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Va. farmers prepare to shape agricultural policy at national convention in Utah
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Va. farmers prepare to shape agricultural policy at national convention in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY—Virginia Farm Bureau Federation members will join thousands of other Farm Bureau producers from across the country as they discuss and adopt national agriculture-related policies during the 105th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention & Trade Show.

Eight VFBF voting delegates and seven VFBF women’s delegates will attend AFBF’s 105th consecutive annual convention Jan. 19-24 in Salt Lake City.

Delegates from Virginia are VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor; VFBF Vice President Scott Sink; Bobby Combs of Smyth County; Roger Elkins of Lee County; Chuck French, president of Farm Bureau of Shenandoah County; Kory Gough of Prince William County; Cecelia Moyer of Amelia County; and Mack Smith, president of Rockbridge County Farm Bureau Inc. Alternates are Randy Webb of Carroll County and Daniel Judkins of Surry County.

Virginia’s voting delegates will discuss federal policies impacting the commonwealth’s farmers, while helping craft broader AFBF policies for 2024 related to agriculture labor reform and immigration, crop protection and risk management policies, and the farm bill’s extension.

“Assuming we will have a new farm bill in 2024, this convention will be the last chance to shape AFBF’s federal policy on farm programs while the farm bill is being debated and crafted,” explained Ben Rowe, VFBF national affairs coordinator. “I suspect we also will see resolutions related to high input prices, foreign ownership of farmland, the food animal veterinarian shortage and energy policy.”

Pryor said input from Virginia’s voting delegates on these issues is an important part of AFBF’s national policy development process.

That input also will come from eight VFBF women attending the Annual Meeting of AFB Women: Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Faye Hundley; committee members Katelyn Burner of Orange County, Jamie Pence of Shenandoah County and Carolyn Neal of Tazewell County; Margaret Arbogast of Rockingham County; Susan Combs of Smyth County; Sarah Large of Buckingham County; and Candace Monaghan of Botetourt County. Alternates are Vickie Spangler of Floyd County and Aimee Adams of Charlotte County.

In addition to policy development, participating farmers can attend workshops to enhance their leadership skills, expand business knowledge and gain insight into the trends and regulations impacting food and fiber production at home and abroad.

Additionally, they will have the opportunity to cheer on VFBF Young Farmers Program award winners, who will compete at the national convention.

Virginia’s Achievement Award winner is Adam Davis of Halifax County; Discussion Meet winner is Dr. Amanda Weakley-Scott of Madison County; and the Excellence in Agriculture Award winners are Thomas and Rachel Henley of Goochland County.

Media: Contact Kathy Dixon, VFBF communications, at 804-370-3055.

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