Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC

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Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC

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Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC FAQ

What is VFBF AgPAC?

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC is a nonpartisan political action committee that works to build relationships with elected officials and enhance their understanding of agricultural issues. AgPAC evaluates candidates running for the Virginia General Assembly for potential endorsement. AgPAC also evaluates the agriculture and forestry platforms of candidates running for the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General to potentially provide in-kind contributions to help promote these issues.

Who makes these endorsement decisions?

Candidates are evaluated by farmer members of their local county Farm Bureaus, who then make recommendations to the VFBF AgPAC Board of Trustees, which is comprised of elected farmer member representatives from each region of the state. Urban area candidates also are evaluated by farmer members from across the state who then make recommendations to the AgPAC Board. The AgPAC Board makes the final endorsement decisions.

How are candidates evaluated?

The evaluation process begins after the primary elections during state election years and is governed by the AgPAC Board of Trustees. The process can include candidate questionnaires, interviews or roundtable discussions, and a review of an incumbent’s voting record, as well as the relationship with their farmer constituents.

What kind of candidates get the AgPAC endorsement?

Incumbents are evaluated based on a positive record during the General Assembly, their leadership and assistance with critical Farm Bureau issues, a keen understanding of current issues affecting agriculture and rural communities, and their history of engaging with Farm Bureau members. For candidates in open seats and urban areas, farmers evaluate their knowledge on issues, as well as their willingness to learn about and support these issues with an open mind.

2021 AgPAC Endorsements

House of Delegates

VFBF endorses 81 candidates

Candidate endorsement designations have changed in 2021, but the commitment to building relationships within the General Assembly remains the same for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC—Farm Bureau’s nonpartisan political action committee.

AgPAC announced in mid-August its endorsement of 81 candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates.

“This grassroots evaluation gives us a sense of candidates’ comprehension of the needs and challenges facing Virginia farmers,” said Wayne F. Pryor, VFBF president and chairman of the VFBF AgPAC board of trustees. “Our updated endorsement-designation process is a fresh opportunity to establish deeper connections with both supportive incumbents and urban candidates alike.”

Pryor said AgPAC trustees believe the following candidates are committed to helping protect agriculture and forestry in Virginia, ensuring it remains the No. 1 industry in the state.

The VFBF AgPAC was created in 1999 and employs in-kind contributions and endorsements to support candidates who can best support agriculture and Farm Bureau issues.

Read Full List

Terry McAuliffe

Candidate for Governor (D)

Terry McAuliffe is an entrepreneur who served as the 72nd governor of the commonwealth from 2014-2018. The following is a summary of his platform.

  • Secure full funding for the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program to ensure the commonwealth meets our conservation goals while supporting our farmers and their efforts.
  • Deliver universal broadband in Virginia so that agricultural and forestry businesses can utilize new technologies to improve efficiency and increase production and profits.
  • Grow domestic markets and international trade opportunities for Virginia products, and establish Virginia as a major supplier of specialty crops, particularly specialty grains used in craft beverage production.
  • Increase investments in the Governor’s Agriculture Forestry Industries Development Fund to support new business ventures and innovative new agricultural and forestry practices to grow demand for Virginia products.
  • Build a highly specialized agriculture and forestry workforce through partnerships with institutions of higher education and community colleges.

Read his Ag and Forestry Plan

Glenn Youngkin

Candidate for Governor (R)

Glenn Youngkin is a native Virginian with an engineering and business background who spent 25 years at a private equity firm, The Carlyle Group. The following is a summary of his platform.

  • Fully fund the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program, or refrain from mandating practices if full funding is not consistently available.
  • Revitalize the agricultural processing industry and attract more food and product processors into the state, creating a new source of exports that stimulate our economy and create new jobs.
  • Maintain Virginia’s farmworker exemption from minimum wage increase in order to not negatively impact the federal government requirements for the H-2A program and hurt our agriculture businesses.
  • Support a tax system that helps family farms continue to thrive from one generation to the next by maintaining land-use assessment and exemptions from estate taxes.
  • Resist efforts from activist groups to follow the California model, and oppose regulatory mandates that prevent farmers from utilizing normal livestock production methods.

Read his Ag and Forestry Plan

Winsome Sears

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor (R)

Winsome Sears is a small business owner and has served in the United States Marines and House of Delegates. The following is a summary of her platform.

  • Fully fund the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program, or refrain from mandating practices if full funding is not consistently available.
  • Increase funding for Virginia’s land grant universities to prepare the next generation of farmers and support existing farmers with research to help improve profitability.
  • Support a tax system that helps family farms continue to thrive from one generation to the next by maintaining land-use assessment and exemptions from estate taxes.

Mark Herring

Candidate for Attorney General (D)

Mark Herring has served as attorney general from 2014 to present and previously served as a state senator from Loudoun and a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The following is a summary of his platform.

  • Provide full funding for the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program to allow the state to be a full partner with farmers in achieving Virginia’s water quality goals.
  • Utilize science-based animal husbandry practices when caring for livestock, and recognize the current distinction in the Code of Virginia between companion animals and livestock.
  • Evaluate the presence of utility-scale solar facilities to minimize the impact on prime agricultural lands, and provide guidance to localities in making siting decisions.

Jason Miyares

Candidate for Attorney General (R)

Jason Miyares is a current member of the House of Delegates and a former prosecutor whose mother fled communist Cuba in 1965. The following is a summary of his platform.

  • Defend farmers in court against a federal or state regulatory framework that enacts water quality requirements making it unfeasible for farmers to operate.
  • Defend against changes to the Code of Virginia that would undo the current distinction between companion animals and livestock.
  • Support executive oversight and restricting the expansion of regulatory agencies’ power to develop regulations outside of the scope of legislative authority.

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