Former AFBF and VFBF President Bob Delano Passes Away At 93

Delano 1Former Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Delano, who went on to become president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, passed away on December 5, 2017 at the age of 93.

Born and educated in Richmond County, Mr. Delano was active in both sports and FFA at Warsaw High School. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1944 with a BS in Animal Husbandry.

After service in the India-Burma Theater in WWII, Mr. Delano served as assistant county agent for Prince George, Dinwiddie and Nottoway counties. In 1947, he returned to Warsaw and assumed the management of the family dairy farm which later was phased into a 500-acre grain operation.

In 1955, he helped organize the Richmond County Farm Bureau and served as its first president. From 1959 to 1980 he served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Farm Bureau.

In 1962, he was elected President of the Virginia Farm Bureau and its eight affiliates, serving in that position for eighteen years.

In 1967 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation, becoming vice-president in 1976. In 1980, he was elected President of the AFBF, the world’s largest agricultural organization, representing over 3.3 million farm families.

As president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Mr. Delano was listed among this country’s most influential people. He frequently was called to the White House or to testify before committees of Congress.

Delano with ReaganHe was a member of President Reagan’s agricultural policy advisory committee for trade negotiations and serves on the president’s commission for Security and Economic Assistance. In the fall of 1982, he served the office of U.S. Trade Representative as a private sector delegate to the Ministerial sessions of GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in Geneva.

In December, 1986, he was re-elected as President of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliated. He has served in numerous other capacities and has been active in many organizations including: the Governor’s Commission on the Industry of Agriculture; the State Air Pollution Control Board; the first Governor’s Trade Mission to Europe; and the Agricultural Commission of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.

He served on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors from 1994-1998. He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1985, received a Distinguished Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1987, received Virginia Tech’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1991, was inducted into the John N. Dalton Society of the Friends of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine for his long-standing support of that college in 1997, received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2000, was inducted into Virginia Tech’s William Preston Society in 2002, and served as its president from 2008-2010. Additionally he served as a member of Hokies for Higher Education, the Veterinary Medicine Citizens Committee. He served as president of the Tide Neck VPI & SU Alumni Association.

Delano 2He also made significant contributions to his state and the community in which he lived by serving on many boards. He served on the Board of Directors of Northern Neck State Bank. He was a deacon, Sunday school teacher and a life-long member of Warsaw Baptist Church.

To view service arrangements, visit


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