Farm Bureau women receive accolades at conference
Three women were recognized March 17 for their contributions to agriculture and their communities during the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Spring Conference.
Dr. Amy E. Johnson of Bedford County was named the 2018 VFBF Lady Leader. The Lady Leader program provides speaking opportunities for women who are passionate about promoting agriculture.
Johnson grew up on her family’s Highland County beef cattle, sheep and turkey farm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science, an associate’s degree in emergency health services, an additional bachelor’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in nursing practice. She is a family nurse practitioner with Centra Medical Group in Bedford and frequently treats farmers in the community.
She and her husband, W.P., and their two children live on his family’s farm, where they raise wheat, soybeans and hay.
Johnson received a $500 cash award from Farm Credit, a tablet computer, a trip to the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention and a travel package to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. She also will receive travel expenses for speaking appearances on Farm Bureau’s behalf.
Amanda Parris of Carroll County was named VFBF’s 2018 Farm Woman of the Year. The award recognizes recipients’ contributions to family, home, farm business, community and Farm Bureau.
Parris grew up on her family’s dairy farm, which later transitioned to beef cattle. As a child, she was an equine enthusiast and 4-H volunteer leader and taught riding lessons. She is the Carroll County tourism relations manager and assists local government in planning and implementing community events focusing on agriculture and youth.
She and her husband, Michael, along with her mother, operate A&M Farms, where they direct-market grass-fed and -finished beef.
Parris received $250 from the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., a trip to the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention and a travel package to the 2019 AFBF Annual Convention.
Madison Slaven of Augusta County was named the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Ambassador. The recognition program is open to anyone 18 to 26 years old who wants to be a spokesperson for agriculture and Farm Bureau.
Slaven is the daughter of Jeff Slaven and Lisa Oleskie. She is a senior at Virginia Tech, where she is majoring in animal and poultry sciences and minoring in international trade and development. Her family manages a cow-calf operation, and Slaven said she hopes to have a career “that allows me to interact with producers and work with them to find solutions to challenges … to make them more successful.”
She received a $3,000 cash award from Farm Bureau and the organization’s Women’s Committee. She will make public appearances as an advocate for agriculture and Farm Bureau. She also will receive a trip to this year’s VFBF Annual Convention.
First runner-up was Cutler Blankenship of Pittsylvania County, and second runner-up was Ashley Yanego of Shenandoah County.