If you have been involved in Farm Bureau for any amount of time, you have probably heard someone say that Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization. Our policies all start at the county level. Our state and national leaders all started at a county Farm Bureau. This county structure has been in place for decades and is still the mainstay of Farm Bureau.
Last week, I helped with the Open House at the new Appomattox County Farm Bureau office. VFBF President, Wayne Pryor; Appomattox County Farm Bureau President, Earl Pickett; and Appomattox Young Farmer chair and incoming county Farm Bureau President, Joanne Jones kicked off the event with remarks to the audience. A great lunch with dessert was enjoyed by many. They had a steady flow of people at the office throughout the day. I enjoyed talking to all of the people that visited. Visitors included VFB staff from the home office, the largest cattleman in the county who is a young farmer, a livestock auctioneer who is also a young farmer, members just visiting and some conducting business, and some potential new members.
Even the kids enjoyed the open house. Some of the young farmer parents had their toddler-aged kids there, and there were balloons on hand. Balloons and kids. It’s a classic combination where you can’t go wrong. The cutest part of the day was when a little girl took two balloons. One was for her. The other one she took out to the parking lot, released it into the air, and then told her parents that it was for Jesus. This open house, like many we have had in Farm Bureau, was a great blend of county Farm Bureau volunteer leaders and Farm Bureau staff all working together in preparing for and hosting the event.
One thing that was really neat was a display of pictures of all of the offices that Appomattox County Farm Bureau had occupied over the years plus the current office. The first Appomattox office was in a building no bigger than a one room schoolhouse constructed of old brick, wood lathe, and plaster. I have heard several interesting stories about the old Farm Bureau offices over the years. Some offices have been located in buildings of other businesses. Some have been in less than desirable conditions. That was a long time ago for these offices. They have come a long way and are now in their own office.
This Open House was just a snapshot of what happens at county Farm Bureau offices throughout the year. Whether it’s a new office or an old one, the county Farm Bureau office is a busy place where member business is conducted, policy development takes place, agriculture education programs are developed, and women’s and young farmer programs start. Many thanks go out to the volunteer leaders, staff, and members helping our organization move forward every day.
Until next time,