McDonnell and Deeds pitch farmers in Goochland Friday
$79 Billion. That is the amount of economic activity generated by agriculture and forestry in Virginia. Today the two candidates for Governor will face the issues confronting those industries in a forum hosted by the Virginia Farm Bureau. Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds will take questions from an audience comprised of members from the Farm Bureau, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the State Fair of Virginia, the Virginia Forest Products Association and the Virginia Forestry Association.
The question and answer sessions will be held at different times, so this will not be a formal debate. In response to McDonnell’s call for 10 face to face debates, the Deeds campaign counted this forum among the 10 joint appearances that they have agreed to over the course of the campaign. That has not been enough for Republicans who have repeated their calls for Deeds to agree to a more rigorous face to face debate schedule. Regardless of the “debate over debates”, today’s forum is important for both candidates. Not only are Forestry and Agriculture important to the economy of Virginia, the people who work in those fields tend to be very politically active. Farmers and foresters ask tough questions and demand answers, but when they find a candidate to support (and they weave back and forth between republicans and democrats) they will work hard to get that person elected. We will be there today to learn more about the issues important to these two industries and we’ll have more on how the candidates react tonight on NBC12 and here on Decision Virginia. You can read more about the forum after the jump. (It is important to note, that the forum is NOT open to the public, only to members of the associations supporting the event.) ——————-
Gubernatorial candidates to field farmers’ questions July 31
RICHMOND—Gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell will address agriculture and forestry industry representatives July 31 at a forum at Virginia Farm Bureau’s headquarters in Goochland County. The program will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Farm Bureau, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the State Fair of Virginia, the Virginia Forest Products Association and the Virginia Forestry Association. It is open to pre-registered members of those organizations, as well as to media representatives. Each candidate will participate in a separate 45-minute moderated question-and-answer session. Each session will be followed by a 30-minute reception. Both candidates are being asked to comment in advance on what they see as the top agenda item for Virginia agriculture and forestry if they are elected. The previous gubernatorial candidates’ forum, held in 2005 at the state fair, drew a significant mix of Virginians with a vested interest in agriculture and forestry—including current and retired producers, representatives of processing companies and FFA participants. This year’s forum will be the kickoff event for Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Summer Expo, and questions have been solicited from young producers and other young adults with an interest in agriculture or forestry. Farm Bureau President Wayne F. Pryor said individuals who attend the forum typically show a keen interest in what the candidates have to say. “Our industries will be working very closely with one of these gentlemen over the next four years, and our members who attend these forums believe it is time well-invested.” Forum questions will come from audience members, but Pryor said topics likely to surface include water quality issues, taxes, property rights, renewable energy and keeping agriculture and forestry viable in the commonwealth. Together, the two industries have an annual economic impact of $79 billion in Virginia.