Williamsburg, VA - Over 175 producers and agriculture industry professionals gathered at the 2014 Virginia Grains and Soybean Annual Conference on February 18-19th, at the Williamsburg Doubletree.
The two-day annual conference focused on Virginia agriculture issues such as new seed traits, pest management, value-added grain opportunities, soybean sustainability, legislative and Chesapeake Bay issues, as well as a presentation on the agricultural priorities of the McAuliffe Administration given by Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Todd Haymore. The Annual meetings of the Virginia Grain Producers Association and Virginia Soybean Association were also held during conference.
Shawn Conley, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin, delivered a captivating presentation on the sustainability of soybean production and agriculture in the United States. He engaged the audience of producers to participate in a sustainability survey to help advance research and understanding of Virginia's soybean production.
Gary H. Baise, and Illinois farmer and trial attorney at the law firm Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Matz PC, gave federal update with a focus on Chesapeake Bay issues. His presentation gave an informed and concise forecast of legal issues that will affect the future of Virginia agriculture.
A panel of experts discussed value added grain opportunities, including the relationship between Bay's Best Seeds and the Copper Fox Distillery that produces distilled products from Virginia grains. Afterwards, Dhamu Thamodaran, of Smithfield Foods, discussed commodity market dynamics and how they will affect the present and future of Virginia agriculture.
During VGPA's business meeting portion of the conference, association leadership for 2014-15 was announced, and William C. "Sparky Crossman, III of Mount Holly, VA was named as VGPA President. Outgoing President, O. Bryan Taliaferro, Jr., was recognized for his service to the association.
Awards were presented to the 2013 Virginia corn, wheat and barley yield contest winners with David Hula being recognized as the Virginia 1st place and National 1st place winner of the No-Till/Strip Till Irrigated category of the corn yield contest with 454.9837 Bushels/ac. Craig Hula was recognized as the Virginia 1st place and National 1st place winner of the No-Till/Strip Till Non-Irrigated category of the corn yield contest with 332.7937 Bushels/ac.
Thank you to all who attended and took time to participate in our Annual Conference, and special thanks to our sponsors that made this year's event possible.
Thank You to Our
Simpson Crop Insurance
Wells Fargo Bank
DuPont Crop Protection
Limagrain Cereal Seeds
Mennel Milling Co. of VA & Old Dominion Grain
Recyc Systems Inc.
Southern States Cooperative
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Doebler's PA Hybrids, Inc.
Rockydale Quarry Corporation
Crabbe Aviation LLC
First Bank & Trust Company
Montague Farms, Inc.
Progeny Ag. Products
Virginia Farm Bureau Crop Insurance
Agriculture in the Classroom
AGRIfinancial Services & Diversified Services
CFC Farm & Home Centers
Crop Production Services - ESN
Rain & Hail Agricultural Insurance
Precision Ag Resources Inc.
Special Thanks to:
United Soybean Board for Sponsoring Our Speakers
Virginia Corn Board, Virginia Small Grains Board and Virginia Soybean Board
for their Annual Support of the Conference