Virginia Agriculture and Conservation Leaders Applaud Virginia’s New Resource Management Plan
Leaders from the agriculture and environmental communities across the Commonwealth released the following statements today following the Governor’s visit to Weyers Cave to tout the Commonwealth’s new Resource Management Plan. Governor McAuliffe attended the event today and witnessed some of the best practices at work in the farming community. The Resource Management Plan will help build a new Virginia economy by expanding best practices on Virginia farms that make operations more efficient and cost effective while reducing impacts on Virginia waters, including the Chesapeake Bay.
Wayne Pryor, president, Virginia Farm Bureau:
“The RMP program is an opportunity for all Virginia farmers, regardless of the scale of their operations or the commodities they produce, to voluntarily consult with certified professionals on the entire scale of conservation BMPs they could employ; to develop a customized plan; and to enter into a nine-year agreement that is subject to compliance review. Those plans and agreements will assure them that, for the life of the agreements, they are in compliance with state and local water quality standards. The Virginia Farm Bureau applauds Governor McAuliffe for his leadership and support for this important program.”
Katie Frazier, president, Virginia Agribusiness Council:
“The Virginia Agribusiness Council applauds the launch of Resource Management Plans as a voluntary mechanism to achieve both water quality goals and provide farmers with regulatory certainty. Since the General Assembly approved the program in 2011 with our support, we have been anxiously awaiting the implementation of this exciting new approach to conservation. The Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Governor, DCR, DEQ, VDACS, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts as the RMP program fully launches in late 2014.”
William C. Baker, president, Chesapeake Bay Foundation:
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has long supported farm conservation practices like those called for by Virginia’s Resource Management Plan Program, especially fencing livestock out of local streams and rivers. We support Governor McAuliffe’s call for farmers across Virginia to embrace these conservation practices by participating in the RMP program. That would mean cleaner water, more productive farms, a healthier Bay, and a more robust economy.”
William C. “Sparky” Crossman, president, Virginia Grain Producers Association:
“The Virginia Grain Producers Association supports these plans not only because of their direct benefit to our farmers and the environment, but because participation in the program is voluntary and the program is flexible. It gives the farmer the ability to select the mix of practices best suited to their farm in order to meet necessary standards. The RMP program is critical to ensuring our farms can feed a growing population while keeping the promises we made to protect and restore our local environment and the Chesapeake Bay.”
Eric Paulson, president, Virginia State Dairymen’s Association:
"The Virginia State Dairymen's Association commends the Governor on signing the Resource Management Plan (RMP) into law. This program will provide farmers with another tool to track and implement conservation practices with a level of certainty. This voluntary program will allow farmers to account for the many conservation practices they have already implemented on their farm. "
Kendall Tyree, executive director, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts:
"The potential value of the RMP program to water quality is significant, in which we expect Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts to play a vital role. We applaud the Governor for his effort and continued support of voluntary conservation efforts.”
Jason Carter, executive director, Virginia Cattlemen’s Association:
"The Virginia Cattlemen's Association membership is certainly supportive of sound environmental management to ensure preservation of the resources so vital to our businesses and industry. We are appreciative of the Governor's desire to maintain, and add to, a suite of voluntary and cost shared best management conservation practice options for our producers to choose from within the management of their cattle operations."
Hobey Bauhan, president, Virginia Poultry Federation:
“Poultry farmers have a proven commitment to conservation practices for improving water quality. While a state regulatory program already governs poultry litter management, many poultry farms have other farming activities which could be covered under a voluntary Resource Management Plan. I commend the Governor for his leadership on this program and encourage farmers to take a close look at participating.”