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Virginia AGvocates: Youth Advocating for Agriculture

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Published on May 22, 2012

"Virginia AGvocates: Youth Advocating for Agriculture" unites youth as one, positive voice to produce, promote and pride themselves in Virginia's agriculture through a variety of public relations opportunities.

"Virginia AGvocates: Youth Advocating for Agriculture" is a partnership of Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers, Virginia 4-H, the Virginia FFA Association and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Less than 2% of the American population is involved in production agriculture. It is an industry filled with obstacles with everything from poor weather conditions and price of feed to detailed environmental regulations and permitting. Today, as technology and media advance, there is a growing challenge for farmers to face: maintaining a positive image. With so few people involved in the industry, the false propaganda portrayed by organizations, such as animal rights activists, environmental groups, and many more who are not even involved in agriculture, is taken as the whole truth. This leads to a nation who enjoys affordable, convenient, wholesome meals but distrusts those who produce and provide it.

"Virginia AGvocates: Youth Advocating for Agriculture" is a step toward combating this issue. This program would be highlighting a very important part of Virginian agriculture: its future. Through this program, youth involved in agriculture would be able to voice the pride that they have in an industry that affects every person in the Commonwealth, country and across the world. Not only would the program give them an outlet to display their thoughts, but it would also better prepare them for advocating for the industry in the future.

Specific objectives of the program include:
• Helping young people to spread the word of agriculture and make them aware of the need for future agriculturalists.
• Providing tools and resources for youth to promote Virginian agriculture in a positive way.
• Give young people the opportunity to showcase their passion for agriculture in the form of speech and essay scholarship contests.
• Reward and recognize those that are actively advocating for agriculture through scholarships and awards.

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