Senator Warner in the Valley talking about agriculture

Published: May. 3, 2018 at 6:10 PM EDT
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Senator Mark Warner was in the Valley Thursday, talking about protecting Virginia agriculture and growing more small businesses here locally.

At a round table discussion with farmers from Augusta and Rockingham counties, Warner heard their concerns and thoughts about what the farm bill should include. As far as protecting Virginia agriculture, he says there are better ways to address the problem rather than starting a trade war.

"We ought to direct this in a focused way," Warner said, "not use the blunt instrument of a trade war which at the end of the day will end up hurting Virginia farmers, and for that matter Virginia consumers."

Warner says agriculture is Virginia's number one industry, and he is concerned about the impacts of potential tariffs on local farmers and consumers.

He says a trade war would have the biggest impact on agriculture, naming soy beans and corn as especially vulnerable. Warner believes a trade war would make exporting products more expensive, putting an unfair share of the burden on farmers, but it does not end there.

"It hurts Virginia farmers," Warner said, "but it ends up hurting Virginia consumers as well because if that ends up driving the overall cost of food production up, that shows up at the grocery store as well."

He encouraged people at the round table to "reward good behavior" and vote for a party they wouldn't normally vote for when it's something you agree with and not to stay stuck to one party.

Warner also discussed the new Staunton Innovation Hub which he believes will bring more jobs and small businesses to the area.