Ag secretary to speak at Partners in Progress event

Published 8:35 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

Lauren V. Sloan


The Sixth Annual Partners in Progress breakfast event will be on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 a.m., in the Main Event, 110 N. Main St., Franklin. The keynote address will be provided by Virginia Secretary of Forestry and Agriculture Bettina Ring.

Virginia Secretary of Forestry and Agriculture Bettina Ring will present the keynote speech at the Partners in Progress event on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 a.m., in the Main Event.
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Gov. Ralph S. Northam appointed Ring in 2018 to serve as the fourth Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity, she supports the governor’s mission of building a strong Virginia economy in agriculture and forestry — two of Virginia’s largest private industries, while also protecting the environment.

Prior to her appointment, she was appointed by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe to serve as the seventh State Forester of the Virginia Department of Forestry. During her term leading the agency, Ring secured $27 million in funding for emergency response equipment used to fight forest fires and to assist localities and other state agencies.

A Virginia native, she began her career with VDOF and held several leadership positions, including deputy state forester, during her 18 years with the agency.

Prior to VDOF, Ring was the senior vice president of family forests at the American Forest Foundation, a position responsible for overseeing the American Tree Farm System — the largest and oldest sustainable woodland program in America. She holds a B.S. degree in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech and a Master’s of Business Administration from James Madison University.

Partners in Progress is a forum to educate and inform the community at large about key economic development issues throughout the Commonwealth, and this year with a focus on the impact of forestry and agriculture within the locality. Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries contribute a combined $91 billion annually to Virginia’s economy and generate more than 450,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

For more information about this event, please contact Ashley Cotton at or 562-1958.

LAUREN V. SLOAN is the business development manager for the Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Contact her at or 562-1958.