J.M. “Jerry” Jenkins of Blackstone was honored Dec. 4 with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award during the VFBF Annual Meeting in Norfolk.
Jenkins, a grain producer and former tobacco grower, is serving his 16th term on the VFBF board of directors and was recognized for 45 years of service earlier this year. As a board member, he represents the interests of Farm Bureau producer members in Brunswick, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg counties.
“To the best of our knowledge, Jerry has served longer on the Farm Bureau board than any other person in the organization’s history,” noted VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor. “While I am Farm Bureau’s president, he is its patriarch.”
As befits a patriarchal figure, Pryor continued, Jenkins’ assessments on Farm Bureau business draw a high level of attention. “He’s an absolute wealth of knowledge and business acumen, a careful listener, and he’s not one to mince words. All he has to say is, ‘Well, you know—’ or ‘So what you are really saying is—’ and everyone listens. And Farm Bureau has been the better for it.”
Jenkins chairs the VFBF Flue-Cured Tobacco Advisory Committee and is a member of the Soybean & Feed Grains & Grain Marketing Advisory Committee. He also is a past president of Lunenburg County Farm Bureau.
In addition to his Farm Bureau involvement, Jenkins is a former member of Virginia’s Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.
Before he began farming in 1963, Jenkins worked as a Virginia Cooperative Extension agent in Gloucester County and as a teacher in Brunswick and Nottoway counties. He also served as a supervisor of tobacco production in Venezuela for British American Tobacco Co.