The Independent Farm Life. A Thing of the Past?

The Commonwealth of Virginia, the fifth state to be admitted to the Union, has a rich heritage. Both in democracy and in agriculture. Suffolk, VA, home of Planter’s Peanuts, claims to be the “peanut capital of the world.” A similar claim is made by Winchester, VA for its apples, Harrisonburg, VA for its turkeys, and Smithfield, VA for its famous peanut-fed hams. Bright and fire-cured tobacco has been a principal crop in Southside Virginia ever since the Jamestown settlers learned of it from the Indians — er, ah, “Native Americans.”

My alma mater, Virginia Tech, an original land grant college, is well known for its Schools of Engineering and Agriculture. The former head of the Agronomy Department, Dr. T. K. Wolf, was the founder of Southern States Cooperative, one of the leading agricultural cooperatives in the nation. My point is, Virginia, and Virginians, are well qualified and experienced in the field of agriculture.

But, Virginia’s proximity to Washington, DC, with its ever encroaching federal offices, military bases, and the infiltration of hundreds of thousands of government employees, has resulted in the recent election of ultra-liberal Terry McAuliffe, former Hillary campaign manager and chairman of the Democrat National Committee, as its governor.

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It didn’t take long for the Democrat governor to announce his “Agriculture Resource Management Plan” (ARMP). According to the governor, this “voluntary” program, “encourages farmers to increase their use of conservation best management practices while providing the community ‘quantifiable credit’ and ‘better tracking’ of the programs that farmers already have in place. The program will ensure that farmers will be ‘good stewards’ of our ‘precious natural resources’.” Do I detect the slight aroma of the UN’s Agenda 21 in there someplace?

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To assure voluntary compliance, farmers will be required to hire a “Private sector ARMP Developer
to create a plan for their farms, “or any portion of it.” The plan will “incorporate the property’s current stream buffer, soil conservation, nutrient management and stream exclusion practices, and recommend other practices needed.”

Once the plan is approved and implemented, the property will be considered to be in compliance” with state nutrient and sediment water quality standards. Thus, Virginia will become the first state in the Chesapeake Bay region with an “agricultural certainty program.” Is it just me, or do I see a few words in there that might be cause for concern? Words like, “voluntary,” or “quantifiable credit,” or “tracking,” or “compliance”?

The Virginia state flag has a blue background, with the Great Seal of the Commonwealth in the middle. The seal represents the State as a victorious warrior, with its left foot firmly implanted on the chest of its fallen victim. Inscribed across the bottom is the Latin phrase, “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” — “Thus Always to Tyrants.”

Is it time for Virginia farmers live up to those noble words?

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