Agriculture and forestry are integral parts of Virginia’s economy. Together, they make up Virginia’s largest industry.

In Southwest Virginia specifically, focus has shifted from tobacco to alternative crops and herds over time, but the agriculture economy remains strong. Our region produces products including Christmas trees, cattle, sheep, fresh produce, milk, hay and various other items. Some of the most talented family farmers in America reside right here in the 5th House District. Israel has also supported legislation to allow local farmers to begin growing industrial hemp, the non-THC plant that can be used to make rope, clothing, paper and a multitude of other items.

Israel believes in retaining the skills of farmers in Southwest Virginia. He will continue working closely with the agriculture community to strengthen the partnerships between farmers and the Commonwealth of Virginia. He will continue working with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to make sure farmers have the information they need to be successful. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is available to help farmers market their products and make contact with vendors who are willing to purchase their products both here and abroad. He is also a supporter of the Best Management Practices program as well as the Virginia Agriculture Extension and 4-H programs. Working closely with the many agricultural groups in Southwest Virginia, Israel will continue to be a strong voice for farmers in Richmond.

Finally, Israel understands that there’s nothing more important to the family farm than the farmland itself. That is why he strongly opposes the death tax, which has forced many families to divide up the farm, sell it and stop doing business because the burden was simply too great. The death of a loved one is hard enough; Virginians should not have to endure additional suffering imposed by a death tax.