The 12th Annual VAFB Young Farmers Summer Expo, July 28-30, 2017         
       By Air • By Land
• By Rail -> Bringing Virginia Agriculture to the Star City       

July 28 - 30, 2017
9:00 AM

Virginia Western Community College
3094 Colonial Ave
Roanoke, VA

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Virginia Farm Bureau and our Young Farmers sponsors listed below continue to offer this event at no cost for registration, however, you must register on this site to attend any activities and meals. Please be sure to confirm your registration at the end -- if you do not receive an email immediately afterward then you are not registered, so be sure to double check. 

Hotel reservations must be made separately from this registration. Rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood for the special Expo rate of $89 per room per night plus taxes.
Breakfast for 2 is included in the hotel rate.
Call the hotel at 540-774-4400 to make reservations.  Ask for the VA Farm Bureau Young Farmers block so you'll be included in our special rates and floors. 
Hotel deadline is July 7th or before if sold out! 

Or make reservations online at:
Be sure to put in the dates and confirm that it says Virginia Farm Bureau when you're booking your room. 

A short agenda can be viewed below and regular updates to the final agenda will be posted in the Events section on -- on our Facebook page.
Expo registration includes:
  • lunch and dinner meals, programs, workshops and tours
  • Dinner awards banquet and special programming Friday/Saturday evenings
VAFB Young Farmers are generally ages 18 to 35 and share an interest in suppoting agriculture through production (farming), education, promotion, advocacy and/or leadership.  We welcome anyone to join in our Summer Expo for networking with Virginia's young agricultural professionals, experiencing great programs and becoming more effective advocates for agriculture.  
Parents - please note:  Children are welcome to attend and are the full responsibility of the parents.  No special children's activities are scheduled at this time. 
This event closed for registrations on 7/24/2017

Many thanks to our Expo Sponsors:  Farm Credit, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and Virginia Farm Bureau 

Contest Sponsors include:  Kubota Corp., MidAtlantic Stihl, Farm Credit, Chesterfield Farm Bureau, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, VA Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, VA Farm Bureau Health Care Consultants, VA Farm Bureau Member Services and VA Farm Bureau Federation

Updated Agenda - 7/24/2017:
The 12th Annual Young Farmers Summer Expo - Roanoke, Virginia

By Air • By Land • By Rail >>> Bringing Virginia Agriculture to the Star City
July 28-30, 2017

Event Speakers: 
  • Governor Candidates Forum for Agriculture hosted by VAFB Young Farmers with candidates Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie addressing agricultural issues
  • Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry, Basil Gooden
  • Roanoke Farm Bureau President and Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Megan Seibel 
  • Virginia Tech Thornhill Professor of Agricultural Trade, Ambassador Richard T. Crowder, PhD
Special Pre- Conference Field Day - Thursday - July 27th
8:30 AM-4:30 PM: Kentland Beef and Forage Day sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Kentland Farm, 5250 Whitethorne Road, Blacksburg
Join us at the Kentland Beef and Forage Day to learn about beef cattle production, hay and pasture equipment and technology, and precision agriculture for small farms.  Contact to register for this event - it’s limited to the first 250 people and includes lunch for just $10.
AGENDA Friday – July 28th
9:00 AM:  Kick-off Tours *carpool & car-train in Roanoke - must have close-toed shoes
  • 9:00 AM - Meet at Southern States Mill for a tour of the mill GPS: 1003 Walnut Ave., Vinton, VA 24179
  • 10:45 AM - Meet at Salem Football Field to carpool into Carter Caterpillar Company GPS: 1008 Texas St., Salem, VA 24153
Noon:  Lunch on your own, prepare for Governor Candidates Forum for Agriculture.  Plan to wear business attire or nicer business casual to this event, please!
1:00 PM-5:00 PM: Governor Candidates Forum for Agriculture
  • Virginia Western Community College, GPS: 3094 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA 24015
  • Whitman Theater in the Business Science Building
*Use Parking Lot #1 off of Winding Way on left after crossing under footbridge & near the Community Garden - Cross Colonial Avenue via the footbridge between Webber Hall & the Business Science Building, then take elevator or stairs down to Whitman Theater. for a campus map.
Gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie will answer agricultural issues questions in a one candidate forum with an intermission between each candidate, and networking with industry professionals.  
6:00 PM: Young Farmers Networking Dinner & Corn Hole Tournament to Support the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom at Soaring Ridge Brewery in Roanoke.
GPS: 523 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24016
  • Welcome by Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry Basil Gooden
  • Live music, corn hole competition (entry fees apply), member recognition prizes, Expo t-shirts distributed, meet the state Young Farmers committee, meet contest participants, visit with friends! 
  • Learn about the state Young Farmers Committee members now on - look for Young Farmers in the Farmers in Action section!
Expo hotel - Holiday Inn Tanglewood, GPS: 4468 Starkey Rd., Roanoke, VA 24018

AGENDA Saturday – July 29th: 
Please enjoy hotel breakfast included in the room rate for 2 people - additional charges may apply for rooms with more than two people occupying.  Breakfast is otherwise on your own.  Some light snacks and morning refreshments will be available at the Community College for those not staying at the hotel. 
Virginia Western Community College - GPS: 3094 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA 24015
In the FRALIN CENTER -- use Parking Lot #1 or #15 - link to map on previous page
7:30 AM Fralin Center Multipurpose Room 208
Registration and morning contest activities start at Virginia Western Community College
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM – Contests - spectators welcome - check signs for contest schedules!
  • Room 213 - Contestant check in
  • Room 416 - Outstanding Young Agriculturalist presentations
  • Room 343 & 345 - Discussion Meet - may use Rm 418 if needed,
  • Room 229 - Excellence in Agriculture Contests
9:45 AM – Multipurpose Room 208 - Opening General Session – Welcome & introductions

10:00 AM – Workshops - Multipurpose Rooms 208 - 210
Room 208: Building the State Fair of the Future - an interactive discussion and focus group with Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe -Vice President of Operations at Meadow Events Park. 
Room 210: Building Business Plans That Grow for Young and Beginning Agricultural Entrepreneurs with Maggie Beal Longest, Coordinator, Farm Business Development Program at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services  
11:00 AM – Workshops - Multipurpose Rooms 208 - 210
                Room 210: Produce Source Partners - Eddy Bova, Vice President and COO Roanoke Division
Room 208: Growing County Young Farmers Groups through Meaningful Programs - State YF Committee and County YF Chairs sharing successful young farmers activities. 
12:00 PM – Lunch - Sponsored by Virginia’s Farm Credit Associations - Multipurpose rooms/Patio
Tax Incentives & Food Banks - Leslie Van Horn, Federation of Virginia Food Banks
Prepare for afternoon tours - dinner excursions
12:45 PM – Farm Tours – Choose one tour option below - tour sign-up will be held during registration. Note:  Buses will leave from Community College and will not return until after dinner.
Franklin County Farm Tours:  1) Woods Farm - Produce and Orchard; 2) Dale & Coleman Simmons Team Roping Demonstration; 3) Cattle Feeders or Beckner Produce (TBD) depending on final arrangements - bus to Jeter Farm
Botetourt County Farm Tours: 1) Martin Farms - produce, pork, beef and a new dairy under construction; 2) Ardmore Stables - equine operation; 3) Lawrence Farms - hay, cattle, grain & custom harvest - bus to Jeter Farm
6:30-9:00 PM – Picnic at Jeter Farm, GPS: 181 Blue Ridge Blvd, Roanoke, VA
Keynote speakers Deputy Secretary Seibel and Ambassador Crowder, along with Local Political Figures, and the Contest Awards & Recognitions
Approximately 9:30 PM - Buses return to Virginia Western Community College

AGENDA Sunday – July 31st:
  • YF Committee meeting - Holiday Inn breakfast room - approximately 8 AM. Guests welcome! 
  • Fantastic activities with friends on the way home:
    • Virginia Museum of Transportation to see how agricultural products were moved by air, land and rail through Roanoke -
    • Mill Mountain Park and Zoo to visit the animals at the Star -
    • Jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway for beautiful views of the farms below -  
    • Twin Rivers Outfitters in Buchanan for an exciting drift on the upper James River - 

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