost foods to consumers.

The agriculture and forestry economy continues to face multiple challenges. The next farm bill must continue to support producers better manage risk with crop insurance, promotes food security and a strong farm economy while continuing to include important provisions that expand rural broadband access.

Qasim Rashid

I believe that the most helpful parts of the most recent farm bill were that it increased protections for Virginia agricultural products, increased protections to prevent animal abuse, and legalized industrial hemp production. In the next Farm Bill, I would like to see language preventing the White House from cutting food stamps without congressional approval.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Rob Wittman*

Illegal immigration is a serious threat to our national security, and additional significant steps must be taken to secure our borders. However, legal immigration and provisions to ensure temporary and seasonal guest workers are important to business, agriculture and local economies. I support efforts that strengthen, improve and ensure a workable guest worker program. We must take the necessary steps to deter people from coming to our country illegally by: requiring employers to utilize the E-Verify system to confirm that all future hires are eligible to work in the United States; ending chain migration by eliminating extended family visa categories that allow U.S. citizens to sponsor extended, non-nuclear family members; and replacing the visa-lottery system that grants green cards through a random lottery with no regard to work experience or educational background, with a merit-based system instead.

Qasim Rashid

We need to pass comprehensive worker protections. I would support federal legislation that guarantees a living wage including mandated double pay for overtime. We need to protect workers from discrimination and end right-to-work laws. We must also protect the right to organize the workplace. I would support requiring employers to document hours worked and pay received for each worker, and apply strict penalties for wage theft, including failure to pay overtime when earned. This is a human rights issue. As a human rights lawyer, I take it very seriously.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Elaine Luria*
elaineforcongress.com

As a 20-year Navy veteran, I see serving in Congress as a continuation of my career of public service. If re-elected, I will continue to work on behalf of the many farmers in my district and aid our regional economy as we rebuild in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott Taylor
scotttaylor2020.com

No Response

David Foster
davidfoster
4congress.com

No Response


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Elaine Luria*

  1. Rebuild our economy by investing in infrastructure and empowering Coastal Virginia’s small businesses and agricultural industries.
  2. Expand access to quality, affordable healthcare.
  3. Ensure that our veterans, service members and their families get the benefits they have earned.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Elaine Luria*

Internet access is no longer a luxury, but a crucial piece of infrastructure that people depend on for their livelihoods. In Congress, I am working with lawmakers from both parties to ensure that rural Virginians have access to affordable, high-speed internet. I supported the INVEST Act, which would invest $100 billion in internet infrastructure to serve rural areas. I also played a significant role in securing $1 billion for rural broadband funding in the House-passed fiscal year 2021 agriculture appropriations bill. This is critical for farmers on the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach to remain competitive.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Elaine Luria*

I supported USMCA for many reasons, especially the potential to open new markets to Virginia’s farmers. Our farmers cannot be caught in the crosshairs of trade wars with other countries like China. As the U.S. trade representative negotiates future trade agreements, they must ensure that protecting our agriculture exporters is a priority.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Elaine Luria*

As the COVID-19 pandemic created a public health crisis and caused an economic downturn, I knew the only way to get relief to the American people was to work with my colleagues across the aisle. I was proud to vote for the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act and the CARES Act. Both of these crucial bills provided economic relief to American families and small businesses and made investments in our public health infrastructure to strengthen support for state coronavirus responses. Farmers are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES Act also created the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will deliver up to $16 billion in relief to farmers impacted by the pandemic and who faced 5% or more in price declines. I also wrote several letters to the USDA, including one that expressed my concern that the Farmers to Families Food Box Program was not fairly distributed to Virginians. In addition, I support proposals to help farmers transition their business models from distributing to restaurants and wholesalers to grocery stores and direct to consumers.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Elaine Luria*

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized additional funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which helps agricultural producers meet regulatory requirements. This program is important for Virginia’s farmers because much of our agriculture industry relies on the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Helping farmers implement practices that will ensure the long-term recovery of the Chesapeake Bay will help support agritourism and promote future food production in the region. I also strongly supported the rural development programs authorized in the Farm Bill, which will help develop broadband, water infrastructure and support for rural small businesses. In the next farm bill, I hope to see stronger support for aquaculture producers, as Virginia leads the nation in aquaculture.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Elaine Luria*

While I believe comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to help grow the agricultural labor workforce, I also support policies to modernize the H-2A visa program, improving the current system. I voted for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would help alleviate farm labor shortages by freezing the Adverse Effect Wage Rate and banning increases of more than 3.25% each year. The bill also would create a pathway to citizenship for migrant farm workers, which would help agricultural employers hire local employees.

Scott Taylor

No Response

David Foster

No Response

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Bobby Scott*
bobbyscottforcongress.com

No Response

John Collick
collickforcongress.com

No Response


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Bobby Scott*

No Response

John Collick

No Response

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Donald McEachin*
donaldmceachin.com

As a dedicated public servant of over 20 years, with every position I have held, at every level of government, I have been steadfast in my goal of bettering the lives of all of my constituents—not just certain groups or constituencies. I believe Congress has a responsibility to tackle difficult, pressing issues, and I want to keep fighting for progress. As in years past, if reelected, I will continue to serve my constituents faithfully and work toward a better future—not only for those residing in the 4th Congressional District but for all Virginians and all Americans.

Leon Benjamin
benjamin4congress.com

I am running for Congress because I was tired of seeing our communities in the 4th District ignored by career politicians in Washington. I knew it was time to step up to offer an option of true representation for the citizens of the 4th District.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Donald McEachin*

While we face many challenges as a nation, especially now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Congress has the responsibility to address all of those challenges, no issue is more important than tackling the climate crisis and addressing environmental injustice. Every day, we are witnessing the impacts of climate inaction: hotter seasons, increased sea levels and harsher natural disasters—many of which directly hurt farmers.

I am also focused on creating economic opportunity, security and high-quality jobs; addressing the digital divide; and ensuring all Americans enjoy equal protection under the law regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

Leon Benjamin

Spurring economic growth across the district and providing our forgotten communities with a hand-up through economic opportunity zones. Returning the importance of family and community in our children’s education. Education funding should follow the child, and parents should have the option to send their children to the school that best fits that child’s needs, not limit them to the ZIP code they live in. Protect citizens’ constitutional rights and focus on the needs of the district rather than pursue a national agenda that does not benefit my constituents.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Donald McEachin*

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am fighting to ensure universal access to high-speed internet. I believe that the first step to expanding broadband access in rural and underserved communities is to better understand where service exists and where it does not exist. Historically, our broadband coverage maps have been terribly inaccurate and imprecise. I introduced H.R. 4227, the Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act, or MAPS Act, legislation that would enact stricter penalties for service providers who willingly, knowingly or recklessly provide inaccurate information to the FCC. This bill was included in a larger piece of bipartisan legislation changing how the FCC collects and reports out coverage data, and was enacted into law. More accurate maps will lead to more efficient and effective allocations of federal and state resources toward solving this important issue.

I am also fighting for more funding for connectivity investment. For instance, I support providing our local electric co-ops and internet service providers with support to help lay last-mile infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities.

Leon Benjamin

The need to ensure access to fast and reliable internet access is too great to rely on the government alone. Our governments must set up public-private partnerships to fund the immense cost of building out internet access across the 4th District.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Donald McEachin*

Trade wars serve no one’s interest, and the best way to protect agricultural goods is to avoid the kind of actions that precipitate such conflicts in the first place. While narrowly tailored, thoughtful tariffs can be useful in preventing unfair practices,they are a blunt instrument and ultimately harm both countries’ consumers. They should be used as a tool of last resort.

I understand that current trade disputes have devastated growers and producers in my district. My goal, in any ongoing negotiations, is to reverse those harms while continuing to make progress on unfair dumping, forced technology transfers, inequitable labor practices and similar harmful trade practices—all while avoiding a full-blown trade war. As we pursue important goals, we cannot let farmers’ interests be held hostage—we cannot solve the economic problems of technology companies, for example, at the direct, uncompensated expense of soybean growers.

Leon Benjamin

  1. Trade tariffs are necessary only if countries are not willing to lower their tariffs or trade fees against our exports.
  2. Things that can be done to protect our agricultural goods from unfair trade practices are to put policy and guidelines in place, set oversight that reports unfair practices, and hold legislators, countries and organizations accountable.
  3. Agricultural goods can be protected from trade wars by keeping America first. We must protect the livelihoods of our citizens first.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Donald McEachin*

To begin to address the economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus, I have fought and voted for numerous pieces of COVID-19-related legislation, including the landmark Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act relief package. I am also proud to support the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (Heroes), which would provide trillions of dollars to help support the American economy (and provide relief to America’s farmers). I do not believe that the president’s recent executive actions are an adequate substitute for congressional appropriations, and I continue to strongly support immediate passage of a robust Phase IV recovery bill that draws heavily on the provisions in the Heroes Act.

Moving forward, I believe that Congress must work to ensure that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are received by more small businesses, including farmers and producers. I also support increased funding to the USDA.

Leon Benjamin

  1. I believe that as we became aware of COVID-19, stopping travel from China was paramount as our president did. Then as our administration did by taking the necessary steps to protect Americans in every city, I would have done as well. Now that we know more about this virus, we should look to make sure Americans are safe and productive. We cannot make the cure worse than the virus.
  2. We must understand the heartbeat of our nation is the hard American workers that secure its ability to build, grow and distribute the supply for consumption and service. Let’s empower our workers to produce again and call on our allies in our time of need.
  3. I believe the federal government plays a limited role in preserving farmers’ and consumers’ access to markets. However, that role is necessary to ensure safety, protection and access to much-needed resources to give our farmers confidence to accomplish their vision to feed America.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Donald McEachin*

I voted in favor of the last farm bill. I will continue to support legislation that helps Virginia’s farmers, including prioritizing voluntary conservation programs that promote soil health, safe water supplies and improved water quality.

I would like to see, and will push for, an increase in funding for rural broadband—because as much as farmers are already being hurt by the digital divide, those challenges are only going to grow as technology improves. As we move forward with 5G technologies, the benefits could dramatically increase crop yields while reducing costs, effort and time. Precision agriculture is the future, and I think the U.S. is well-positioned to take a leading role internationally, but only if we are able to deliver the necessary connectivity.

Leon Benjamin

  1. The most critical aspects of the recent farm bill provided infrastructure for our farmers to get access to grants and resources. How to keep and maintain farmers markets was also important.
  2. I would like to see in the next bill how farmers can be part of new innovation and creation of new inventions to improve farming practices.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Donald McEachin*

In the broader context of comprehensive immigration reform, which I support, I also support continued use of tools like the H-2A visa program to ensure farmers have the ability to find the workers they need. I strongly oppose this administration’s efforts to reduce legal immigration, which reduces farmers’ access to critical labor.

I would also note that in this moment of closed borders and restricted travel, the current pandemic poses a potentially existential threat to any industry that relies on guest workers or immigrants. COVID-19 has exacerbated farmers’ unusual labor challenges, and one of the best things we can do to solve that immediate issue is to work aggressively to control the pandemic. For instance, by enacting the type of robust Phase IV relief package that I mentioned above.

Leon Benjamin

Instead of depending on foreign workers to help maintain production, we must begin to re-educate a new generation on farming and give credence to the need for this much-needed industry. Farming is here to stay! Let’s find ways to pass the legacy to future generations.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Bob Good
bobgoodforcongress.com

America is the greatest country on earth, and we are blessed to live in this land of freedom and prosperity. I am running to preserve the foundations which have made America great and ensure continued freedom and prosperity for future generations. Those foundations would include our commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law, the value and sanctity of life, the importance of faith and family, the importance and reward of hard work and self-reliance, and the principles of free-market capitalism.

Cameron Webb
drcameronwebb.com

No Response


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Bob Good

  1. Fighting for limited government and reduced spending, and attacking the federal deficit to ensure our fiscal survival.
  2. Supporting businesses and job creators through lower taxes and reduced regulations to facilitate economic growth.
  3. Continuing President Trump’s America-first policies such as energy independence, fair trade and reduced global dependency to ensure our economic and national security.

Cameron Webb

No Response


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Bob Good

Broadband is essential to education, business, development and general connectivity required for normal life activities (medicine, healthcare, employment, information, communication). Public investment is required because costs are prohibitive, and the profit incentive is inadequate for private providers. I am proud of the progress during my time on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors, as I was able to help a neighborhood in my district achieve connectivity through a partnership between residents and a private provider. We also progressed toward service to other underserved areas of the county through solicitation of proposals from private providers combined with county investment. I support President Trump’s inclusion of rural broadband in his $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program.

Cameron Webb

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Bob Good

Free trade should be the goal for U.S. policy, consistent with our free-market capitalist principles and to provide the greatest opportunity for American businesses, farmers and consumers to prosper. Free, fair and open trade is important to the U.S. economy and our allies around the world. The USMCA and the U.S.-Japan trade agreement are examples of the kind of relationships that should be pursued. Any tariffs that are implemented by the U.S. should be temporary and targeted only to achieve fair trade so that free trade can be established over the long-term in the best interest of American consumers, businesses and farmers.

Cameron Webb

No Response


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Bob Good

The federal relief packages should have been smaller and targeted toward individuals affected by the pandemic, rather than sending $1,200 checks based on the previous year’s income. The enhanced $600 weekly unemployment subsidy served to incentivize not working, caused incomes to actually rise for many, and resulted in employers competing with government for workers. This was further complicated by employers having to utilize 75% of PPP funds for payroll, when it was difficult to bring workers back. We need greater competition in processing, manufacturing and distribution of our food supply, and to combat the recent trends in consolidation. This will bring fairer pricing, higher quality, incentives to innovate and more stability in the food supply. Fewer large suppliers creates too much risk if failure occurs, and more oversight is needed regarding the risk and impact of mergers and consolidation in the industry.

Cameron Webb

No Response


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Bob Good

The Food Stamp program should be separated from the Farm Bill, so that these issues can be considered independently on their own merits, making reforms easier to achieve. Farm policy should be focused on benefitting all Americans, including farmers. Farm policy should be modernized with greater efforts to support small family farms versus large corporate farms. The farm industry should pay a greater percentage of the cost of crop insurance, instead of the majority of the cost being born by taxpayers. “Navigable waters” should be clearly defined in the Clean Water Act, so that all “bodies” of water aren’t regulated by the federal government, and greater property rights can be enjoyed by farmers.

Cameron Webb

No Response


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Bob Good

Free-market capitalism is the best method to provide the greatest opportunity for the majority of Americans to prosper. Immigration and economic policies should help protect American jobs for American workers and facilitate reasonable steady wage growth in times of economic prosperity. Right-to-work laws should be maintained and expanded throughout the U.S., and efforts should be made to increase opportunities for youth workers to safely work on farms. We must also improve the image of blue-collar jobs and efforts to grow skilled labor training among high school and younger workers. Farmers should be able to form associations that permit them to negotiate better quality and lower cost healthcare plans, similar to those available to large employers.

Cameron Webb

No Response

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Ben Cline*
bencline.com

I am seeking re-election to the House of Representatives to provide effective and responsive representation which reflects the values of the citizens of the 6th District, and offers reassurance to my constituents that they have a voice in Washington.

Nicholas Betts
bettsforcongress.com

I've always been interested in public service. I want to fight for policies that help everyday hard-working Americans.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Ben Cline*

  1. Providing effective, responsive and transparent representation. I have done this in my first term by passing more legislation than any freshman Republican congressman, resolving thousands of constituent casework issues, and holding over 25 public town halls, including at least one in each locality in the district.
  2. Expanding individual liberty by reducing the size of government. By ceding its authority to un-elected federal bureaucracies and passing mountains of cumbersome and convoluted legislation, Congress has made government less responsive to the people.
  3. Ending corruption and the undue influence of special interests by enacting transparency and reform measures. To accomplish this, I have sponsored legislation to make government spending data more accessible to the public and impose stricter disclosure rules for lobbyists.

Nicholas Betts

  1. Expand access to affordable health care.
  2. Create policies that expand early childhood education to increase federal funding for K-12 education, and reduce the cost of higher education.
  3. Implement policies that protect the environment and encourage the development of clean green renewable energy resources.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Ben Cline*

The Connect America Fund’s grants provide support to ISPs in underserved localities to build out rural broadband infrastructure. However, millions of dollars in this fund go unclaimed. This program can be enhanced in a number of ways. By improving the accuracy of the FCC’s internet availability map, we will be better equipped to distribute funds more efficiently. Since larger ISPs are, for the most part, not stepping up to accept these grants and provide connectivity to rural America, the regulations placed on recipients should be more accommodating to the smaller utility co-ops, WISPs, and satellite companies who are taking the lead in rural areas.

Nicholas Betts

The federal government should work with states and localities to increase broadband infrastructure throughout the U.S. because the internet is a crucial resource.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Ben Cline*

Free and fair trade is the best policy for not just agriculture, but all American industries. However, trade deals must be equitable. If American goods are subject to disadvantages in foreign markets which foreign products are not subject to here, deals need to be renegotiated. If an impasse is reached, tariffs should be a last resort and intended as a tool to reach a fair trade deal.

Nicholas Betts

Tariffs often cause other countries to respond with tariffs and trade restrictions of their own. Therefore, I believe the use of tariffs should be limited because they often stifle productivity and economic growth. I believe the use of tariffs should be limited to instances when other countries implement policies that limit the ability of American goods to enter their markets.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Ben Cline*

In response to COVID-19, Congress quickly allocated $8.3 billion in emergency funding to bolster public health agencies in preparation for response efforts. Additionally, to alleviate the financial strain of government-imposed restrictions on business activity, I supported the Payroll Protection Program, which provided grants and loans to help keep employees on the payroll as well as economic relief payments, which provided direct assistance to individuals to cover their living expenses.

To address the food supply shortage, PPP assistance has kept producers and processors in operation during the crisis. Additionally, the USDA has begun purchasing surplus commodities to stock rural food banks. To help reopen America, I support legislation that would provide increased liability protection to businesses, including those in the agricultural sector. These policy changes would make it easier for large producers and processors to allow their employees to return to work and begin contributing to the food supply at increased rates.

Nicholas Betts

The economic policies implemented were disproportionately focused on bailing out big corporations and wealthy individuals. We need policies that help people economically affected by the pandemic. Due to supply chain issues, farmers had a surplus and they were unable to sell while many Americans were unable to put food on the table. In times like these, the federal government should step in and purchase surplus food from farmers and distribute it to Americans in need.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Ben Cline*

The 2018 Farm Bill made refinements to the farm safety net, including strengthening the federal crop insurance program to continue to give agricultural producers the peace of mind that they need in tough times. Additionally, the bill improved upon conservation policy, giving farmers more manageable goals regarding environmental stewardship. In the next farm bill, I would like to see continued refinement of conservation policy to ensure that policy is targeted to achieve real results while not unduly tying the hands of farmers. Additionally, improvements should be made to infrastructure investment priorities, including more efficient and effective distribution of funding for rural broadband access.

Nicholas Betts

I believe the continuation of the farm and nutrition policy was a critical aspect of the 2018 Farm Bill. We need to increase funding for the SNAP program as food security was greatly affected by the economic fallout resulting from COVID.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Ben Cline*

The 6th District is home to a variety of operations at all levels of the food supply chain, which rely on foreign workers. I have supported and continue to support visa policies which meet the labor demands of the agriculture industries as well as funding for programs to educate and train domestic workers to participate in the labor force.

Nicholas Betts

The federal government should invest in farmers by expanding grants to small farmers as well as offering tax relief. This will allow farmers to increase wages in an effort to encourage more domestic workers.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Abigail Spanberger*
abigailspanberger.com

I’m proud to represent Virginia’s 7th District in the U.S. House. Specifically, when it comes to representing our farmers, agribusinesses and rural communities, I’ve been proud to serve the people of our district on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee — and I look forward to continuing this important work into the future.

Nick Freitas
nickforva.com

I am running for Congress because we need leadership in the 7th District that will work to decrease the tax and regulatory burden that the government puts on Central Virginians and shift the balance of power from Washington D.C. back to the states and communities that are able to make better decisions.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Abigail Spanberger*

My priorities include addressing the cost of health care, including lowering the cost of prescription drugs, expanding high-speed broadband internet access and restoring trust in government through campaign finance and good governance policies.

Nick Freitas

Cutting taxes and keeping more money in the hands of Americans, cutting burdensome regulations that hurt businesses, and expanding educational opportunities with a focus on trade schools/programs.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Abigail Spanberger*

I have successfully worked to protect ReConnect funding from elimination, advocated for loosening regulations on the FCC’s E-Rate Program, and led and passed legislation in the U.S. House to improve the FCC’s outdated internet connectivity maps. I have also introduced bipartisan legislation recognizing the need to maintain telehealth access for rural families, and I led the 2019 Rural Broadband Summit in Louisa County with USDA and NTIA experts. (Or is it USDA, NTIA and other experts?)

Nick Freitas

Remove regulatory and tax burdens that make it more difficult and costly to deliver internet service to rural parts of Virginia.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Abigail Spanberger*

I have heard firsthand from Central Virginia farmers, specifically soybean growers, about how the trade war has jeopardized relationships with buyers and created market uncertainty. I was a vocal advocate for USMCA because of its direct, positive impact on Virginia’s economy, and I joined a bipartisan group that met with the vice president to discuss its passage. Though the partial trade agreement with China was a positive step, we need a strategy to regain market access.

Nick Freitas

  1. Tariffs should only be used in the most extreme circumstances as they represent a tax on American producers and consumers that lead to retaliatory tariffs that can hurt core American industries such as our agricultural industries.
  2. Opening up new markets for American agricultural goods so that our products can be sold in as many places as possible.
  3. Similar to #2, our government needs to open up as many new markets for American agricultural goods as possible to help protect our producers.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Abigail Spanberger*

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have focused on addressing how USDA can improve its distribution of surplus produce to food banks in need. Additionally, I have focused on providing PPE to frontline workers, cutting red tape for small businesses, and making the PPP program’s restrictions more favorable to smaller lenders, on whom many crop and livestock producers depend. I have also been vocal in strengthening support for our nursing homes, including in rural areas.

Nick Freitas

  1. During a health crisis of this magnitude, the primary function of the federal government is to contain spread from international travel and to allocate federal resources to hot spots should the medical system become overwhelmed.
  2. From an economic standpoint, it is important the federal government not attempt to micromanage the economy. Entrepreneurs need to be allowed to adapt to changing circumstances.
  3. To ensure the safety of the supply chain, the federal government's primary responsibility is to protect infrastructure within its jurisdiction. The government should also revaluate and remove taxes and regulations, which make it more difficult to compete with foreign competition on the production of goods and services essential during a crisis.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Abigail Spanberger*

Programs that provide price stability during market volatility - such as the new Dairy Margin Coverage program - have proven to be critical during COVID-19. Also, as chair of the Conservation Subcommittee, I have repeatedly heard about the value of conservation technical assistance as an important resource for farmers looking to implement new practices. In the next Farm Bill, we will need to ensure that these and other important programs are protected from deficit-driven budget cuts.

Nick Freitas

The legalization of industrial hemp was an important and very substantive change in the last few farm bills. Removal of onerous restrictions is the best way to sustain, advance and encourage our labor force and our students toward the agricultural industry.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Abigail Spanberger*

I was an original cosponsor of the “Farm Workforce Modernization Act,” because I know the existing H-2A program is not working for Virginia’s farmowners or workers. This bill takes the important steps of creating a year-round guest worker program and simplifying the process for agribusinesses. I believe the next step to address the labor shortage is to identify any further reforms this bill needs in order for it to move forward and become law.

Nick Freitas

Remove perverse incentives within our public assistance programs, which make it less lucrative to work and encourages long-term dependency over productive labor. We should also encourage more apprenticeship programs within our educational programs to expose students to the agricultural industry. I also support merit-based immigration determined in part by the economic requirements of the country.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Don Beyer, Jr.*
friendsofdonbeyer.com

No Response

Jeff Jordan
jeffjordanforcongress.com

No Response


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Don Beyer, Jr.*

No Response

Jeff Jordan

No Response

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Morgan Griffith*
morgangriffithforcongress.com

I want to remain serving the people of the 9th Congressional District. I hope to continue to fight against laws and regulations that hurt Virginia agriculture, such as the Obama-era Waters of the USA regulations. I also plan to continue the abandoned mine land pilot project, expand broadband and multiple connectivity alternatives, and continue seeking innovations to expand the economy of the 9th District.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Morgan Griffith*

  1. I hope as a candidate, despite COVID-19, to hear the viewpoints of the constituents in the 9th District.
  2. Continue to provide the people of the 9th District excellent constituent service and continue to represent the viewpoints of those constituents in Washington, D.C.
  3. To do so, I want to win re-election to ensure pro-agricultural policies are supported in Congress. Agriculture comprises a significant portion of the economy of Southwest Virginia and, over the decades, has been the most stable industry in the district.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Morgan Griffith*

Continuing to seek federal funding for new broadband expansion projects. Laying new fiber is important. Also important are new technologies, such as white space technology, and low-orbit satellite services from companies such as Amazon and SpaceX. Amazon has told me they have an estimated completed deployment date of late 2022. Low orbit satellite technology will provide good service to anyone not blocked by an overhanging mountain.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Morgan Griffith*

Tariffs can be important in the protection of fair trade, and they are important to keep as a tool. Too many other nations take advantage of the United States. But we must also keep the economy free enough to prevent unwanted consequences. The government, as well as organizations like the Virginia Farm Bureau, must be vigilant to ensure agriculture is not held hostage as part of foreign fair-trade negotiations.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Morgan Griffith*

I voted for the CARES Act in March and believe that additional federal responses are likely to be necessary. As the coronavirus situation continues, I will constantly review necessary actions to continue a stable supply chain of food and agricultural goods to the American consumer.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Morgan Griffith*

There were many good things in the last Farm Bill, including crop Insurance and hemp classification as an agricultural product if it has extremely low THC. In the next Farm Bill, I would like to see SNAP reform including work requirements for able-bodied recipients who do not have responsibilities for invalids or very young children, and additional agriculture research led by land grant universities.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Morgan Griffith*

We need more visas for those who want to continue to do temporary agricultural work and those who should be in a Returning Worker Program. Those eligible to be in a Returning Worker Program have proven to be reliable and beneficial to the U.S. economy. They should not have to go through the complete process those applying for the first time must.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Jennifer Wexton*
jenniferwexton.com

I am running for reelection because I want to continue my service to the families in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. Fighting for the unique needs of the small businesses and farms in our district, particularly as the COVID-19 crisis continues, has been a top priority for me, including as the founder of the bipartisan Congressional Agritourism Caucus.

Aliscia Andrews
andrewsforvirginia.com

I am running because this district matters, its people matter, and its businesses matter. The interests of this district have been pushed to the wayside in favor of party politics, and I intend to stop that and give voters their voice back.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Jennifer Wexton*

My main priority as a candidate is continuing to provide economic relief directly to my constituents and businesses in my district. I will also work to ensure that the health and health care access of families in Virginia-10 are protected and made more affordable, especially in this pandemic.

We must also build for a full and strong economic recovery that allows for continued economic success in our district. Improving our infrastructure, including rural broadband, investing in our education and jobs training programs and supporting our local agritourism industry will allow our farm and agriculture businesses to continue to thrive here in Virginia-10.

Aliscia Andrews

My top three priorities are keeping Northern Virginians and their families safe, getting our district back to school and work safely, and ending human trafficking.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Jennifer Wexton*

Since establishing the Agritourism Caucus, I have heard from farmers and small business owners throughout my district on the dire need for broadband access. That’s why I have voted for legislation to invest in rural broadband and successfully offered an amendment to legislation that would force the FCC to properly track broadband access and not just focus on census tract access. I also voted to stop an FCC plan that would impose a cap on the Universal Service Fund, which is vital to broadband expansion.

Aliscia Andrews

I support the president’s proposal of nationwide broadband to ensure that everyone has access to the internet. For far too long, rural citizens have lacked proper internet, putting them at an immediate disadvantage to those living in more urban areas.


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Jennifer Wexton*

Tariffs can be a useful tool, but when our government implements them, they must do it in a targeted way that does not adversely affect hard-working farmers. I do not support the blunt and ineffective implementation of tariffs, as we have seen recently, that resulted in the apple growers, farmers and distilleries in my district being negatively impacted by retaliatory tariffs and loss of export market share.

During recent trade negotiations, I was proud to stand up for our farmers and workers by voting for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Aliscia Andrews

American farmers should never bear the brunt of a trade war. While tariffs play an important role in trade negotiations, free trade should always be the end game. Farmers should receive tax credits, and possibly subsidies, when necessary, to offset revenue lost due to trade war-imposed tariffs.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Jennifer Wexton*

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have written letters of support for small businesses in my district, including many agricultural businesses who successfully received both PPP and EIDL loans. In Congress, I voted for the CARES Act, which included $9.5 billion to assist agriculture producers impacted by COVID-19. I also voted for the HEROES Act, which would provide $50 million in additional funding to support local farmers, farmers markets and other local food outlets impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Additionally, I have supported the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) program and wrote to the USDA requesting they include the apple growers in my district in that program. Finally, I have held numerous virtual town hall meetings and roundtables to keep my constituents informed about pandemic response and resources.

Aliscia Andrews

I believe, first and foremost, we need to protect our workers and ensure we have proper practices in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 among them. Because farms are so labor-intensive, having a workforce running rampant with the disease will only further inhibit production. Whether that means improving sanitation standards or implementing testing protocols and daily screenings, labor is crucial to making sure our farms can continue production.

I also believe COVID-19 displayed how over-regulation in the food industry can be harmful. Regulations preventing meat labeled for restaurant use from going directly to consumers created a nationwide meat shortage, while meat was going bad in the back of trucks.


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Jennifer Wexton*

There are many things that the 2018 Farm Bill did to help farmers in Virginia-10. It helped retain agriculture jobs, invested in research and conservation programs, secured our domestic food supply and protected other farm programs. In the next Farm Bill, I would like the USDA to establish an office or program that focuses on agritourism businesses and allows these farmers to share best practices, support one another and raise awareness for the industry.

Aliscia Andrews

The most critical aspect of the Farm Bill was legalizing and defining hemp as an agricultural commodity. Additionally, Virginia’s inclusion in the AgriLogic Consulting pilot program. Virginia has a long history with industrial hemp, and the state’s inclusion in this program will help protect farmers and their crops in the event of a natural disaster. I would like to see a continuation of pilot programs to help farmers diversify their crops.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Jennifer Wexton*

During the time I have spent visiting nearly 40 different farms and agricultural businesses in my district, I constantly heard from farmers and agritourism businesses of the difficulties they have encountered in finding labor. From the apple growers in the western part of my district to the vineyards in Loudoun County, there is universal support that Congress must do more to help. That’s why I voted for the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 in December of last year to create more flexibility in and reform the program.

Aliscia Andrews

Congress needs to pass immigration reform to solve the current experienced workforce while creating a flexible guest worker program to help fill the gaps. A failure to have sufficient workers creates challenges in maintaining domestic food production.

Please tell us briefly why you are seeking this position.


Gerry Conolly*
gerryconnolly.com

No Response

Manga Anantamula
mangaforcongress.com

The career politicians never work in the favor of people. Time to send them home. Connolly is a career politician and passed zero bills in 12 years. To improve the economy, reduce taxes for small businesses. Give first $100,000 tax break for small businesses/startup businesses to sustain and grow.


What are your three main priorities as a candidate?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

Defend our constitutional rights. Defend the police. Provide school choice. Resolve transportation issues. Fix the broken immigration policy with a bipartisan approach. Clean up MS13 gangs and human trafficking in District 11.


From precision agriculture to regulatory agencies requiring online filing to marketing products online, the agriculture industry is becoming increasingly reliant on web-based technology. What can be done to ensure rural Virginians have equitable access to the internet, in order to stay competitive and comply with laws and regulations?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

No Response


Are trade tariffs an important tool to ensure fair trade? What can be done to help protect agricultural goods from unfair trade practices? With ongoing negotiations, how can agriculture goods be protected from a trade war?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

It's only fair to levy tariffs on trade, including agricultural products. When I become a congresswoman, I will establish a farmers cooperative where we can remove the middleman and allow the farmers to yield more profits. Directly buy from the farmers.


If you are an incumbent, how did you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to both protecting human health and the economy? If you are a challenger, how would you have responded? How do you suggest addressing the food supply issues that were created because of the pandemic? Is federal action needed to preserve farmers and consumers access to markets?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

N/A


What were the most critical aspects of the most recent Farm Bill that you believe helped Virginia farmers? What would you like to see in the next Farm Bill?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

I have not read the Farm Bill. But I believe in helping and aiding the farmers and promoting and encouraging the local farmers and giving tax breaks and taking care of American farmers before importing produce is the important aspect that I will seek to support and fight for.


Farmers are struggling to find domestic workers who are willing and able to provide the labor required by the agriculture industry. Therefore, farmers have to rely on foreign worker visas to fill these gaps and have escalated costs as a result. What can be done to resolve the critical labor shortage?


Gerry Conolly*

No Response

Manga Anantamula

We must create incentives for farm labor, besides fixing our broken immigration policies. The illegal aliens who are law-abiding citizens and have been in the U.S. for most of their lives, I, as a congresswoman, will legalize them to work in the U.S. and farmers will be able to hire from the surplus labor we will create. That will bring the prices down, and the availability of labor within the U.S. will increase for productive purposes.

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