There has been considerable interest in this legislation, SB 171. Based on the questions raised by constituents, there appears to be some misunderstanding as to what SB 171 is all about.
The purpose of SB 171 is to protect agricultural land and to ensure that local government does not re-purpose agricultural land for other uses.
It only applies to agricultural operations as defined in §19-19-2:
(a) “Agriculture” shall mean the production of food, fiber and woodland products, by means of cultivation, tillage of the soil and by the conduct of animal, livestock, dairy, apiary, equine or poultry husbandry, and the practice of forestry, silviculture, horticulture, harvesting of silviculture products, packing, shipping, milling, and marketing of agricultural products conducted by the proprietor of the agricultural operation, or any other legal plant or animal production and all farm practices.
(b) “Agricultural land” shall mean any amount of land and the improvements thereupon, used or usable in the production of food, fiber or woodland products of an annual value of $1,000 or more, by the conduct of the business of agriculture, as defined in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) “Agricultural operation” shall mean any facility utilized for agriculture.
Protecting our farms has been an integral part of my platform as your State Senator. If we want our farms to remain farms and not turn into solar facilities or other non-agricultural purpose, everything we can do to help and support our farming community should be our priority.
If you have any questions or concerns about SB 171, please feel free to contact me at: Patricia.Rucker@wvsenate.gov.