LIVE, Food In the Lobby Day – Richmond, Va

By Matthew French
Once a year, Richmond is flooded with the baser sort. No, I’m not talking about theFood Freedom Logo return of our delegates for the first day of the legislative session, I’m talking about Lobby Day.
True, we are here to lobby for a bill, at least the Food Freedom Act won’t cost the taxpayer anything and won’t rob you of any freedoms.
I will be updating this post throughout the day for those who could not make it but would like to be kept in the know. I will add a timestamp so you can keep up with the latest.
You can also follow the hashtag #foodinthelobby on Twitter for
the latest.

3:30 pm – Meeting with Del. Pillion went well. He confirmed his support for HB 1290.

3:00 pm – We are trying to confirm that HB1290 will skip to full committee.

1:30 pm – Del. Will Morefield has committed to co-patronage of the Food Freedom Act.

10:00 am– The subcommittee meeting hearing the merits of HJ519 is over. Farm Bureau, Virginia Dairyman’s Association, and Virginia Agribusiness Counsel spoke in opposition to the amendment. The industrial Ag groups used the same old worn out lines. The highlight came towards the end when Rep. David Ramadan said, “I ain’t buying it. I grew up on raw milk.” We have a video we will share soon.

Update: You can see the video of Del. David Ramadan here.

8:30 am – Subcommittee meeting on hj519 constitutional amendment “Right to Aquire Food” is getting under way.

Matthew French is a farmer in southwest Virginia. He and his family operate their 200-year old farm where they raise pastured poultry, free-range pigs, grass-fed lamb and a variety of vegetables. You can find more from him at

2 thoughts on “LIVE, Food In the Lobby Day – Richmond, Va

  1. Ethan

    I am mightily empowered each time my own positive, constructive action—in support of something I passionately believe in—directly benefits not only me, but everyone in my own community and state.

    My long recovery from chronic Lyme disease teaches me that drinking raw, local, unprocessed milk boosts my immune system against future infections. Reading Renss Greene’s recent article led me to local heroine, Bernadette Barber, who regretfully informed me that Virginia law makes it illegal for her to sell me any.

    Things unfolded quickly.

    Suddenly, I am an avid activist in her snowballing state-wide Virginia Food Freedom coalition, as this escalating grassroots’ movement gathers wildfire momentum, capturing the imagination of fellow Virginians. Monday, for us, became a super-productive whirlwind at the State Capitol, lobbying key Legislators with other well-informed and equally-ardent supporters from all across the Commonwealth, voicing our concerns directly to our Senator and Delegate on Dr. Martin Luther King Day. Seeing local booster, Renss Greene, as we rallied around our banner in Capitol Square with all the other news teams that responded to our invitation, underscores the timeliness and importance of this issue for ‘average’ Virginians, from all walks of life.

    We saw Delegate Ransone on the fly, for a brief exchange, and met with Senator McDougle’s able Legislative Assistant, who provided concise pointers to advance the worthy cause of greater food freedom for all Virginians. It was a most gratifying day.

    Telling our General Assembly exactly what we really want can and does make a difference.

    Call them.

    I felt profound peace and satisfaction driving home, buoyed up with renewed hope and real encouragement by our resounding success.


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