Farm Bureau representatives participate in convention

Published 10:43 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

Steven Crocker, James W. Jones Jr., and Annette Crocker of Isle of Wight County were among 273 delegates who helped formulate legislative policies during the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation 2018 Annual Convention.

Overall, four County Farm Bureau representatives attended the convention, which was held Nov. 27-29 in Hot Springs.

The delegates adopted policy positions to guide Farm Bureau’s legislative direction during the 2019 General Assembly. Issues that were addressed included funding support for Virginia’s agricultural best management practices cost share program; funding for essential positions within Virginia Cooperative Extension; supporting broadband expansion; opposing legislative or regulatory changes that would restrict the use of animals for agricultural purposes; and supporting the revision of Virginia’s timber theft code sections to help reduce the financial loss of landowners from theft or fraud, as well as enabling the state forester to assist in the investigation of timber theft.


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Along with setting legislative priorities, delegates re-elected VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor, of Goochland County, VFBF Vice President Scott E. Sink, of Franklin County and Women’s Committee Chairman A. Faye Hundley, of Essex County. They also re-elected five members of the VFBF board of directors: David L. Hickman, of Accomack County, J.M. Jenkins, of Lunenburg County, Leigh H. Pemberton, of Hanover County, Richard L. Sutherland, of Grayson County and Russell L. Williams II, of Rockbridge County.

Delegates also elected S. Kyle Sturgis, of Northampton County, to serve as chairman of the VFBF Young Farmer Committee.

Convention participants also heard from several speakers.

Keynote speaker Michele Payn, author of “Food Truths from Farm to Table” and “No More Food Fights! Growing a Productive Farm & Food Conversation,” encouraged farmers in attendance to engage consumers who have questions and concerns about food production. Scott VanderWal, vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, encouraged Farm Bureau members to engage new lawmakers, as soon there will be about 125 members of Congress with less than two terms of experience.

Several workshops provided industry updates and outreach suggestions. “Taking It On Locally” featured county Farm Bureau leaders sharing their political success stories and recommendations for building relationships with elected officials. “Putting the ‘Me’ in Media” providing training for effective communication with local media outlets. Participants heard the success stories of panelists who have been selling their goods directly to the public in “Direct Marketing — Making Dollars & Sense.” Jason H. Carter, executive director of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, gave an update on the state cattle checkoff program.

Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With 129,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry. View more convention news at