Rappahannock Record earns 2016 VFBF journalism award

The Rappahannock Record recently took top honors in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Journalism Awards competition among weekly newspapers for the most complete agriculture coverage in the Commonwealth.

The awards were presented November 28 at the opening luncheon of the VFBF annual convention at The Homestead in Hot Springs.

“We continue to be impressed by the amount of coverage modern media gives to agriculture,” said VFBF president Wayne F. Pryor. “These reporters are dedicated to covering many of the same issues of concern to our Farm Bureau members and they often present them in ways to which the average reader or viewer can relate. We are pleased that our media representatives are making agriculture coverage a priority.”

The Rappahannock Record “consistently covered local and state farm news while showing the interaction between Northern Neck agriculture and other aspects of life in the region,” the judges wrote. They added that the paper’s Fiction or Fact column “does a good job of tackling questions that may be confusing to consumers, such as Meatless Mondays or commercial chicken production.”

Rappahannock Record editor Robert Mason Jr. accepted the award on behalf of the news staff. The Record’s entry included a mix of features, news and photos by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi, Audrey Thomasson and Madison White Franks; columns by Henry Lane Hull and Mason, and press releases from the VFBF and other agriculture-related sources, he said.

Honorable mention in the weekly category went to the Tidewater Review in West Point.

The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg earned the 2016 Ishee-Quann Award for Media Excellence, which recognizes the best of all entries in the annual competition.

The award is named in part for Jeff Ishee, the near-legendary radio farm reporter who works in farm news for Harrisonburg’s WSVA radio, hosts the PBS Virginia Farming television program and operates On the Farm, a daily, web-based farm news service.

The late Homer Quann was WSVA’s farm news director for several decades and was known as the most dedicated agricultural reporter in Virginia. He constantly reminded listeners that the station’s call letters stood for “Serving Virginia Agriculture.”

The Free Lance-Star also captured the Members’ Choice Award, which honors media nominated by Farm Bureau members.

Vic Bradshaw, a reporter for the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg won the daily newspaper competition. Honorable mention went to Jake Zuckerman and James Pinsky of The Northern Virginia Daily in Strasburg.

The news team at WHSV TV 3 in Harrisonburg won the television category and Frank Wilt of WSVA won the radio category.

The recent recognition marked the 10th time the Record has won the weekly newspaper category since 2005. The Record also received honorable mention in 2015 as well as the Ishee-Quann Award in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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