Members named to Agriculture Advisory Committee

Published 8:43 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020

City Council has named new members of the revived Agriculture Advisory Committee, which is expected to advise council on promoting farming and farm-related activities and businesses for their economic vitality in the city.

The members include Shelley Butler Barlow of Cotton Plains Farm, who along with other city farmers advocated in April for the revival of the committee by noting that the agricultural industry supports many city jobs, with about 350 farmers operating in Suffolk.

Barlow will represent the Nansemond Farm Bureau on the committee.

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Other committee members include:

  • David Bosselman, a fourth-generation farmer and Farm Service Agency local representative for Chuckatuck.
  • Richard Gwaltney, Peanut Soil and Water Conservation District representative.
  • Robert Goumas, assistant director of Planning and Community Development designated by City Manager Patrick Roberts.
  • Elizabeth Pittman, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent for the city of Suffolk.
  • Ted Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for Amadas Industries and the agricultural industry representative.

In addition to promoting agriculture in the city, the committee will recommend policies to build up agricultural activities in the city while supporting and helping in addressing new challenges in agriculture and helping support the city’s agricultural heritage.

“In recognizing how valuable the agricultural industry is to our city. I think this is something that we have needed for quite a while,” Councilman Tim Johnson said in September. “I’m happy that the staff have recommended this.”

Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Isle of Wight County also have agriculture advisory committees, and Virginia Beach has its own Department of Agriculture.