The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee honored Dr. Megan Seibel of Botetourt County with its inaugural Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award March 30 at the organization’s Women’s Spring Conference in Bristol.
The award was introduced this year to honor women for achievements and contributions to the agriculture industry.
Seibel is a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and inaugural director of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results Program, or VALOR. She also serves as associate director of the Center for Cooperative Problem Solving and is lead specialist for facilitation and strategic planning training for Virginia Cooperative Extension and its stakeholders.
She previously served 18 months as deputy secretary of agriculture and forestry under former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Seibel has served on the Roanoke County Farm Bureau board for 12 years and is in her third term as that organization’s president. She is a graduate of the American Farm Bureau Federation
’s Partners in Advocacy Leadership program, and in 2012 she and her husband, Andy, were recognized with the VFBF Warren Beach Award for their support of young farmers.
In 2015, she was named America’s Farmers Southeast Mom of the Year in a recognition program sponsored by Monsanto.
The Seibels, who have three children, manage their family farm in Botetourt, where they raise beef cattle and commercial wine grapes.
Seibel holds a doctoral degree in agricultural and extension education and a master’s in career and technical education from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from James Madison University.
In accepting the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award, she recalled a time when her career path was not necessarily clear to her, and when Farm Bureau served as a resource and a valuable source of connections.
“I believe firmly that there is a bigger plan for all of us, and if we have still minds and open hearts opportunities will open for us,” she said. “I thank you all for what you do in this organization. It is strong; it is a fabulous entity.”
Faye Hundley, VFBF Women’s Committee chairman, said Seibel “has had a significant impact on, and offered much support to, many facets of Virginia’s agricultural community. She’s someone who has determined where she can best make a difference, and she continues to make the most of those roles and to model qualities that will serve rising generations of women in Virginia agriculture.”
Seibel will receive a $500 cash award, courtesy of Colonial Farm Credit, as well as travel packages to the 2019 VFBF Annual Convention and 2020 VFBF Women’s Spring Conference, and a one-year paid county Farm Bureau membership.
With 129,000 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.
Contact Pam Wiley
, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1128 or Angela Haskovec
, VFBF Women’s Program and fundraising manager, at 804-290-1031.