From the Field: County Farm Bureaus Have Programs to Help Members and Communities

From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.

Earlier this year, you may remember me informing you about Louisa County Farm Bureau providing a poultry litter spreader for rent as a service to the farmers in the county. Well, this is just one county of several that have looked at discount programs and community services at the local level. American Farm Bureau and Virginia Farm Bureau have several member discount programs that certainly are available to all counties. But, in some cases, county Farm Bureaus have carved out niches to further expand the membership advantage in their county.

While not specific to just Farm Bureau members, Tazewell County Farm Bureau in cooperation with local veterinarians and the county government sponsor a free rabies clinic every November that is available to all county citizens, and there is no limit to the number of pets. This one-day clinic is a cooperative effort in that all three parties chip in money to cover the costs of the rabies vaccination and share the workload. Two veterinarians cover eight locations across the county. The Tazewell County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee helps staff the locations and prepares the certificates. It has been going on for about five years, and turnout has been great.

A few other county Farm Bureaus such as Bland, Franklin, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Prince George offer member programs with discounts to Texas Roadhouse (yummy- my favorite!), O’Charley’s, Advance Auto Parts, Gardner’s Frozen Treats, Anderson Animal Extractions, tax preparation service, Sam’s Club and vendor fee at the farmers market. The local discount programs have been well received in those counties. The reciprocal part of the agreement is that the county Farm Bureaus promote the businesses and the discount to their respective members.

Farm Bureaus time and time again to meet their purpose and fulfill their mission that is described in the bylaws as “…working to achieve educational improvements, economic opportunity (like the examples anove), social advancement, and thereby promote the national welfare…” A big thank you goes out to all of the Farm Bureau volunteer leaders and county Farm Bureaus that worked tirelessly to get the constitutional amendment on eminent domain passed by a huge majority. If you are not actively involved in your county Farm Bureau, I encourage you to do so. New ideas are always welcome and an extra helping hand with activities is certainly welcomed. Your District Field Services Director is your local liaison to Virginia and American Farm Bureau and always ready to assist you and your county Farm Bureau.

Until next time,

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