Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed his first piece of legislation from the General Assembly into law.
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Dairy cows in a pasture. (AP) Associated Press

According to a release, a small ceremony was held at the Capitol on Monday for the signing of House Bill 828.

This bill supports dairy producers in Virginia by streamlining requirements to participate in a federal program called the Dairy Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program.

“Agriculture is Virginia’s number one industry and plays a critical role in Virginia’s economic growth. Therefore, it is not lost on me that the first bill I signed assists Virginia’s dairy farmers. Virginia’s farmers can count on me to advance our economy and provide job growth opportunities in all corners of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“Since 2017, Virginia has seen a 35% decline in the number of dairy producers yet the dairy industry continues to generate over $9 billion annually in economic activity. This legislation will bring much-needed relief to Virginia dairy farmers as they continue modeling excellent stewardship while providing for their families and supporting our communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Matt Lohr.

The release says the bill makes adjustments to the dairy program due to a delay in the passage of the Federal Farm Bill last year.

Under the current state code, the state premium assistance program closed on Feb. 1, before the close date for the federal program.

This piece of legislation includes an emergency clause to reopen the state program through May 15.

At the midpoint of the year, the all-milk price forecast for 2022 is a whopping $26.20 per hundredweight (cwt), according to the June 2022 USDA/ERS Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.

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