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‘Freedom to Farm’ is theme of Farm Bureau convention

CHANTILLY—As many as 800 farmers and others with an interest in agriculture will gather at the Westfields Marriott Nov. 27-29 for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

This year’s event has as its theme “Freedom to Farm: Cultivating the American Dream.” It will focus on farmers’ desire to effectively produce food for the world and on a need for policies that support farming.

Delegates from each county Farm Bureau in the state will discuss and vote on VFBF state and federal policies for the coming year. Delegates also will elect members of the VFBF board of directors and the VFBF president, vice president, Women’s Committee chairman and Young Farmers Committee chairman.

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 presidential, House, Senate and gubernatorial elections. He also writes a twice-weekly column for Capitol Hill’s Roll Call.

At a Nov. 27 dinner, Gov. Bob McDonnell will toast the successful passage of an amendment to Virginia’s constitution to protect private property owners from eminent domain abuse. The amendment requires all government and private condemning authorities to assure that any eminent domain condemnation is for public purposes, not for private gain.

On Nov. 28, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman will talk about the future of farming and Farm Bureau’s role in it. Stallman has served as AFBF president since 2000.

Also on the convention agenda are Nov. 27 workshops in which participants will learn how American agriculture is affected by world economics, and how farmers can effectively share agriculture’s story with consumers.

Dr. 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 in the United States.

Kohl taught for 25 years as a professor of agricultural finance and small business management and entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech and is currently a professor emeritus.

A second workshop will introduce attendees to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and why it was formed to spark national conversations between consumers and farmers.

The convention is open to delegates and any other interested Farm Bureau members.

Contact Greg Hicks, VFBF vice president of communications, at 804-290-1139.


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