Cumberland Farm Bureau represented at annual convention

Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dick Baltimore, president, Rob French, president-elect and Timothy Vaden, director of Cumberland County, were among 279 delegates who helped formulate legislative policies during the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation 2015 Annual Convention.

Overall, four Cumberland County Farm Bureau representatives attended the convention held Dec. 1-3 in Norfolk.

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The delegates adopted policy positions to guide Farm Bureau’s legislative direction during the 2016 General Assembly.

Issues that were addressed included Virginia’s agriculture best management practices cost-share program; biosolids; farmer representation on soil and water conservation district boards; GMO labeling; the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ weights and measures program; and the Virginia Tech livestock and poultry facilities.

Along with setting legislative priorities, delegates re-elected four members of the VFBF board of directors. David L. Hickman of Accomack County; Jerry M. Jenkins of Lunenburg County; Leigh H. Pemberton of Hanover County; and Richard L. Sutherland of Grayson County will serve three-year terms.

Delegates elected Russell L. Williams II, of Rockbridge County, to represent Farm Bureau producer members in Amherst, Highland, Nelson, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties.

Convention participants also heard from several speakers.

Keynote speaker Darryl Jenkins, chairman of the American Aviation Institute, spoke about commercial drone use on farms.

Keni Thomas, a former U.S. Army ranger, shared his experiences with leadership and teamwork.

American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Barry Bushue shared a message with farmers about agriculture’s bright future despite challenges ahead during this time.

Gov. Terry McAullife shared with members his plans for making Virginia the East Coast capital for agricultural and forestry exports.

Cumberland County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

With 128,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group.