Young Farmers to host Summer Expo in Southampton

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FRANKLIN—The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers will gather July 29 and 30 in Southampton County for its annual Summer Expo.

The event, open to anyone age 18 to 35, is geared toward people who support agriculture through production, education, promotion and leadership. More than 150 participants turned out for the 2010 Summer Expo held in Shenandoah County.

This year’s event will include tours of Amadas Industries and Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk. Amadas manufactures farm machinery — including pull-type and self-propelled peanut combines, peanut diggers and irrigators — and tour buses used by NASCAR drivers and entertainers. Participants will learn about peanuts and cotton at the Tidewater AREC.

There also will be tours of Stihl’s plant in Virginia Beach and Wakefield Peanut Co., where participants will learn about all aspects of the peanut industry, from buying, shelling, storage and cooking to retail.

There also will be several educational sessions held at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin. U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., will speak during Saturday’s luncheon.

“We’re excited to host the Young Farmers Summer Expo and show the diversity of agriculture that the Southeast has to offer,” said Chris Simms, a Southeast District Young Farmers representative and host of this year’s expo.

The expo also will include the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award, Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award and Outstanding Young Farm Employee Award finals, and Young Farmers Discussion Meet semifinals.

There is no registration fee. Registration includes all events and most meals.

Agenda and registration information is available at and from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women and Young Farmers Department at 804-290-1032.