Martha Boneta

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Martha Boneta

Martha Boneta
Martha Boneta.png
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationJuris Doctor law degree
Alma materSt. Mary’s Catholic School
George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
OccupationPolicy advisor
Known forBoneta Act (2014) in Virginia
Notable work
Farming in Fear (2015 film)

Martha Boneta is an American policy advisor, commentator, and farmer who is known for her role in the passage of a landmark right-to-farm law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[1] She was featured in the 2015 documentary film Farming in Fear[2].

Early life

Boneta says that her love of farming began when her grandmother came to live with Boneta and her family. Her grandmother grew a large vegetable garden in the backyard, and this inspired Boneta to one day own a family farm.[3] Boneta earned a law degree from George Mason School of Law.


In 2006, Boneta purchased a 65-acre property in Paris, Virginia called Liberty Farm. Over the next several years, the farm was hit with numerous Fauquier County inspections, and there was allegedly a push by local real estate professionals in concert with someone on the county Board of Supervisors to try to privately buy out her mortgage. A final straw for Boneta was when for hosting a young girl’s birthday party at Liberty Farm she was issued a $15,000 fine .[3] Boneta pushed back against what she characterized as harassment, and she ultimately settled a lawsuit against the parties aligned against her.[4]

Boneta’s advocacy, along with support from other farm rights activists, played a key role in securing the passage of two bills in the Virginia General Assembly. The first bill amended Virginia’s Right to Farm Act to enable farmers to conduct commercial activity on their farms, despite more restrictive zoning laws. The second gave landowners access to a state agency to mediate disputes related to conservation easements. [4]

A documentary film called Farming in Fear, about Boneta and her farm was released in 2015, and she made numerous media appearances mostly on conservative news programs.[5][6][7] The progressive journalism organization, Media Matters has described Boneta as a “darling of the right” and that Fox News has helped her “cry wolf”.[8]

External Links


  1. "Landmark Agriculture Bill Now Law in Virginia". The Roanoke Star. 2 July 2014.
  2. "Farming in Fear". Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yang, Catherine (22 August 2019). "Martha Boneta's Stand for Liberty". The Epoch Times.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mooney, Kevin (29 May 2018). "Neighbors, Farmer Settle Pitched Lawsuit Over Green Groups and Her Property Rights". The Daily Signal.
  5. "Farmer says she's being harassed by environmental group". Fox News. 22 October 2014.
  6. "Virginia Farming - Martha Boneta & Protecting Small Farmers". PBS. 20 February 2015.
  7. "How Trump's new trade deal may benefit US farmers". Fox News. 1 October 2018.
  8. Powell, Brian (22 October 2014). "Another Phony Government "Land Grab" Featuring Fox's Favorite Tea Party Farmer". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 4 January 2020.

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