STAUNTON, Va. — The Farm Credit Knowledge Center is hosting a free virtual agricultural advocacy conference titled, “A Voice For Agriculture – Finding Your How, What, Where and Why.”

The conference will take place over the course of 5 live webinars beginning next Monday, Aug. 3.

Each of the 5 sessions that make up the virtual conference will feature local, state and nationally recognized speakers that are experienced advocates for the agriculture industry.

Featured speakers include: Matthew Lohr, chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service; cattle producer Brandi Buzzard; Stefanie Kitchen, assistant director of governmental relations at Virginia Farm Bureau Federation; Andrew Smith, assistant director of governmental relations at Virginia Farm Bureau Federation; Virginia Delegate Israel O’Quinn,; and Virginia Delegate Mark Keam.

Conference sessions will include, but are not limited to, establishing and maintaining relationships with legislators, learning how to put your farming business and/or agribusiness’s best foot forward, advocating tips and resources, and effectively communicating the story of agriculture and the role you play.

The conference is open to anyone interested in learning how to advocate for the agricultural industry. There is no cost to participate.

The first 25 registrants will receive a Farm Credit swag bag. There will also be additional opportunities throughout the conference sessions to earn prizes. Interested individuals are encouraged to learn more and register at the following link:

The sessions ar:

Session 1: Going up? Elevator Speeches and Other Tools for Agricultural Advocates; 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3.

Speaker: Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

Session 2: Hard Work Worth Doing. 8-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6.

Speaker: Brandi Buzzard

Session 3: Telling your Farming/Agriculture Story. Noon-1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10.

Speaker: Matthew Lohr

Session 4: Communicating and Connecting – A Legislators Perspective 

9-10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13.

Speakers: Delegate Israel O’Quinn and Legislative Director Jake Holmes

Session 5: Challenging the Status Quo

9-10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

Speaker: Delegate Mark Keam

“The conference will be an excellent resource for agriculturalists of any age, size operation, and commodity focus, but will also serve as a great opportunity for young and beginning farmers looking to find their voice in agriculture,” said Knowledge Center Program Specialist, Sarah Scyphers.

To access conference information, visit the Farm Credit Knowledge Center website, Additionally, to stay up-to-date on the conference, as well as general industry updates, events and resources, you are encouraged to follow the Knowledge Center (@FCKnowledgeCenter) and Farm Credit of the Virginias (@FarmCreditofVirginias) on Facebook. o

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