RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia farmers understand adversity. They’ve endured four centuries’ worth of unpredictable weather, market uncertainty and other challenges, yet their determination to produce much of the world’s food, fiber and fuel remains resolute.
Honoring farmers’ unwavering commitment will be a highlight of the 2021 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention, as the organization celebrates its 95th anniversary.
“95 Years and Still Growing” is the theme of the event, which will be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 at the Williamsburg Lodge.
Speakers will include Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Sam Kieffer, American Farm Bureau Federation vice president of public affairs.
Bronaugh will deliver the keynote address during the meeting’s opening luncheon on Nov. 30. She was appointed to her current role by President Joe Biden in January, having previously served as the 16th commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Bronaugh, a Petersburg native, also previously served as the executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Virginia, and as dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University.
Kieffer leads American Farm Bureau Federation’s public policy, advocacy and economics teams in advocating for farmers and ranchers to the U.S. government. He previously served as the chief administration officer for Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and is a 12-year veteran of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Kieffer will share an update on national agricultural policies on Dec. 1.
Convention participants will take part in four educational workshops on Nov 30. Presentations will address landowner concerns about easements and rights of way; managing family dynamics on the farm; mental health concerns and resources in rural communities; and smartphone photography.
County Farm Bureau leaders will gather Dec. 1 for the Annual Meeting of Voting Delegates, which helps shape the organization’s state and federal policies for the coming year. Delegates also will take part in elections for five seats on the VFBF board of directors.
With 132,000 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 #VFBFannualmtg21.
–Virginia Farm Bureau