WASHINGTON—Seven delegates and two alternates from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation will join Farm Bureau producer members from across the nation in shaping policies important to farmers and ranchers during the 2021 American Farm Bureau Federation Virtual Convention.
The event, which will be AFBF’s 102nd consecutive annual convention, will be held Jan. 10-13.
AFBF President Zippy Duval said the top priority in holding the virtual event is the safety of attendees and staff. “Although we are saddened not to meet in person for this convention, we are eager to bring this event safely to farm and ranch homes across the country,” Duval said.
AFBF anticipates increased attendance because registration for the virtual event is free.
Delegates from Virginia are VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor of Goochland County; VFBF Vice President Scott Sink of Franklin County; Lynwood Broaddus of Caroline County; Coley Drinkwater of Dinwiddie County; Jonathan Grimes of Wythe County; C.W. Pratt of Smyth County; and Kyle Sturgis of Northampton County. Alternates are Hayden Lyons of Tazewell County and Jason Thurman of Franklin County.
The Virginia delegates will help formulate AFBF policies for 2021 related to trade, regulatory reform, sustainability, innovation, farm policy and more.
“Issues addressed at the annual American Farm Bureau convention often impact Virginia farmers as well as their peers across the country,” Pryor noted. “It’s even more critical now to continue the grassroots policy development process in Virginia and nationally. American Farm Bureau often represents our interests in Congress, and it’s important that we participate in their policy development process for the coming year.”
Farmers who register for this year’s convention will have the opportunity to view live, online workshops and pre-recorded presentations they can access on demand. The sessions will cover timely topics like connecting in a post-COVID world, the importance of rural broadband and how to pivot a farm business during a pandemic.
Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to support VFBF’s Young Farmers Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture Award winners as they compete during the convention.
The Virginia competitors are Matthew Heldreth of Wythe County, who won the Achievement Award; Jacob Gilley of Orange County, who won the Discussion Meet; and Jonathan and Kelsey Grimes of Wythe County, the Excellence in Agriculture Award winners.