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2016-17 Advisory Group Election

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition held an election this July to add two new members to the VBFRC advisory group. The advisory group consists of committed individuals from the Coalition who represent both farmer and service provider perspectives in Virginia. This elected advisory group is responsible for providing input to guide program activity to best address the expressed needs of the Coalition. We are excited to announce the two newest members of the VBFRC advisory group: Anne Geyer and Patrick Johnson! Their bios are included below. Other members of the advisory group include: Andy Sorrell, Jim Hankins, John Fant, Matt Lohr, Rose Jeter, and Steve Bridge. For more information about the advisory group and other coalition information, visit our About Us page.


Anne Geyer: Anne Geyer founded Agriberry Farm and CSA in Hanover in 2008. With a mission to provide a first worker training program for 14-22 year olds hand harvesting raspberries and blackberries. In conjunction with establishing one of the nations first farmer direct fruit CSA's. Presently the Geyer Family with the help of 70+ others annually provide over 900,000 half cup servings of fresh healthy berries to the community. Anne earned a BA in Science from Wells College in Aurora, NY in 1979 and is a current member of Virginia Farm Bureau Small Fruit & Vegetable Committee; 2012 recipient of USDA Value Added Producer Grant; 2008 recipient of USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant; 2006 President of North American Strawberry Growers Association; 2005 Co-Chairman of National Berry Crop Initiative, establishing a vision to triple US berry consumption by 2020

Patrick Johnson: Patrick Johnson has had longtime association with agriculture. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer working as an agricultural extension agent with the Philippine Department of Agriculture. After volunteering with the Peace Corps, he attended graduate school at Cornell receiving a Masters Degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development. He helped found a nonprofit group called Enviro First, which worked on sustainable agriculture and environmental justice issues. He currently works as a small farm agent for Virginia State University. He is also a small farmer raising and selling fruits and vegetables.


We are looking forward to Anne and Patrick’s future involvement in the Coalition. Thank you, again, to everyone who participated in the nomination and voting process. We will be holding another advisory group election next year and can only hope that the process goes just as smoothly!

Congratulations Anne and Patrick!


If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2015-70017-22887. For more information, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at or 540-231-5784.


For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.