Goodlatte Tours Shenandoah Valley Farms

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Congressman Bob Goodlatte completed a two-day “Ag Tour” in the Shenandoah Valley on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 7-8, to hear from local farmers and producers about federal policies impacting their businesses as well as the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which governs an array of agricultural and food programs. Congressman Goodlatte is the former Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture and currently serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Among his stops was Ingleside Dairy in Rockbridge County, owned and operated by Charlie and Linda Leech and their children

 Ingleside Dairy Farm was the first farm in Virginia to use automated milking machines. Roughly 330 cows are milked each day. The automated machines allow the cows to come and go on their own time frame, keep track of the cow’s health and output, and helps ensure the cleanliness of the cows and the milk.

Congressman Goodlatte released the following statement:

“Agriculture is strong in the Sixth District. However, there are still some farm sectors suffering from low prices. After making several stops up and down the Shenandoah Valley, it’s easy to see why this is the largest industry in Virginia. Modern agriculture isn’t just a traditional farm. Today’s farmers and agribusinesses are innovating. Ingleside Dairy Farm is using new technology to transform the dairy industry, and Shamrock Farms is hard at work to package more nutritious products and extend the shelf life of their milk products. At Appalachian Woods they are taking old lumber and turning it into beautiful, new flooring. Brix and Columns Vineyards is tapping into the booming agritourism market and helping to prove that Virginia wine can rival any other. The produce for sale at the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction is proof that local farmers take great pride in their work, and the crowds on hand are a testament to the quality as well. Valley Pike Farm is a great example of the next generation of farmers stepping up to the plate, but also a reminder of why we must continue to teach today’s youth about the importance of agriculture. Lastly, the meat processing plant at Baker Farms is representative of how today’s farmers are changing and growing to meet the demands of the market. 

 “As I spoke with producers about farm policy, agriculture immigration, and the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, I learned more about which federal programs are working well and which need reforms, what regulations are stifling and which are common sense, and how the federal government can best encourage a robust farm economy. I look forward to taking this information back to Washington as we craft the policies impacting American farms and agribusinesses.”

 

 

 

 

 

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