Young Farmers honor Virginia Farm Bureau executive and wife with Warren Beach Award

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The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee has recognized Clay and Maryanne Francis of Richmond with their 2018 Warren Beach Award for their outstanding contributions to the VFBF Young Farmers Program.

Clay Francis is VFBF vice president of membership and field services. He and his wife are known for being generous with their time to help young leaders through the Young Farmers Program.

“They were chosen because this couple has supported Young Farmers, especially contestants practicing for agriculture leadership competitions, and have given incredible feedback through the years,” said Mindy McCroskey, chairman of the Young Farmers Committee. “Mr. and Mrs. Francis have been tremendous supporters, serving as judges for competitions both at the state and national levels. They have attended all of our Young Farmers Expos over the years and have been pivotal mentors for the program.”

The Francises were honored Nov. 28 at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs. The Warren Beach Award is named for a veteran Farm Bureau leader whose support of young farmers is legendary.

Clay Francis’ responsibilities include managing Farm Bureau’s membership program and directing the organization’s field staff. He first went to work for Farm Bureau in 1985 as an insurance agent at Southampton County Farm Bureau and later was promoted to agency manger.

For 10 years, Maryanne Francis also worked at Southampton County Farm Bureau. The couple has two adult children.


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 and follow us on social media via #drivingagforward and #VFBFconvention18.

Contact Greg Hicks, VFBF vice president of communications, at 804-290-1139.

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