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Isle of Wight Farm Bureau members attend conference

R. Lynn Arnette

ROANOKE

Annette Crocker represented the Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Spring Conference, held March 16-18 in Roanoke. They joined more than 250 other Farm Bureau members from across Virginia.

The conference theme was “Farming: Our Heritage, Our Future.” Participants attended educational workshops on how to work with media; how to engage consumers about food and agriculture using terms they understand; employing technology to become more organized; and embracing the power of positivity. They also received an update on the activities of Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring also spoke and recounted growing up on her family’s Craig County farm. During her tenure as Virginia’s state forester, she noted, she worked with Farm Bureau and the Virginia Agribusiness Council to reach consensus on legislative goals.

“This conference helped me learn more about how we, as farmers, can advocate for our communities and our industry,” said Annette Crocker, a member of Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee. “We learned that we need to share our story with the media and consumers and tell the ‘why’ of agriculture, since many people may not understand what we do.”

Several county Farm Bureau women’s committees were recognized for outstanding work in 2017. The Smyth County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee won the VFBF Outstanding Women’s Program award. Runner-up was the Bedford County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

The Fluvanna County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee received the Innovation Award, which recognizes an exceptional agriculture activity.

Amanda Parris of Carroll County was honored as VFBF 2018 Farm Woman of the Year. She operates A&M Farms, a direct-market grass-fed and -finished beef operation, with her husband and mother. She is also tourism relations manager for Carroll County.

Dr. Amy E. Johnson, a Bedford County farmer and nurse practitioner, received the Lady Leader – Proudly Promoting Agriculture recognition.

Madison Slaven of Augusta County, an animal and poultry sciences major at Virginia Tech, was named the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Ambassador.

Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With 127,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life.

LYNN ARNETTE is a county administrative assistant for the Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau. Contact her at 242-6730, ext. 72460.