Farmers just want the ability to effectively produce food for the world.
This year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention will focus on that desire with its theme of “Freedom to Farm: Cultivating the American Dream.” The event will be held Nov. 27-29 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly.
Keynote speaker Stuart Rothenberg will examine how the recent presidential election could affect farmers. Rothenberg is editor and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan newsletter that provides analysis of U.S. elections. He will address convention participants at lunch on Tuesday.
In addition to his newsletter, Rothenberg writes a twice-weekly column for Capitol Hill’s Roll Call, and he has contributed opinion pieces to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Orlando Sentinel.
His political expertise also has garnered him appearances on NBC’s Meet the Press and TODAY and ABC’s This Week and Nightline.
Following the keynote speech, participants can attend afternoon workshops to learn how American agriculture is affected by world economics, and how they can effectively share agriculture’s story with consumers.
David Kohl, president of AgriVisions LLC, a consulting business for agricultural organizations, will lead a workshop titled “The Wild World of Global Economics.” He will address how world economies are influencing land values, commodities and agricultural input costs.
Kohl taught for 25 years as a professor of agricultural finance and small business management and entrepreneurship in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He is currently a professor emeritus.
A second workshop will introduce the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and why it was formed to spark national conversations between consumers and farmers.
The workshop will feature research findings that indicate consumers want more information about their food and about farmers’ continuous improvement efforts. Participants will receive suggestions for getting involved in national conversations about the nation’s food supply.
On Wednesday morning, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman will address convention participants at breakfast. Stallman has served as AFBF president since 2000 and is a past president of the Texas Farm Bureau.
Wednesday’s lunch speaker is Jolene Brown, an Iowa corn and soybean farmer, author and family business consultant. She will present “Wrinkles of Wit and Wisdom,” an inspirational speech based on old-fashioned words of insight such as “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched” and “Keep your fences mended.”
Voting delegates from each county Farm Bureau will help shape the organization’s state and federal policies for the coming year. Delegates also will elect members of the VFBF board of directors to represent Districts 2, 5, 8, 11 and 14.
Also up for election are the offices of VFBF president, vice-president, Women’s Committee chairman and Young Farmers Committee chairman.
With nearly 150,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, non-partisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.