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Local Farm Bureau representatives attend convention

Wiatt Garland and Lynn Kallus of Northumberland-Lancaster County were among 275 delegates who helped formulate legislative policies during the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation 2016 annual convention.

Overall, 10 Northumberland-Lancaster County Farm Bureau representatives attended the convention, November 29 through December 1 at The Homestead in Hot Springs, reported member services specialist Victoria Fisher.

The delegates adopted policy positions to guide Farm Bureau’s legislative direction during the 2017 General Assembly. Issues addressed included the current impact of the budget shortfall on key agriculture and forestry programs; supporting the sale of meat from state-inspected facilities and maintaining state inspectors to get new and emerging facilities online to meet growing demand; supporting the sale of pasteurized milk from inspected sources; supporting quality weights and measures inspections; and maintaining the water rights of landowners.

Delegates re-elected VFBF president Wayne F. Pryor of Goochland County and VFBF vice president Scott E. Sink of Blacksburg and three members of the VFBF board of directors. William F. “Bill” Osl Jr. of Cumberland County, Peter A. Truban of Shenandoah County and W. Ellis Walton of Middlesex County will serve three-year terms. Delegates elected Bruce N. Stanger of Montgomery County to represent Farm Bureau producer members in Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe counties.

Delegates also elected Faye Hundley of Essex County to serve as chairman of the VFBF Women’s Committee and Mindy McCroskey of Washington County to serve as chairman of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee.

Keynote speaker Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, discussed challenges for the nation’s farmers in the coming year. Dr. Robert Holsworth, managing principal with analysis firm DecideSmart, shared his insights on the 2016 election and how it may affect farmers and rural Virginia.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Basil Gooden acknowledged Virginia farmers’ steps to protect water quality on their land. He celebrated the success of Virginia’s Resource Management Plan program by unveiling a new metal sign for farmers with RMP plans to place on their property.

Northumberland-Lancaster County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With 126,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmer’s advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life.

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