From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services and County Farm Bureau activities. Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.
The title is a former Virginia Farm Bureau motto that had been around for a long time. I think it describes the Membership and Field Services Department well. As most of you know, Virginia FarmBureau has regional fieldmen, as they are often called. The official title is District Field Services Director, but most of the time we are referred to as fieldmen. There are nine of us in the field, each working a district of 10 counties, plus a staff person devoted to membership marketing.
Our Membership and Field Services Department has three other staff members plus the vice president of the department that work in the home office. Our department focuses on leadership development and support, serving as a liaison between Virginia FarmBureau (VFB) and the 88 county Farm Bureaus, managing membership benefit programs, and membership as a whole.
While we all have similar job duties, we each have different specialties that benefit Farm Bureau and the agriculture community. Most of our staff have farm backgrounds and have developed some of their skills, knowledge and talents on the farm. Others have gained experiences through in-depth work on Farm Bureau issues or in associations or volunteer work. I intended to highlight each person with their special niche, but it was getting too long. Instead, I want to let you know about a few areas of specialty that we have.
Our field staff have extensive knowledge in several farm products including row crops, beef cattle, agronomy, fruit and vegetables, and tobacco. As for policy issues, the staff have become specialized in Land Use Tax, zoning, conservations easements, water quality, Best Managements Practices (BMPs) programs, and working with state regulatory agencies. This has been accomplished through years of working on these issues and by serving on county planning commissions, board of supervisors, and other local commissions and associations. One of our field staff even managed the Virginia Techfootball and baseball fields.
These specialties have been beneficial in working with county Farm Bureaus on issues or helping a member on an individual basis. I am proud to say that there is a wealth of knowledge among the staff and years of experience, with some having been with VFB for over 30 years. I can confidently say that all of them, including myself, have a passion for agriculture and enjoy helping farmers and people in the agriculture community continue to build and strengthen the industry and way of life.
If there is anything that we can help you with; we will be glad to try and help. If we don’t know the answer, we can definitely put you in touch with the right person. The easiest way to contact us is through your local county Farm Bureau office. Thanks for being a member. We have several membership benefits for you to utilize, and we hope that our service adds value to your membership as well.
Until next time,