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Farm Bureau Young Farmers honor Botetourt County couple

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee honored Andy and Dr. Megan Seibel of Botetourt County Nov. 28 with its 2012 Warren Beach Award for their long-standing support of the VFBF Young Farmers Program.

The Seibels, who are members of Roanoke County Farm Bureau, manage their family’s beef cattle, hay and commercial wine grape operation in Botetourt. They were recognized at the 2012 VFBF Annual Convention in Chantilly.

Megan Seibel is director of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program at Virginia Tech and a member of the steering committee for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant and serves various roles within Farm Bureau, the Virginia Vineyards Association and the Virginia Agribusiness Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from James Madison University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech.

In 2008, she won the VFBF Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award, and in 2009, she was a national finalist for the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. In 2005 she won the VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet and went on to compete in the final round of the AFBF YF&R Discussion Meet.

Andy Seibel is the Virginia FFA Specialist. He began his career as an agricultural education teacher in the late 1980s and in 2002 joined the staff of the Virginia FFA Association. He has served as an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, teaching agricultural mechanics to graduate students pursuing teaching certificates in agriculture. As a part of his mission to create strong mentorships, he has helped state FFA officers become more connected with the VFBF Young Farmers Program.

He holds bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist degrees from Virginia Tech, and he was the 1990 winner of the VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet.

The Seibels’ work with Roanoke Farm Bureau has been extensive. Both have served as county Farm Bureau delegates to the VFBF Annual Convention. Andy Seibel serves on the county Farm Bureau board and the VFBF Wine Grape Advisory Committee, while Megan Seibel is the county Farm Bureau vice president and a member of the organization’s women’s committee and serves on the VFBF Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Andy Seibel’s family has farmed the hills above the Roanoke Valley since the 1960s, and the couple have managed a commercial Angus cow-calf herd for more than 25 years. They have three children.

“The Seibels have always been huge supporters of our efforts to grow the Young Farmers Program in Virginia, whether they are in the classroom educating future agriculturalists or participating in Young Farmers events,” said Robert C. Harris, chairman of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee. “We’ve learned over the years that we can count on the Seibels for whatever we need.”

The Warren Beach Award is named for a veteran Farm Bureau leader whose support of young farmers is legendary.

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.

 

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