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Historic setting is site for celebrating agriculture’s history

virginia farm bureauThe history of Virginia agriculture will be celebrated in a historic setting at this year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

“Farming for Over 400 Years” is the theme of the convention, which will be held Nov. 28-30 at the Williamsburg Lodge, a Colonial Williamsburg property that dates to 1750.

Featured speakers include American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal; Tyne Morgan, host of farm news television program U.S. Farm Report; and Vance Crowe, director of millennial engagement for Monsanto.

Morgan will speak at the convention’s opening luncheon on Tuesday, and Crowe will speak duringThursday’s Leadership Breakfast.

Morgan is a multimedia journalist who hosts the nation’s longest-running syndicated program focusing on agriculture and rural issues.

Before joining Monsanto, Crowe was a communications strategist for the World Bank Group and a communications coordinator at a National Public Radio affiliate in northern California.


The convention’s first afternoon will feature two educational conferences. During Cannabis Production: Are there Value-added Crop Opportunities? Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Colorado-based Marijuana Industry Group in Denver, will address the possibility of commercial cannabis production in Virginia. She will be joined by Lindsay Reames, Virginia’s assistant secretary of agriculture and forestry.

Kelly works for Colorado’s oldest, largest and most diverse trade association for licensed cannabis businesses. The MIG’s mission is to advance safe, licensed cannabis access through smart policy and a strong regulatory system. Kelly is a former licensed cannabis business owner, and her family has been involved in industrial hemp research in Pennsylvania.

A second conference, Lessons Learned on Leases—Solar, Cellular and Others will focus on what landowners should consider when asked to lease land for solar panels, cell towers and similar structures. The featured speaker will be attorney Mark Botkin of BotkinRose LLC in Harrisonburg.

Botkin was raised on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley and enjoys helping farm families preserve farmland for future generations through conservation easements, zoning and value-added business enterprises.

The convention will conclude Thursday with the election of VFBF directors.

With 127,000 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 supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life. View more convention news as it becomes available at vafb.com/convention.