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Augusta County couple honored by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

Kerr family
Excellence in Agriculture runners-up, Jack and Christy Kerr, with their daughter, Annabelle. Photo courtesy Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Jack and Christy Kerr of Augusta County were named runners-up for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes individuals and couples for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

The Kerrs, who also work in broadband communications and agricultural education, are lifelong Augusta County residents.

As members of Augusta County Young Farmers and having served on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee for four years, they have a track record of positively promoting the agriculture industry.

They are closely involved with their local FFA chapter and have exposed youth to agriculture by building Agriculture in the Classroom Learning Barns for four local elementary schools.

“We both come from farming family backgrounds. However, both family farms had been sold off before we grew up,” Jack Kerr said. “Therefore, we are building our own farm from the ground up with the animals and crops we would like to raise.”

Jonathan and Kelsey Grimes of Wythe County were named this year’s Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award winners.

Jonathan Grimes is an agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Fort Chiswell High School in Wythe County. He has taught agricultural concepts and mechanics, and horticulture to 2,600 middle and high school youth in his career.

Kelsey Grimes is a Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H agent in Wythe County and has served 9,600 youth through 4-H since 2012—creating, implementing and evaluating all county 4-H programming. The couple has raised a cumulative $339,000 through grants and fundraising to promote agriculture and education.

The Grimeses will receive a Kubota utility vehicle valued at $8,500, courtesy of Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Services. They will also compete for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award during the 2021 AFBF Annual Convention in January.

Other finalists were Rachel Henley of Powhatan County; Hunter Johnson of Pittsylvania County; Ed and Katie McCann of Appomattox County; Charlie and Sarah Rudolph of Wythe County; and Kari Sponaugle of Highland County.

The runners-up will be awarded $1,500, and other individual or couple finalists will receive $750, courtesy of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee.