Farm Bureau offering prizes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Despite its &uot;city&uot; status, Suffolk has more than 200 farms and 76,200 acres of farmland. Some 140 residents call farming their main occupation and many of those residents are women. One of those hard- working souls is Cyndi Estienne, a member of Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, and she announced Tuesday that Farm Bureau is looking for contestants in its latest contests.

&uot;The Nansemond/Suffolk Farm Bureau Women’s Committee is sponsoring all contests offered by Virginia Farm Bureau to Farm Bureau members and their immediate family,&uot; said Estienne. &uot;As Farm Bureau women, we encourage participation of the youth of farm families in Farm Bureau activities to develop leadership and a family spirit of participation and we have contests for just about everyone.&uot;

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She said the &uot;Miss Virginia Farm Bureau&uot; is open to contestants who are members of a Farm Bureau producer member family, single, and they must be 18-22 years of age by Dec. 31.

The Farm Life Poster&uot; contest is geared toward two age categories; 4 years of age to 10, and the Essay Contest is for children ages eight to 16.

&uot;Thirteen children were recognized Dec. 2 at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 77th Annual Convention for creating posters that best support the theme &uot;Farming is Still a Family Affair,&uot; said Estienne. &uot;Photos of the winning posters are displayed at The Homestead in Hot Springs throughout the December convention. The winners receive trophies for their efforts.&uot;

The Farm Youth Leadership Contest is open to children of producer members only and they must be 16-18 years of age by Dec. 31, and the &uot;Photo Contest&uot; is for three age categories, ages six and up.

&uot;Young Farmers 2003 Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award&uot; is open to

high school juniors and seniors. The &uot;Farm Woman of the Year,&uot; contest is open to any farm woman who is a member of Farm Bureau, and the &uot;Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award,&uot; is also open to members.

&uot;Savings bonds will be presented to winners in the above contests,&uot; Estienne said. &uot;Prizes will also be presented to winners on the district and state levels.&uot;

Pick up applications for all contests at the Farm Bureau office at 607 W. Washington Street in downtown Suffolk.

For further information regarding the contests call 934-2321 or 986-2268. The deadline for contests is 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20.

While they may enter contests, farmers in Suffolk raise more than 2,000 head of cattle, along with nearly 7,000 hogs. Suffolk also has 10 poultry operations, which produce 1.5 million broilers.

Suffolk producers typically plant 10,000 acres of corn, 7,200 acres of wheat, 15,700 acres of soybeans, 10,800 acres of peanuts and nearly 400 acres of hay. Five farms have orchards.

Overall, Suffolk agriculture generated $38.6 million in cash receipts in 1997, according to the latest agriculture census.

With 136,400 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farm organization. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization that supports its members through legislative lobbying, leadership programs, commodity marketing and risk management services, insurance products and other benefits.