Forward-thinking students consider future food needs

More than 100 Virginia high school students attended a Collegiate Farm-to-Table dinner and agriculture education program at Longwood University Sept. 15.

During the program, which was hosted by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, four agriculture professionals talked about issues facing farmers. They also discussed the need to feed the world in light of population projections for 2050.

 “The event brought students together with a panel of agricultural leaders to discuss the current state of agriculture as it relates to the future forecast,” explained Dee Cook, member development specialist for Farm Bureau. “The world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050; farmland is lost every day that we cannot recover; and the average American farmer is approaching 60. Our goal was to inspire students to think about solutions for providing a healthy, abundant food supply for future generations.” 

Students from more than 20 high schools in the counties of Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince Edward participated. Following the event, they were asked to submit an essay based on ideas they gleaned from the panel discussion.   

Seventeen high schools submitted essays and one winner was chosen from each. The winning students had the opportunity to attend the nation’s only Vice Presidential Debate for the 2016 general election on Oct. 4 at Longwood. 

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