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.
The year was 1944, and the United States was involved in World War II. Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. The U.S. population was 138,397,345. The national debt was $204.1 billion. A stamp cost $0.03. Sunscreen was created to protect soldiers from sunburn, which later became the Coppertone Company. Gasoline was $0.21/gallon. Milk was $0.62/gallon. While World War II was a major event, life still went on at home.
Lots of things have changed since then. The U.S. population is now 318,455,000. The U.S. national debt is 17.83 trillion. A stamp now costs $0.49, and milk is $3.73/gallon. Average U.S. gasoline price is $3.59/gallon.
While many things have changed, the need for farmers to work together for the good of their industry has not changed. Several county Farm Bureaus have endured and prospered over the past seven decades. The year 1944 was a year when several county Farm Bureaus were officially created as an organization being certified by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. County Farm Bureaus have their original articles of incorporation in their file folders in county offices. I know in my district Albemarle and Cumberland are celebrating their 70thanniversaries.
Thumbing through some of these files is a step back in time. It is interesting to see when county Farm Bureaus got their official start and who the initial board of directors were. As annual membership meetings take place from August to October, some counties will celebrate 70 years of working to improve agriculture and representing their members.
Many county Farm Bureaus were organized in 1944 and earlier, but some had to be reorganized in later years. For more specific Farm Bureau history, you can refer to “The Virginia Farm Bureau Story” by J. Hiram Zigler. Read The Virginia Farm Bureau Story online at http://archive.org/details/virginiafarmbure00ziglMake plans to attend the annual membership meeting of your county Farm Bureau this year. It may just be a special anniversary party as well.
Until next time,