Young Farmers of Virginia

Interested in Virginia agriculture?

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To deliver programs in agricultural education for out-of-school adults in order to assist them to become established, or to progress in farming or other related agriculture occupations.  Young Farmer members receive many benefits from their membership in local, area, state and national organizations. Not only are educational programs offered, but also social/recreational activities as well as opportunities for community service.

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2016 State Convention

Posted By on January 6, 2016

Just a reminder to get your reservations made (extended again until Jan. 9) and you can still submit award applications to Mr. Byrd.  The response for awards hasn’t been what we’d like the last several years.  We would love to see more participation as our sponsors are very generous and we don’t want to lose those who have supported us over the years.

A third tour stop has been added to the Saturday schedule.  Brookhill Farms has graciously agreed to have our group for a tour of their horse facility.  You can check them out on the web at

Room Reservations & Awards

Posted By on December 28, 2015

The deadline for Room Reservations at the YFV rate ($89 a night) for our 2016 Convention has been extended until January 4th! Please call today to make your reservations!

Holiday Inn Charlottesville- University Area
1901 Emmet Street
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901


Also be sure to get those award applications in.  They are due to Ron Byrd by December 31.  Forms are on the website and there are links on our facebook page also.

Award Applications

Posted By on December 16, 2015

Below are links to awards applications that you can fill out online without having to print, write, and scan.  Once complete hit the submit button and the application will go directly to Ron Byrd.

Thanks to Kristin Carr Beery at Fort Defiance High School for setting these up for us.


Stewardship Award :

Outstanding Young Farmer:

Diversification AwardL

Outstanding Young Farmer Association Award:

Outstanding Agribusiness Award:

Typo on Convention Registration

Posted By on November 30, 2015

By now most of you should have received your newsletter. We found a typo on the convention registration form after they went in the mail. About 1/4 way down the page it said 66th Annual Convention in Roanoke instead of Charlottesville. It really doesn’t affect anything registration wise but a new form has been uploaded to the website.  It should be in the post right below this.

2016 Convention Registration

Posted By on November 30, 2015

YFVConventionReg Form 2016

YF Officer Application

Posted By on November 24, 2015

YFV Officer Application

2015 Fall Newsletter

Posted By on November 24, 2015

YF Fall Newsletter 2015

June 2015 Summer Newsletter

Posted By on July 13, 2015


Presidents Message – June 2015

Posted By on June 26, 2015

Greetings to you all from Rockbridge County,

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s mid-June and we are already experiencing warmer than usual temperatures for this early in the summer season. Although after such a cold winter, these temps are a pleasant welcome for many. Please be safe as you tend to your planting, hay making, etc. and be mindful of the extra “slow moving” traffic on rural roads this time of year. I’d like to take a moment to show appreciation to Past President, Shelia Lilly, and our 2015 Executive Committee for coordinating such a great convention earlier this year in Roanoke. It takes a village, and it was a great weekend of tours, meetings and fellowship for all who attended!

We’ve had a busy start to the year, in early March, Shelia Lilly and Ashley Craun attended the NYFEA Agriculture’s Promise in Washington, DC. Shelia and Ashley spent a couple days in workshops, forums, and meeting USDA and Congressional Leaders, complete with a tour of The Hill! You can find more details of Shelia and Ashley’s experiences on the YFV website, what a great opportunity this trip was for them! The Executive Committee had its first meeting for the year in late March to begin planning for this year’s activities and to brainstorm about new ideas. It was a successful meeting and it’s our hope to incorporate some new initiatives in the near future. We are currently working on securing sites for our summer tours, plans are underway for Thursday, July 23 in the Harrisonburg/Bridgewater area. My apology that not more information is available at this time, but please know we are doing our best to coordinate a fun and educational experience. As plans evolve, we will share information on our website and Facebook page (be sure to LIKE our Facebook page, it’s the easiest and fastest way for us to broadcast updated information).

Mark your calendars for this year’s NYFEA National Institute, December 9-12, 2015 in Charleston, SC (“Charleston, Charleston, Charleston!” for those of you who were at the 2014 Institute in Louisville, KY!) Tours for the institute will include the Charleston Tea Plantation, Clemson Univ. Coastal Research Center, Carolina Peanut Co., and Elloree Gin Company, just to name a few.

Additionally, we have secured the Holiday Inn – University in Charlottesville, VA as the hosting hotel and venue for our 2016 State Convention, January 29-31, 2016. We are working diligently with the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Farm Bureau office to coordinate engaging tours around the area. Stay tuned for more details!

I’m looking forward to once again playing an active role in this year’s YFV activities and I thank you for entrusting me to be your President!

Best, Jane McDonald

2015 NYFEA Ag Promise – Washington DC

Posted By on March 4, 2015

Vice President Ashley Craun and I had the pleasure of attending NYFEA’s Ag Promise in Washington, DC March 1-3.  This is the first time Virginia has had anyone attend the program except for maybe the Delegate meeting on Sunday.  Ag Promise is a program with workshops, round table discussions on issues the agricultural industry faces, and a day on Capitol Hill addressing our Congressional Leaders.  Those in attendance represented Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Indian, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

The first day (Sunday) was an afternoon Delegate meeting and then talk about various NYFEA activities including the Ag Communication Award and recruiting participants, Social media, new contests and recognition, and engaging State Leaders.  Dinner out in the evening provided an opportunity to make connections and network with other members across the US.

Day two consisted of a morning session with guest speakers from all aspects of the Ag industry.  Speakers included Sherene Donaldson, National FFA Executive Secretary; Janet Adkinson, RFDTV; Karis Gutter, Deputy Undersecretary of Farm and Foreign Policy for the USDA; Bob Young, Chief Economist with American Farm Bureau; and Matt Mika, Director of Governmental Relations with Tyson.  All of the speakers offered their thoughts on the current Ag industry and issues that they see in the future for agriculture.  At the beginning of the morning session we were all asked to write down two issues that are important to us or that we see as challenges on an index card.  In the afternoon session we broke up into groups, the index cards were handed out randomly, and each group was asked to come up with 3-4 key issues that we felt were the most important.  Those issues were then presented to the whole group in a role playing scenario.  It was interesting to see that the states represented all had basically the same concerns.  The top eight key issues faced by all of the states represented were:  (1) Consumer Education; (2) Minority and Immigrant participation in Ag Industry should be supported; (3) Ag policy should be based on sound research; (4) Transfer of ag assets from one generation to another; (5) Ag Education in ALL schools; and (6) Supporting policy that creates more opportunity in non-traditional agricultural jobs; (7) American leaders should UNDERSTAND Agriculture; and (8) The “Waters of the US” is a Policy that should be Pro-Agriculture.  That evening a reception was held close to Capitol Hill where all Congressional staffers and aides were invited to join us.

On day three we took a bus to Capitol Hill.  First stop was the Committee on Agriculture meeting room at Longworth House Office Building.  Our first speaker was Congresswoman Martha Roby, Republican from Alabama with a great discussion about the Appropriations Committee and some of the key things they are working on.  Bart Fischer, Chief Economist in the Ag Department then shared the process of developing and passing a farm bill.  The rest of the afternoon was spent speaking to staffers and aids about the key issues from Monday’s workshop.

This is a wonderful program and I want to thank our friends at NYFEA for “making” this happen for Virginia.  Ashley and I think it is a great opportunity that the state should continue participating in.  We will be discussing some ideas at our next executive committee meeting on who would benefit from attending and how to make this happen.

Shelia Lilly

Past President