MARTIN, Tenn. – David and Meghan Corvin, new to Tennessee, joined their local chapter of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as a way to make friends and meet others with similar interests. They did not anticipate, years later, winning national recognition for their work.
“It quickly became something we were very passionate about – becoming involved and making sure the community understands the importance of agriculture,” Meghan explained.
After winning state-level recognition for their regional leadership activities in September 2012, the Corvins were named one of three runners-up for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award at the AFBF’s 94th annual meeting on Jan. 13-15 in Nashville. This award “recognizes those young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations,” according to an AFBF report. All the runners-up received a Case IH Farmall 45A and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise.
The Dresden couple is involved in a variety of local and regional leadership activities, including volunteering with local chapters of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H youth development organization, sponsoring a youth league girls’ softball team and hosting a variety of events to bring children in contact with agriculture. They also raise pumpkins for agritourism and sell them through Tractor Supply Company, directing a portion of the proceeds back into the Obion County 4-H program. “Ninety-eight percent of the population lives off of a farm with only two percent raising the food that this country consumes,” said David. “So it’s important that we develop young leaders in agriculture to make sure that that is in place for future generations to raise the food,” Meghan added. “It’s a matter of national security as well. America’s got the safest food of any country, and the standards by which we raise our livestock and animals are at a higher standard than any other nation.”
The Corvins also stress community awareness “about the policies and procedures we use to raise the food, that the public knows about the procedures and practices we use, not just in a business sense, but as something that the American farmer or rancher takes pride in.”
David, a technical advisor at Tyson Food Inc. in Obion County, is highly involved in the plant’s community outreach programs, which include feeding crowds of up to 6,000 annually during community feeds at the Soybean and Corn Festivals. He is also involved in the Tennessee Poultry Association.
Meghan coaches the NCAA equestrian team at the University of Tennessee at Martin and serves on the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s executive committee to help develop the sport at the NCAA level.
David holds two associates degrees from Virginia Tech, one in agriculture business and the other in agriculture management. Meghan earned her Bachelor of Science in animal and poultry science from Virginia Tech and her Master of Science in animal science industry, with an emphasis in education, from Kansas State University.
“This wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t have programs like the Young Farmers and Ranchers Programs for individuals who want to continue on past the FFA or 4-H level,” said David. “This has been a really great program that has helped us a lot on our own farm at home as well as interacting with the community, through the public relations training and everything else we’ve had, the leadership training and the development that we’ve had through working with the Farm Bureau.”
CUTLINE: David (right) and Meghan Corvin were named one of three runners-up for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th annual meeting. The couple is pictured with their daughter, Molly.