As the only farmer in the Virginia General Assembly, Matt Lohr knows the value of having his voice heard in order to educate his fellow lawmakers about agricultural issues.
Lohr, who credits his Farm Bureau leadership training for his election as a delegate in the legislature, spoke at the 90th annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in San Antonio.
Lohr addressed county Farm Bureau presidents from across the nation with his “3-D vision for success.”
A fifth-generation farmer, Lohr said vision includes dreams, determination and desire. He told county Farm Bureau leaders they need to be “dreamers” in order to “create your future and be able to envision what you can accomplish both personally and as an organization.”
The second plank in the legislator’s platform is the “determination” to have your voice heard. “That means being vocal, being active and being engaged,” Lohr said.
The final “D” in his vision for success is to “live life with the ‘desire’ to have an attitude of service and look for those ways you can make a difference every day because that is what life is about.”
Lohr started up the ladder of leadership in his county Farm Bureau young farmers program and served two terms as president of the Rockingham County, Va., Farm Bureau. He credits his involvement in Farm Bureau with his election to state office in 2005.
“Farm Bureau has had a tremendous impact on my life as a person and in my profession,” Lohr said.
In addition to his legislative duties, Lohr and his family run a commercial cattle, poultry and row crop operation in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. They also have added an agri-tourism component to their farm that drew 15,000 visitors last year to pick pumpkins and navigate corn mazes.
In the Virginia legislature, Lohr says, he enjoys being the only farmer, “because it gives me a unique perspective on key issues.”