Kiggans Holds Agriculture Roundtable with Farmers, Local Officials

SUFFOLK, VA: This week, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) hosted Western Tidewater farmers and officials for the first in a series of roundtables on Southeast Virginia’s agriculture industry. The discussion focused on the challenges facing farmers in the United States, the crucial importance of strong domestic food production to the economy & national security, and the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill. Attendees included:

  • Jimmy Lee, Owner, Jimmy Lee Farms
  • Jamie Lee, Farm Manager, Jimmy Lee Farms
  • Ben Rowe, National Affairs Coordinator, Virginia Farm Bureau
  • David Bosselman, Farm Service Area Local Administrative Area/Chuckatuck Chair, Suffolk Agricultural Advisory Committee
  • Gary Cross, President, Southampton County Farm Bureau
  • Steve Crocker, President, Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau
  • Byron Stonecypher, President, Chesapeake Farm Bureau
  • Roxanne Stonecypher, District 14 Leader, Virginia Farm Bureau Women’s Committee
  • Randah Gaitan, Senior Administrative Analyst, City of Suffolk
  • Kyle Sturgis, Farmer, Northampton County
  • ML Everette, Farmer, Southampton County
  • Terry Siviter

“Agriculture is by far the Commonwealth’s largest private industry with more than 43,000 farms covering 7.8 million acres,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “These farms – most of which are owned by families and individuals – not corporations – contribute $82.3 billion to our economy and employ 381,800 Virginians! I’d like to thank all the farmers and local officials who sat down with me this week to address the issues impacting their livelihoods. I’m proud to work alongside VA-02’s farmers and ranchers to ensure they can continue to be such an integral part of their communities and our Commonwealth as a whole.”

Kiggans has taken numerous actions this Congress to support the agriculture industry in Virginia and all those who depend on it, including:

  • Cosponsoring H.R. 3951, the SHELLS Act, which establishes the Office of Aquaculture at the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Voting for H.J.Res 27, which disapproves of the Biden Administration’s readoption of the expanded Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that subjects small waterways to federal environmental legislation and regulation.
  • Cosponsoring H.R. 683, the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, which protects our national security by preventing foreign adversaries from taking any ownership or control of the United States’ agricultural land and agricultural businesses.
  • Voting for H.R. 1339, the Precision Agriculture Satellite Connectivity Act, which aims to improve data and information available to farmers by requiring the Federal Communications Commission to review and recommend changes to their rules regarding precision agriculture. H.R. 1339 also seeks to expand rural broadband coverage to underserved rural areas.

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