Smyth County farmers honored for achievements

Smyth County farmers honored for achievements
Justin and Lori McClellan of Smyth County have been named winners of the 2017 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Achievement Award.

The McClellans were recognized Nov. 29 at the VFBF Annual Convention in Williamsburg.

The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. The McClellans have beef cow-calf and calf feeding operations, as well as an excavation and trucking business. They also enjoy competing in rodeos and riding horses on national forest land adjacent to their farm. They have one daughter, Quinlan.

Justin McClellan serves on the Smyth County Farm Bureau board of directors.

The McClellans will receive one year’s use of a Kubota tractor; a John Deere Gator XUV from Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. at cost from James River Equipment; and cash awards of $1,000 from Farm Credit, $500 from VFBF and $500 from Chesterfield County Farm Bureau. They also will receive a travel package to the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., where they will compete for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award.

Matthew and Shelbie Heldreth of Wythe County were this year’s Achievement Award runners-up. They are members of the Wythe County Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee. Matthew Heldreth works at Heldreth's Dairy Farm alongside his grandfather, who founded the dairy. Shelbie Heldreth teaches at Rural Retreat High School.

The Heldreths will receive $500 from Farm Bureau and a travel package to the 2018 AFBF Annual Convention.
With 127,000 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 supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life. View more convention news as it becomes available at

Contact Greg Hicks, VFBF vice president of communications, at 804-290-1139.

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