Lee County Agent, Botetourt Student Honored at Young Farmers Event

Amy FannonTwo young adults committed to agriculture were recognized Aug. 3 during the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Summer Expo.

Amy G. Fannon of Pennington Gap is this year’s VFBF Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award winner. The award recognizes individuals for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Fannon is a Virginia Cooperative Extension unit coordinator and agriculture and natural resources agent in Lee County. She and a sister are the fourth generation to help run her family’s farm where they raise pumpkins, corn and alfalfa hay.

As Excellence in Agriculture Award winner she will receive a Kubota utility vehicle, courtesy of Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Services, and a travel package to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in January. While at the convention, she will compete for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award.

ClaireClaire E. Seibel of Botetourt County was named this year’s VFBF Outstanding Young Agriculturalist. That recognition program is co-sponsored by the VFBF Young Farmers and Women’s committees and Farm Credit, and recognizes high school juniors and seniors for academic, community and agribusiness achievement. Additionally, finalists are judged on presentations to a panel of judges.

Seibel is the daughter of G. Andrew and Dr. Megan Seibel and a 2018 graduate of Lord Botetourt High School. She has grown up on her family’s Mountain View Farm and Vineyard and worked seasonally in beef, forage and fruit production.

Additionally, she has attended the Virginia Governor’s School for Agriculture and served as president of her school’s FFA chapter and the Virginia FFA Association’s South Ridge Area. In June she was named Virginia’s 2018-2019 FFA state vice president.

Seibel is a member of the national Honor Society and National Art Honor Society; was a 2017 delegate to Virginia Girls State; served as captain of Lord Botetourt’s varsity cross country and indoor/outdoor track teams; volunteered as a student mentor in her county school system; and teaches first grade Sunday school and serves on the parish council at her church.

In the fall of 2019 she will enroll in Virginia Tech, and her career plans focus on advancing agriculture with biological systems and agricultural engineering.

Seibel will receive a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by Farm Credit, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. and the VFBF Young Farmers Committee.

The Young Farmers Summer Expo began at the 2018 Virginia Ag Expo, held Aug. 2 at Cloverfield Farms in Essex County. The Young Farmers event continued through Aug. 4 and included tours of farms and agribusinesses in Essex, King William and Caroline counties. It also included presentations from industry specialists, as well as networking opportunities.

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