Grown Here at Home: Virginia Secretary of Agriculture visits Craig County hometown

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CRAIG CO., Va. (WDBJ7) - There’s a whole lot of people in the ag industry who recognize Bettina Ring. That's because she's the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in Virginia. But if you live in Craig County, many know Bettina not for her title, but because that’s where she grew up.

"It’s always wonderful to be back in Craig and to be back in the schools," Bettina said.

During a recent visit, Bettina stopped by classrooms and talked about the growing and changing agriculture industry.

"Technology is changing agriculture and forestry every day. We’re now using drones. We’re using robots. If you look at tractors and how sophisticated they are now, they allow us to know how much water to apply in fields. How much fertilizer to apply. So even if you’re someone who didn’t necessarily grow up on a farm, if you’re interested in technology, there may be a role for you in agriculture," she explained.

In a rural community like Craig County, the ag life, is the life for so many. And Bettina is proud to say her hometown is doing a good job of laying a solid foundation for the future of the industry.

"To see the students have opportunities to learn more about agriculture and forestry to now look at opportunities nearby with Virginia Tech that they can certainly go on to a four-year program. They can also go to Virginia Western Community College as they’re launching their associate’s degree in agriculture this fall. We’re very excited to see the network that’s here. We have students that are very active and have been very active in the past in 4-H and to be able to bring that program back. To be able to have a strong FFA program to teach them opportunities. And I’m very proud of them for that," she explained.