Feeding A Growing World

Virginia Tech alumnus Phillip Haynie III, owner of Haynie Farm, LLC, will be the guest speaker at Virginia Tech’s Black History Month program Feeding a Growing World on March 17, 2015.

Haynie will discuss the present state and future of agriculture, addressing how the agricultural community will feed 9 billion people in 2050. The program will also cover the following topics: experiences as a black farmer, precision agriculture, the need for scientists and engineers within agriculture, and using a Virginia Tech education to serve the world.

Haynie graduated from Northumberland High School in Heathsville, Virginia, in June 1995. While in high school, he served as vice president of his Future Farmers of America chapter while actively working on his family farm in Reedville, Virginia.Haynie graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics in May 1999. While attending Virginia Tech, he served as president of the Virginia Tech chapter of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences).

Upon joining MANRRS at Virginia Tech, Haynie found out he was the only farmer in the organization. This led to Haynie’s revelation that there are not many people like him – minority farmers. Of the 2 million principal farmers or farm owners in the US, only about 1.4% are black, according to the 2007 US Census. Generations of Haynie farmers had battled discrimination along with typical struggles that any farmer would face. This lightbulb moment confirmed Phillip Haynie’s love of farming, and a new passion for representing minority farmers in America.

After graduating from Virginia Tech, Haynie chose to pursue his childhood dream and continue the family tradition of farming. A fifth generation farmer, Haynie currently owns and operates Haynie Farms, LLC, a grain farming business, which operates throughout all four counties of the Northern Neck of Virginia. He and his family also own and operate a landscape-contracting firm and a trucking company that specializes in transportation of agricultural products.

Haynie currently serves as secretary and treasurer of the National Black Growers Council. He also serves on the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Advisory Council; the USDA Plant Variety Protection Board; and the Northern Neck Agri-business Advisory Council for Congressman Robert Wittman.

Haynie’s leadership led to his recognition by The White House as one of its Champions of Change. This program recognizes ‘ordinary Americans who are doing extraordinary things in their communities.’ Haynie certainly made a positive impact on the black farming community, and will continue to do so.

Feeding a Growing World, one of many Virginia Tech Black History Month programs, will take place at 12 p.m. on March 17, 2015, in Fralin Hall Auditorium.