How Awesome *Is* Martha Boneta?

I gotta admit, I love Martha Boneta.

Let me give you a quick example — when these regulations came to Fluvanna County, I pointedly asked as a supervisor whether birthday parties would qualify under the same ordinances that were punishing folks like Martha Boneta.  I was assured this was not the case, even though I drilled home the fact that I have several children… and their “parties” in an Irish-Lebanese household would consist of populations greater than some towns.

Good for us.

Not so good for Martha… so let her tell you her story:

The Boneta Bill is very real.  If you haven’t learned about this bill — call your legislator and have them explain it to you.  When they can’t, scold them (playfully) and tell them why they should.

When the yeoman farmer dies, America dies with it.

Virginians need to know that the war on small farms is real.  Pressured on all sides by nosy neighbors, suburban elites, proto-fascist HOAs, aggressive local planners, ridiculous regulations, and the increased costs of just about everything from fuel to feed — small farms are very much in jeopardy.

Farming and self-sufficiency is about as old as America.  The whole idea that the average American family wouldn’t — and in many cases today, cannot — grow their own food and raise a farm alongside a family would strike the sensibilities of our Founding Fathers in equal parts horror and insanity.

It’s about time we won a round for the Jeffersonian farmer, is it not?

One of the resolutions coming to the floor during the convention is the Virginia Small Farm and Food Freedom Resolution.  When it comes up, I hope you’ll join me in endorsing it, and encourage your state senators and delegates to do the same.

Hats off to Delegate Lingamfelter and Mark Fitzgibbons for leading the charge on this… and to Martha Boneta, who refused to back down when pressured by local bullies and busybodies.

That takes real courage… and I’m glad she’s leading the charge.


WHEREAS, farmers, farms and farming have historically played a vital role in the economy, traditions, culture, art and literature of Virginia, and are entitled to protection under the supreme American law guaranteeing certain unalienable rights such as life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS, the success of farms and farming depends on free-market remuneration resulting from farmers’ labor, capital, ingenuity and products; and

WHEREAS, each farmer has the right to determine in his or her own estimation what best constitutes farming, farm life and the best uses of their farm land, and farmers have the right to just remuneration for their labor, capital, ingenuity and products so long as they respect their neighbors’ rights; and

WHEREAS, farm life may constitute more than just production agriculture, and farmers have the right of commerce, the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right of quiet enjoyment of their land, the right of peaceable assembly on their private property, the right to exercise religious freedom on their private property, and other rights reserved to all people by America’s supreme law; and

WHEREAS, all Virginians deserve access to wholesome, healthy, and locally produced foods, and small farmers should be able to supply these products without burdensome government regulations; and

WHEREAS, government may not restrict the rights of farmers or their guests from the community, or categorize farmers, farming or farmland in any way that diminishes their freedoms, based simply on the fact that they are farmers or the guests of farmers, own farmland, or engage in commerce that is consistent with the goods, services, traditions, culture, art and literature of farming; and

WHEREAS, government must not use laws or the color of law, regulations, zoning ordinances or the dictates of permits to violate or trespass on the rights of farmers and their guests, and farmers are entitled to fair, reasonable and full remedies from government agencies or subdivisions that violate or trespass on their rights.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Republican Party of Virginia supports state legislation and local ordinances consistent with this Resolution, and repeal of state laws and local ordinances inconsistent with this Resolution;

Be it further resolved that the Republican Party calls upon the General Assembly and the Governor to advance legislation in the 2014 Session of the General Assembly to make the Code of Virginia consistent with the provisions of this Resolution and the Founding vision with respect to the rights of citizens to pursue their self-interests as protected by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Virginia.

And  be it further resolved that the Virginia Republican Party immediately publish this Resolution and disseminate it to the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, members of the State Central Committee, and to the Republican members of the Virginia General Assembly, and post it to the RPV website in a publicly accessible area, with a link to that page on the home page.


  • MD Russ

    Thanks for posting this, Shaun. The wine industry is very concerned about these local government intrusions as well, particular in Martha’s Fauquier County. It is not a matter of liberals versus conservatives, but a conflict between the middle class and “the horse people.” Yes, class warfare at its ugliest. The county government has been trying to stop the spread of wineries and vineyards by limiting their activities, thereby reducing traffic and bothersome tourist visitors. They have set limits on wineries hosting weddings and other parties, both in the number of people who can attend and the cut-off hour for the event. They have limited tasting room hours and tried in numerous other subtle ways to discourage the wine industry.

    Most Virginia counties warmly embrace the wine industry for the jobs, taxes, and tourism that it promotes. “The horse people” of Fauquier are a notable exception.

    • “Class warfare” is probably the best way to categorize it. Everyone loves rolling vistas and farmland… then folks move out here and realize they probably should have rolled the windows down in July.

      Fauquier County is the wrong way to control growth. All it has done is drive up the cost of living and declared war on a way of life.

      • John Galt

        Odors are for little people.

  • John Fitzpatrick, Arlington

    Wow! Wow! Wow! God I love this patriotic farmer! I don’t care who you are voting for LG, regardless I stand with Virginia’s small family farmers!

    Jefferson was a lawyer, statesman, inventor, teacher and yes he was a farmer!

    Time to give freedom back to Virginia’s small family farmers and wineries!

    Wow wow wow

    • MD Russ

      Jefferson also made several attempts to be a vintner after he returned from France, bringing some wine grape vines with him. Unfortunately, his vineyards failed due to insects and fungus. Today we have very effective pesticides that control that problem and American root stock has been determined to be much more insect-resistant than European root stock. So, we simply graft European vines on to American root stock and get the best of both worlds. (They do the same thing in Europe, importing American root stock to graft onto their vines.) Jefferson Vineyards has been in operation since 1981 and is thriving today.

      • Tea Party Mom

        What is wrong with Fauquier County? Who is running this place?

        Why is this county destroying the wineries with bogus heavy handed rules? Vineyards and wineries are small family farmers too!

        What ever happened to encouraging entrepreneurialism and small business in Virginia? These are farms not Walmarts or strip malls.

        • MD Russ

          I am told that “the horse people” control the Board of Supervisors, but I don’t know that first-hand. Apparently, they feel that they have a right to preserve Fauquier as their own private fox-hunting preserve and don’t want all these undesirable entrepreneurs and the noisy and disrespectful tourists that clog their pristine country roads on weekends. After all, they made their money the old fashioned way–they inherited it.

  • Tea Party Mom

    Right on John Fitz! I may not back Lingamfelter for Lt. Gov, but I stand with Martha and all small family farmers in Virginia.

    I want the freedom to buy sheep’s wool socks for my children and apple pie at a local farm and I don’t want local county government bullies in the way.
    We need more young small family farmers and less government in Virginia.

    Go Martha! Go Liberty!

  • CraigOrn

    But what happens when that produce you picked up causes you to become deathly ill? Certainly you have recourse, but there’s mid-size farmers who are concerned that folks wont read beyond the sensationalist headlines when something goes wrong and judge all products the same way, causing lost revenue. Farm Bueau hates raw milk.

    As the son of goat farmers I will support this if it reaches the floor but expect vigorous questions from surprising quarters.

    • MD Russ

      There is no reason for small farms not to meet state health and safety standards. Even mom & pop wineries in Virginia must meet the same safety, sanitation, and purity standards that Robert Mondavi meets in order to be licensed.

      I suspect that the vigorous questions from surprising quarters will be from people who don’t want competition from the small farmers and have the deep pockets to hire lobbyists to paint as bad a picture as they can. That is how the Alcoholic Beverage Distributors Association got their law passed several years ago that bans Virginia wineries from self-distributing to retail outlets like wine shops and restaurants. According to VPAP, they have been shelling out $250,000 per year in campaign contributions for several years to preserve that monopoly.

    • Angela Constantine

      But this is not about dairy products or meat at all. In fact, this not even a law. It is just a resolution to help save our small struggling farmers from county abusive over reach and land grabbing thugs.

      What bafoon socialist wouldn’t support freedom and property rights?

      I want names. Give me the names of the communist weenies that are against letting a small family farmer sell a bar of goats milk soap or an alpaca sock. I look forward to forever black balling the RINOs that spit in the face of Virginia’s small family farmers!

      • CraigOrn

        Of course it is not a law, but I doubt Shaun would waste his time if there wasn’t the hope that this will influence the thinking of GOP legislators (although that strategy has worked SO well in the past…..) Personally I’d like to see a full on platform, but the electeds already loathe the Creed’s broad statement of principles as it is (particularly local yokels).

        Ultimately, though, if this passes the Committee it passes the convention. Res Cmmte Report vote is slated for Friday. While this is better than Convention end (sern many a Resolutions vote with people streaming out) attendence will still be just a fraction of Sat, with only staff and the most hardcore there.

      • John Galt

        They are probably weenies cut from the same cloth as bureaucrats who shut down children’s lemonade stands.

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