Action Alert: Protecting Farmland Now and For the Future

red barn farmland photo by patricia temples

Support: 97 #2h – Farmland Preservation Fund

Patron: Delegate Wendy Gooditis

For much of Virginia’s history, land devoted to farming and forestry covered most of the state. However, Virginia saw a significant loss of farmland in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, including a loss of a half million acres between 2002 and 2007.

Recognizing the significance of the loss of agricultural land and the negative impact it would have on the state, the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund was established in 2007 to provide grant funding to localities with certified farmland preservation programs. Unfortunately, since its inception the program has been woefully underfunded.

Budget amendment 97 #2h (Gooditis) provides an additional $2 million to the Farmland Preservation Fund grant program (current funding is only $250,000), providing much-needed matching funds and encouraging localities to adopt Purchase of Development Rights programs of their own.

Send a Letter of Support to Your Delegate >>

Lend your voice to the effort to provide funding to this vital farmland preservation program. 

If your delegate is on House Appropriations…

If you recognize your delegate as serving on the House Appropriations committee, please consider making a direct phone call to their office in support of the budget amendment, as this committee will ultimately decide which amendments move forward

Members of the committee:

First NameLast NameDistrict #Capitol PhoneDistrict Phone
Luke E.Torian (Chair)52nd(804) 698-1052(703) 785-2224
Mark D.Sickles (Vice Chair)43rd(804) 698-1043(703) 922-6440
Kenneth R.Plum36th(804) 698-1036(703) 758-9733
Roslyn C.Tyler75th(804) 698-1075(434) 336-1710
David L.Bulova37th(804) 698-1037(703) 310-6752
Delores L.McQuinn70th(804) 698-1070(804) 698-1070
Betsy B.Carr69th(804) 698-1069(804) 698-1069
Paul E.Krizek44th(804) 698-1044(703) 688-2983
Lashrecse D.Aird63rd(804) 698-1063(804) 452-7076
C. E. (Cliff)Hayes Jr.77th(804) 698-1077(757) 364-0272
Chris L.Hurst12th(804) 698-1012(540) 739-2553
Jerrauld  C. (Jay)Jones89th(804) 698-1089(757) 625-8989
David A.Reid32nd(804) 698-1032(703) 662-1395
M. KirklandCox66th(804) 698-1066(804) 526-5135
Barry D.Knight81st(804) 698-1081(757) 426-6387
James W. (Will)Morefield3rd(804) 698-1003(276) 345-4300
C. MatthewFariss59th(804) 698-1059(434) 821-5929
L. NickRush7th(804) 698-1007(540) 382-7731
Glenn R.Davis Jr.84th(804) 698-1084(757) 802-4982
Terry L.Austin19th(804) 698-1019(540) 254-1500
Robert S.Bloxom Jr.100th(804) 698-1000(757) 824-3456
Emily M. Brewer64th(804) 698-1064(757) 239-1213

Additional talking points

  • Virginia requires counties to match dollar for dollar the amount that is granted to them by the state. In FY 2018, localities pledged $18.27 million in matching funds, more than 73 times the $250,000 budgeted by the commonwealth.
  • Full funding of the program would not only provide additional monies for those localities with adopted programs, but would also act as a catalyst for other localities to adopt their own farmland protection program. Without adequate funding at the state level, many localities do not see the value in participating for such limited funds.
  • In addition, localities could use these state farmland preservation funds to better leverage federal farm bill funding.

Questions? Contact PEC’s director of state policy, Dan Holmes, at