WORKSHOPS

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF VIRGINIA FARM BUREAU CONVENTION
Martha MooreVice President of VFBF Governmental Relations
DIRECT MARKETING WITH EXCELLENCE: TRIALS & TRIUMPHS (EXHIBIT HALL)
Panel
 

Businesses often flourish or flounder based on three principles: money, management, and marketing. Hear from a panel of successful farms sharing strategies for direct marketing niche products.

What sets them apart from similar businesses? How did they find their niche and determine their market? How do they plan for profitability? What advice would they offer to producers starting a value added venture? Learn how these producers succeed in today's competitive marketplace.

STRESS ON THE FAMILY FARM
Theresia Gillie
 

Theresia Gillie is a former president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and currently Commissioner for Kittson County. She will share her story of purchasing and operating the family farm with her husband, the stresses that led to his suicide in 2017, and the highs and lows she has faced as she efforts to continue the farm business.  

 
STEPPING INTO THE UNCOMFORTABLE
Janice Person, Founder of JPloyesCOTTON, LLC
 

In the world of food & farming, we frequently find ourselves in uncomfortable spaces. We hear shoppers disparage the foods produced on farms like ours and peers say things that seem like farmers don’t even understand each other. No matter what descriptors people attribute to your farm, you have probably been uncomfortable or even mad about misrepresentations. This workshop will help you determine why the difference exists, help you find common ground and build productive paths forward.

PROMOTING & FACILITATING INTERNATIONAL TRADE: BENEFITS TO YOUR FARM (EXHIBIT HALL)
Stephanie Agee, VDACS
 

Agricultural trade has been front and center in media headlines the last two years. The importance of trade to U.S. agriculture economy has been very evident with the disruption of trade between the U.S., China, Mexico, Canada and subsequent direct payments to farmers via the Market Facilitation Program. But wait, there’s more to agricultural trade than disputes and payments.

Despite the headlines, agricultural trade continues every day. Just how important is trade to Virginia agriculture? How does it affect the economy and the ag industry overall? Does Virginia promote trade? What resources are available to assist farmers and agribusinesses in pursuing international sales opportunities? Stephanie Agee, Director, Marketing and Development, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will present answers to these questions and more.

DISCUSSION MEET COMPETITION

The Young Farmers Discussion Meet has moved to a new time during Convention!  Discussion Meet is a competition designed to simulate a committee meeting in which active participation is expected from each contestant in solving real issues in agriculture and Farm Bureau. Competitors are judged on their discussion skills, understanding of important agricultural issues and how well they lead the group toward consensus in taking action on predetermined agricultural topics.  Four Young Farmers worked their way through three rounds earlier this year to become finalists for this competition.  The winner during this workshop segment at Convention will represent Virginia at the American Farm Bureau meeting in New Orleans.