Washington County educator wins Excellence in Agriculture Award

Sarah Scyphers of Washington County is this year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award winner. She was recognized July 30 during the VFBF Young Farmers Summer Expo.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes individuals for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Scyphers is an agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor at Holston High School in Damascus. She grew up on her family’s beef cattle and sheep operation, where they also grew crops to feed their livestock. She, her husband and their two children raise purebred Katahdin and commercial hair sheep, along with commercial and Charolais cattle.

As an educator, Scyphers has looked for ways to benefit not only her students, but also other children in her community. This past school year she was awarded a Models of Innovation Grant through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Tech for development of an outdoor learning lab and classroom at her school. She also has established a program in which her students educate third-graders about agriculture.

Scyphers holds a bachelor’s degree in animal and poultry science with an emphasis in production agriculture and a master’s degree in career and technical education with an endorsement in agriculture education.

She will receive a Kubota RTV utility vehicle, courtesy of Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Services, and a Stihl chain saw from Mid-Atlantic Stihl. She also will receive a travel package to the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Phoenix. While attending the convention she will compete for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award.

Casey and Stacey Phillips of Montgomery County are this year’s Excellence in Agriculture runners-up. They also will receive a travel package to the AFBF Annual Convention.

With 128,000 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 and preserving the Virginia way of life.

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