Accomack County farmer re-elected to Farm Bureau board

davidhickmanAccomack County vegetable and grain producer David L. Hickman of Horntown was elected Nov. 29 to an eighth three-year term on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors.

Elections of officers and directors were held at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

As a board member, Hickman will represent Farm Bureau producer members in Accomack, Isle of Wight and Northampton counties and the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.

He chairs the VFBF Specialty Crops Advisory Committee and is a member of the organization’s Compensation Committee. He is a past president of the Accomack County Farm Bureau and former chairman of that organization’s Young Farmers Committee.

In addition to his Farm Bureau involvement, Hickman is a board member and past chairman of the Virginia Irish Potato Board, a member of the Accomack County Board of Equalization and a member and past director of the Virginia Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

He is a co-owner and operator of Dublin Farms Inc., which produces corn, potatoes, snap beans, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife, Chessie, have three sons, two of whom are involved with the farm operation.

Grayson County farmer re-elected to Farm Bureau board

richardsutherlandGrayson County beef cattle and tobacco farmer Richard L. Sutherland of Elk Creek was elected Nov. 29 to a third three-year term on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors.

Elections of officers and directors were held at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

As a board member, Sutherland will represent Farm Bureau producer members in Grayson, Smyth and Washington counties.

He chairs the VFBF Burley Tobacco Advisory Committee and is a member of the Livestock Advisory Committee. He is a past president of the Grayson County Farm Bureau and current treasurer of the Carroll/Grayson Cattle Producers Association.

Sutherland attended Wytheville Community College and Virginia Tech. He and his wife, Brenda, attend Lebanon Methodist Church, where he serves on the church’s finance committee. They have one son, Matthew, who helps farm part time.

Hanover County farmer re-elected to Farm Bureau board

leighpembertonHanover County cattle, grain and hay producer Leigh H. Pemberton of Doswell was elected Nov. 29 to a second three-year term on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors.

Elections of officers and directors were held at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

As a board member, Pemberton will represent Farm Bureau producer members in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Hanover, Henrico and Louisa counties.

He chairs the VFBF Dairy Advisory Committee and is vice chairman of the organization’s Legislative Advisory Committee.

A third-generation farmer, Pemberton is president of Hanover County Farm Bureau and a member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He also is chairman of the Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District board.

Lunenburg County farmer re-elected to Farm Bureau board

jerryjenkinsLunenburg County grain producer and former tobacco grower J.M. Jenkins of Blackstone was elected Nov. 29 to a 16th three-year term on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors.

Elections of officers and directors were held at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

As a board member, Jenkins will represent Farm Bureau producer members in Brunswick, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg counties.

He chairs the VFBF Flue-Cured Tobacco Advisory Committee and is a member of the Soybean & Feed Grain & 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.

Farm Bureau honors Southwest Virginia business leader

small debuskAutry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk of Lee County was honored Nov. 28 with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award during the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

DeBusk is chairman of DeRoyal Industries of Powell, Tenn. A gifted salesman and business leader, he started his medical products company in 1973 and built it into an industry powerhouse. Along the way he continued to give back to the Appalachian communities where his businesses thrived.

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AFBF vice president: Farmers have ear of Trump administration

small vanderwalAmerican Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal said “unprecedented access” to the Trump administration has led to some successes for U.S. farmers this year.

“It’s been an exciting year for Farm Bureau and agriculture on the policy front, and I have a lot of good news to share,” VanderWal told farm leaders Nov. 28 at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

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Rockingham County farmer wins Young Farmers Discussion Meet

JesseJesse Martin of Rockingham County took top honors Nov. 28 in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Young Farmers Discussion Meet.

The competition was held at the organization’s 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

First runner-up was Sarah Rudolph of Wythe County. Other finalists were Jonathan Grimes of Wythe County and Rebekah Slabach of Halifax County.

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Farmers urged to keep the pressure on

WPThe Virginia Farm Bureau Federation had a successful year in 2018, achieving membership growth and financial gains, said Wayne F. Pryor, VFBF president. But there are plenty of political challenges ahead, and it’s time for Farm Bureau members to step up their contacts with legislators, Pryor added.

“For the first time in many years it appears that folks in Washington are actually listening to the needs of farmers,” he told delegates to the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention. “Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval have the president’s ear, and we’re seeing real policy changes. We’re making progress on amending the EPA’s over-reaching Waters of the U.S. regulation. We now have a proposal for year-round E15 ethanol blends in gasoline. And there’s a new dairy revenue protection program.”

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County Farm Bureaus recognized for excellence of local programs

vfb-federationFarm Bureaus in Albemarle, Bland, Campbell, Prince William-Fairfax and Washington were recognized Nov. 27 by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation for their work in educating the public and promoting agriculture and Farm Bureau.

As a result of their cultivation and retention of members and their promotional and community activities, the five organizations received Best in State and New Horizon awards at the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

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Nottoway County farmers honored for achievements

ShepherdsJohn and Lydia Shepherd of Nottoway County have been named the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers of the Year Achievement Award winners.

The Shepherds were recognized Nov. 28 at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs.

The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. The Shepherds serve on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and raise wheat, rapeseed, corn and soybeans on their farm near Blackstone.

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