Casting a Ballet for Agriculture

November is just around the corner, and in the State of Virginia, we are in the realm of electing a new governor for the commonwealth. Campaign signs are everywhere and the governor candidates are traveling across the state trying to reach as many residents as possible. Lets be honest, at times, elections are annoying; however, it is our time to create the change we want to see and let our voice be heard. I usually do not like to get involved in politics, but as I continue to learn more about the agriculture industry I have realized that political policies play a HUGE part in the future of our industry.

I was fortunate enough to attend a governmental forum in July at the Young Farmers Summer Expo where I received the opportunity to listen to where both candidates stand when it comes to the Agricultural and Forestry Industries. As a new voter, I like to be as informed as possible about the candidates who are running so I can make an educated decision when I vote. I would like to provide all of you a chance to make an educated vote as well. Below, I am going to provide information presented to me at the forum as well as researched facts that will allow you all to compare and contrast the two candidates, Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe. All of the information listed below will solely pertain to the agriculture industry. I am aware that there are many, many other issues that you will have to debate before you cast your vote, but possibly I can influence your decision based on which governor candidate will have a greater positive impact on the agriculture industry.


Youngkin has been a part of The Carlyle Group for 25+ years and serves as Co-CEO for the company.

McAuliffe served as Virginia’s Governor from 2014-2018 and is hoping to fill his second and final term. From an agriculture perspective, his family owns a dairy farm in New York State, and he stated at the governors’ forum that “he sold agriculture products for many years and loved it.”

Jobs and Minimum Wage: 

Youngkin plans to slowly grow into increasing the minimum wage rather than increasing it drastically. In addition, he wants to limit the stimulus plan that was established for Covid-19 so Virginia residents will return to work for businesses and companies. Youngkin knows how important the H2A Visa program is to producers and wants to see that program stay in Virginia.

McAuliffe plans to accelerate the minimum wage to $15 an hour. At the governor candidates’ forum I attended, McAuliffe stated that he was “for job creation.” McAuliffe stated that every agriculture job creates 1.17 more jobs within the commonwealth. He also stated that he would pay for truck drivers to receive their CDL to provide encouragement for people to become involved in the trucking business.

Both McAuliffe and Youngkin stated that they would like to see more agriculture processing facilities come into the commonwealth to give farmers a local facility to take their products and to create more jobs for Virginians.


Youngkin and his wife founded the “Virginia Ready Initiative.” This allowed Virginians to partner with businesses and community colleges to receive training to find a new job after they lost theirs due to Covid-19. In the future, he would like to provide training for those in agriculture through community colleges by providing students with apprenticeships. Educating our next generation is an important key to growing our agriculture industry.

McAuliffe implemented the Atlantic Gateway Project during his previous term as governor which improved and expanded transportation routes. This can be very important to the agriculture industry considering we need safe a reliable roads to truck our products.

Mindful Statements: 

Youngkin stated that he wanted to “appoint people who are masters in their field” into office. He emphasized how he wants people in charge of the agriculture industry who truly understand the industry. When referring to clean environment acts, Youngkin mentioned how there are 30,000 acres at risk due to these acts. He stated he wanted to “carve back some of the regulations” because he would like to see family farms remain throughout many generations. Lastly, Youngkin has a popular slogan “Farmers for Youngkin.”

McAuliffe stated that there needs to be a balance of renewable energy and that we must be cautious of where we are placing renewable energy sources because “we have to save farmland.” On another note, he emphasized the need for teachers and how he would like to invest 2 billion dollars into increasing teacher pay. As I stated earlier, education is very critical to the agriculture industry, and it is becoming more difficult each day to find agriculture educators.

I would like to reiterate how I do not want to begin a political debate with this post. I would just like to present facts to you to help you make a more informed decision when you are choosing which candidate would be best for the agriculture industry. Choosing a leader can be very difficult at times, and we want to make sure we are making the best decision for the commonwealth. If you would like to read more about each candidate, check out their campaign


2 thoughts on “Casting a Ballet for Agriculture

  1. Bailey, this was very helpful and informative. As for me I try to stay out of politics but have recently become encouraged to vote more when it comes to agriculture! You have given an awesome perspective and definitely helped me to make an informed decision for the upcoming election!!

    Liked by 1 person

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