Fair’s Executive Director named to IAFE Hall of Fame

MarleneMarlene Jolliffe, executive director of the State Fair of Virginia and vice president of operations at The Meadow Event Park, has been inducted into the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Hall of Fame.

Jolliffe was recognized Nov. 26 at the 128th IAFE annual convention in San Antonio. Hall of Fame induction is the organization’s highest honor, bestowed in recognition of distinguished achievement in, or contribution to, the fair industry.

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Final Days of the 115th Congress: What it Means for Your Farm Today and Beyond

Ben final

Ben Rowe, National Affairs Coordinator

As we enter the final days of 2018, we are also into the “lame duck session” and final days of the 115th Congress. Although the working days are limited, the list of outstanding legislative issues is lengthy and contains several issues of importance to your farm and the agriculture industry as a whole. Let’s walk through the priority issues still outstanding, and how they may impact your operation.

Farm Bill

The largest bill still outstanding is, of course, the 2018 farm bill. As of this writing, the farm bill has emerged from the conference committee under a tentative agreement as we await final cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. This is good news for farmers amid a prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy and we thank Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson for making the bill a priority for this Congress.

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Matt Lohr Named NRCS Chief

Matt LohrU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of Matthew J. “Matt” Lohr to serve as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In his role, Lohr will provide leadership for NRCS and its mission to support America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in their voluntary conservation efforts through a network of over 3,000 offices in communities nationwide.

“Matt has committed his entire life to the betterment of agriculture,” Perdue said. “The knowledge and experience he brings to the table will help ensure our locally-led, science-based approach continues to offer farmers the conservation solutions needed to enhance their environment and commercial viability.”

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Goochland County farmer re-elected president of Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

WP2Goochland County hay and grain producer Wayne F. Pryor of Hadensville was elected Nov. 29 to a seventh two-year term as president of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

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

Pryor served as Farm Bureau’s vice president from December 1998 through November 2006 and has been a member of the organization’s board of directors since 1988.

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Franklin County producer re-elected Farm Bureau vice president

scottsinkFranklin County farmer Scott E. Sink of Blacksburg was elected Nov. 29 to a fourth two-year term as vice president of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

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

Sink chairs the VFBF National Affairs Committee and is a member of the Emerging Agriculture Enterprises Advisory Committee and Legislative Advisory Committee. He also is a member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC board of trustees and a board member of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability. He is a past chairman of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and past board member of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

Additionally, he is a past president of Franklin County Farm Bureau.

Sink also is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Federal Deficit Task Force and a past vice chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. In addition, he serves on the American Agricultural Insurance Co. Farm Initiative Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee.

He and his wife, Mendy, were the 2010 recipients of the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award. They operate SES Agricultural Enterprises, which produces beef cattle, hay, agricultural services and agritourism opportunities. They also own Hethwood Market in Blacksburg, where they sell locally grown produce and offer catering services. Sink holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech.

The Sinks have two daughters, Mekinsley and Mehailyn.

Hundley re-elected Farm Bureau Women’s Committee chair

fayehundleyA. Faye Hundley of Champlain in Essex County was elected Nov. 29 to a second two-year term as chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee.

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

The VFBF Women’s Program, for which the Women’s Committee serves as a steering body, provides leadership and service opportunities for farm women and sponsors events that help educate the public about agriculture. The Women’s Committee chairman also serves on the VFBF board of directors.

Hundley previously served as vice chairman of the VFBF Women’s Committee. She has served 10 years as chairman of the Essex County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

She is a member of the VFBF Legislative Committee and the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom board. She has been an Essex Farm Bureau member for 27 years and serves on that organization’s board as secretary.

Hundley is a 2016 graduate of the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Communication Boot Camp and a member of the AFBF Grassroots Outreach Team.

She and her husband, Jay, are third-generation grain farmers. She attends Upper Essex Baptist Church, where she serves as deacon and financial secretary and on other committees. She also is a coach and volunteer for Area 28 of Special Olympics Virginia.

Northampton County farmer will chair Farm Bureau committee, represent young producers on organization’s board

kylesturgisNorthampton County row crop, vegetable and aquaculture producer S. Kyle Sturgis of Cape Charles was elected Nov. 29 to a two-year term as chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee.

Elections of officers and directors were held at the VFBF 2018 Annual Convention in Hot Springs. The VFBF Young Farmers Committee chairman also serves on the organization’s board of directors.

Sturgis has worked as a precision agriculture specialist with Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC since 2011. He also works on his family’s farm with his brother and father. The family farm consists of 1,000 acres of row crops and vegetables, and his family is a partner in an aquaculture operation that raises clams and oysters.

He is a graduate of Ferrum College, where he majored in horticulture with a minor in environmental science. He also is a proud Eagle Scout.

Sturgis and his wife, Emily, live on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and enjoy hunting and fishing alongside their two Labs, Gus and Belle.

The VFBF Young Farmers Program offers opportunities to support agriculture while building leadership and public speaking skills and becoming involved in the legislative process.

Rockbridge County farmer re-elected to Farm Bureau board

russellwilliamsRockbridge County beef cattle and small grain producer Russell L. Williams II of Buena Vista 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, Williams will represent Farm Bureau producer members in Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Highland, Nelson, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties.

He chairs the VFBF Membership Services Advisory Committee.

Williams is a member of the Rockbridge County Farm Bureau and previously has served on that organization’s board and as its president, vice president and secretary/treasurer. He has farmed since 1996 and shares responsibilities on RLW Hay & Grain LLC with his son, Russell L. Williams III.

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Virginia Tech. He serves on the Rockbridge County Building Code Review Board and belongs to the Gideons International. He is a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Lexington.

He and his wife, Joyce, have four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.