RICHMOND, Va. — For more than 90 years, Virginia farmers have gathered for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting and shared their ideas, concerns and successes.
The 2019 VFBF Annual Meeting will offer educational opportunities for Farm Bureau members interested in exporting their goods, as well as for those who want to sell in their own communities. Other speakers at the event will focus on addressing the stress that can be a part of farming, and shaping the way consumers view farm products and practices.
Harvesting Perspectives is the theme of the meeting, which will be held Dec. 2-5 at Hilton Norfolk The Main.
Theresia Gillie, a Kittson County, Minn., soybean and wheat farmer and county commissioner, will speak on “Stress on the Family Farm” and how to recognize when a loved one needs help. Gillie previously farmed with her husband, Keith, who took his own life in 2017. She continues to farm with two neighbors, and she advocates for farmers and rural Americans in Washington.
Janice Person, founder of JPlovesCOTTON LLC, will speak on “Stepping Into the Uncomfortable” and sharing agriculture’s story with non-farmers. The blogger and influencer embraced social media as it developed and has used it to execute strategic plans personally and professionally. Over the past five years she has connected with moms, foodies and millennials to communicate about food and farming.
Other speakers will include Dale Moore, American Farm Bureau Federation executive vice president, and political analyst Dr. Robert Holsworth.
During the convention, delegates from each county Farm Bureau in Virginia will help shape VFBF state and federal policies for the coming year. They also will elect four state-level directors.
The final round of the Young Farmers Discussion Meet will take place during the convention on Tuesday afternoon. The state winner of that consensus-building, committee-style competition will be named on Wednesday morning, as will the recipient of the 2019 VFBF Young Farmers Achievement Award.
With 129,000 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. View more convention news as it becomes available at vafb.com/convention and follow us on social media via #harvestingperspectives and #VFBFannualmtg19.
–Pam Wiley, Virginia Farm Bureau