Growing for the Greater Good is convention theme

virginia farm bureauFeeding the world is the subject of an award-winning documentary that will be screened Nov. 28 and 29 at the 2016 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

The Great American Wheat Harvest tells the story of hard-working custom harvesters who travel from Texas to the Canadian border to gather wheat that feeds the United States and the world.

The film, which shares challenges that are threatening a way of life passed from generation to generation, was produced by Frederick, Md., director and producer Conrad Weaver. It strives to explain what it takes to get a loaf of bread into supermarkets and then onto consumers’ tables.

The subject ties in with the convention’s theme, “Growing for the Greater Good.” Gov. Terry McAuliffe will speak at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday during the event’s opening luncheon. Afterward, American Farm Bureau Federation President Vincent “Zippy” Duvall will deliver a keynote address about that organization’s plans for growth in its support of U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Ga., is the 12th president of the nation’s largest agricultural advocacy group. He was elected in January, and this is his first time addressing VFBF convention delegates.

Other convention components related to growth include the VFBF Young Farmers annual Discussion Meet competition and presentation of the Young Farmers Achievement Award that recognizes leadership growth among young producers.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which discussion and active participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Through practice and competition they develop communication skills, a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and the ability to reach consensus and solve problems. The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm.

County Farm Bureaus also will be recognized at the convention for their work in educating the public and promoting agriculture and Farm Bureau, and for outstanding membership growth over the past year.

Political analyst Dr. Robert Holsworth will speak on Nov. 30 about implications of the 2016 elections for rural Virginia and the agriculture industry. Holsworth is a managing principal of DecideSmart and a former director of the Center for Public Policy and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The event will conclude on Thursday with the election of four VFBF officers and four state-level directors.

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