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Christy Huffman Kerr, an agriculture teacher at Wilson Memorial High School in Augusta County, took top honors Nov. 29 in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Young Farmers Discussion Meet. The competition was held at the organization’s 2011 annual convention in Norfolk.
First runner-up was Chris Van Vlack of Loudoun County. Other finalists were Jeremey Burner of Orange County and Katelyn Koontz of Augusta County.
The Discussion Meet is a committee-style discussion of a predetermined agricultural topic. Participants are judged on their ability to build consensus and work toward solutions. This year’s final-round topic was what role, if any, agriculture should play in addressing health and obesity issues.
"Obesity really has become a serious issue in our society," Kerr said.
"We talked today about the causes of the obesity trend, but we also talked about the need to make healthier foods more affordable for people.
"And we can do it here within Farm Bureau," she said, noting that the organization’s unique structure of representing farmers and offering insurance products to its members opens up local opportunities to promote healthier lifestyles.
"So we can start at the grassroots level of our county Farm Bureaus and work our way up to our nation," Kerr said.
She was awarded a John Deere Gator utility vehicle, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.; $500, courtesy of VFBF; and $250, courtesy of the Virginia Farm Bureau Service Corp. She also will receive a trip to the 2012 winter conference for Farm Bureau Young Farmers from Virginia and Maryland in Leesburg.
Kerr will represent VFBF in January in the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet in Honolulu.
She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and applied economics and minors in leadership and political science. In 2010 she earned a master’s degree in career and technical education with a concentration in agricultural education.
She currently serves on the Augusta County Farm Bureau board of directors.
With more than 150,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non- governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply
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