2012 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention starts Tuesday

Virginia farmers will recognize some of their peers during the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention Nov. 27-29 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly.

Young Farmers with a talent for problem-solving will participate in the final round of the VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet. The competition simulates a committee-style discussion about a predetermined agricultural topic, with judging based on participants’ consensus-building skills.

Additionally, a young farmer or farm couple who are successful in production agriculture and as leaders in their community will be recognized with the VFBF Young Farmers Achievement Award.

The Achievement Award and Discussion Meet winners will compete on the national level in January at the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville.

At a Nov. 27 dinner, Gov. Bob McDonnell will recognize the Farm Bureau members who helped encourage state legislators and voters to support an amendment to Virginia’s constitution to protect landowners from eminent domain abuse. County Farm Bureau members mailed more than 14,000 postcards to their state legislators last winter and distributed more than 10,000 “Vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1” yard signs this fall.

The amendment, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2013, requires all government and private condemning authorities to assure that any eminent domain condemnation is for public purposes, not for private gain.

During a Nov. 28 banquet, Farm Bureau will present its annual Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize individuals who have worked diligently to support the organization and Virginia’s agriculture industry.

The theme of this year’s convention is “Freedom to Farm: Cultivating the American Dream.” On the agenda for Nov. 27 is an educational workshop about how world economies are influencing agriculture, and another workshop about ways farmers can engage in national conversations regarding the nation’s food supply.

During the convention’s opening luncheon, keynote speaker Stuart Rothenberg, a political writer, will talk about how the recent presidential election could affect farmers. The luncheon also will be used to recognize print and broadcast news professionals with the 25th annual VFBF Journalism Awards for exemplary coverage of agriculture.

During general sessions of the convention, delegates from Virginia’s 88 county Farm Bureaus will discuss and vote on the organization’s state and federal legislative policies for the coming year.

Stay tuned to the blog for live updates from convention next week. And if you’re a producer member attending the convention, stop by the Governmental Relations booth in the exhibit hall to learn more about our 2013 critical issues.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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