Virginia Farm Bureau Marking Myriad of Milestones

The state’s largest farm advocacy membership organization is celebrating its 90th year.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has been representing the state’s farmers since 1926, and it marked the beginning of its 90th year at the 2015 annual convention last fall.

Last year it also observed the 65th anniversary of the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. and the 50th year of the organization’s lobbying arm.

“Fighting for Farm Bureau policy positions kept us busy throughout 2015,” said VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor. “It was a pivotal year for representing our members. Whether they were opposing the EPA’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’ regulatory over-reach or promoting common-sense immigration reform, Farm Bureau members spoke out loud and clear.”

The Virginia Farm Bureau was originally formed as a cooperative to provide discounted farm supplies for its members. It quickly branched out into providing legislative support for farmers who lacked representation at the General Assembly.

Today, Farm Bureau provides legislative representation as well as membership benefits for non-farmers, including a wide variety of insurance coverage. It also strives to keep its members informed through its membership magazines, Cultivate and Virginia Farm Bureau News.

And this February, Virginia Farm Bureau News, the organization’s publication of record, marked 75 years in print. The current magazine originally was a tabloid newspaper, first published Feb. 15, 1941.

Issues published between February 1941 and January 2000 are available online through a partnership with the Library of Virginia. To browse archived issues, go to digitalvirginianewspapers.com. Under “Browse the Collection,” click on the link to “Browse by Title,” and choose Virginia Farm Bureau News from the list of newspaper titles.

Other milestones marked over the past year include the Farm Bureau Young Farmers Program hosting a decade of summer expos. And this year was the seventh consecutive year Virginia Young Farmers received national recognition at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention.

2015 was the second year VFBF’s Agriculture in the Classroom Program honored Virginia teachers who successfully incorporate agriculture into their core lessons. It also was the second year Virginia’s AITC Teacher of the Year earned a national AITC Excellence in Teaching award

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