Nate and April Aker of Wythe County have been named winners of the 2012 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Achievement Award.

The Akers live and work on their family’s third-generation dairy farm. In addition, they raise beef cattle and grow vegetables to diversify the operation.

They were honored Nov. 28 at the VFBF Annual Convention in Chantilly.

The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. Nate Akers serves on the Wythe County Farm Bureau board of directors.

The Akers will receive up to 200 hours’ use of a Kubota M-series tractor from Kubota Tractor Corp.; a new Stihl chain saw from Mid-Atlantic Stihl; $500 from Virginia’s Farm Credit associations; and $500 from Chesterfield County Farm Bureau.

They also will receive travel packages to the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., and the 2013 VFBF Young Farmers Winter Expo in Harrisonburg.

Chris and Patricia Haskins of Pittsylvania County were this year’s runners-up.

The Haskinses manage Rawhide Ridge Farm, which includes Boer goats, Angus cattle and hay. Additionally, Chris Haskins operates a custom fencing business and serves on the Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau board of directors.

The couple will receive $500 from Farm Bureau and a travel package to the 2013 AFBF Annual Convention.

With nearly 150,000 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 protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply. View more convention news as it becomes available at