Farming for the Next Generation is theme of Farm Bureau convention

va-farm-bureauMore than 800 Farm Bureau producer members, voting delegates and guests from across Virginia will look toward the future of farming at this year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

Almost 300 delegates representing 88 county Farm Bureaus statewide will gather Dec. 2-4 at The Omni Homestead Resort to shape the organization’s state and federal policies for the coming year. During the convention, which has as its theme “Farming for the Next Generation,” delegates will discuss and vote on policies that could affect current and future generations of Virginia farmers.

“The annual convention is the culmination of a grassroots process in which county Farm Bureaus are involved throughout the year,” said VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor. “Decisions made at the convention direct our efforts in the upcoming year at the General Assembly and in Washington.”

In addition to policy development, convention participants have the opportunity to hear from keynote and workshop speakers. Dr. Timothy Sands, president of Virginia Tech, will kick off the convention Tuesday at lunch with remarks on “The Future of the Land Grant Mission.”

Sands was named the 16th president of Virginia Tech in December 2013 and began his term in June. He previously served as executive vice president of academic affairs and provost of Purdue University. Like Virginia Tech, Purdue was founded as a land-grant university.

Afternoon workshops will focus on fostering local agriculture education programs and the findings of the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture. The “Growing Agriculture Education in Your County” workshop will feature a panel of speakers, including an agriculture education teacher, a Virginia Cooperative Extension youth livestock specialist and an Agriculture in the Classroom program coordinator. American Farm Bureau Federation economist Bob Young will lead the census-focused workshop “Behind the Numbers: The Structure of Agriculture Today.”

Convention attendees also will have the opportunity to watch Farmland, a documentary film produced by award-winning director James Moll. Farmland follows the lives of six young farmers, who share their passion for agriculture and their concerns for its future.

During the business sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, voting delegates will elect members of the VFBF board of directors to represent Districts 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13. They also will elect a VFBF president and vice president and chairmen of the organization’s Women’s Committee and Young Farmers Committee.

With 128,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply. View more convention news as it becomes available atVaFarmBureau.org/NewsVideo/ConventionNewsroom.aspx.

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