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Come July 1, agriculture-focused laws may affect some consumers

RICHMOND, VA—Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s grassroots advocates are celebrating the advancement of agricultural legislation to support the commonwealth’s farmers in generating high-quality food and fiber.





The Virginia Verified Meat Certification program

goes into effect on July 1, 2024. Photo credit - Jeff Ishee



Some of that legislation will have an impact on rural Virginians and other residents as well. In April, Gov. Glenn Youngkin completed action on 1,046 bills during the 2024 General Assembly session, signing 777 bills, amending 116 and vetoing 153. Bills and amendments addressed in 2024 include verified meat labeling, streamlining farm-to-school food opportunities and studying large-animal veterinarian shortages.


Virginia Verified Meats


Youngkin signed legislation allowing for the creation of a Virginia Verified Meat certification, which prohibits labeling products as Virginia Verified Meat if they do not meet the definition of that term in the bill.


“This label is intended to help consumers to readily identify meat from livestock born, bred, raised and processed in Virginia,” said Martha Moore, senior vice president of VFBF governmental relations. In addition, she said, “it will also help our school systems to identify local meat products when making purchasing decisions.”


More info here>>


Farm-to-School


Youngkin also signed a bill establishing a farm-to-school program task force that will aim to increase student access to high-quality farm-to-school programs throughout the commonwealth. Farm-to-school programs strive to increase student access to school meals prepared with locally produced foods. They also involve experiential learning opportunities relating to local food and agriculture, including school and community garden programs and farm visits.


“This program update will go a long way in getting locally grown food into Virginia schools, and exposing more youth to agricultural production,” Moore noted.



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