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Farm Bureau News


A thorough telling of one Thoroughbred’s story


The Voice of Virginia’s Agricultural Producers

Farm Bureau News

Volume 77, Number 1 January 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau News (USPS 017763) (ISSN 1525-528X) is published four times a year. January, April, September, November. It is published by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Periodicals postage rate is paid in Richmond, VA. The annual Subscription Rate is $1.23 (included in membership dues).

18 Members of the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums took part in the 2017 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention’s opening general session.

Features 14

A thorough telling of one Thoroughbred’s story

Forty-five years after his Triple Crown win, Secretariat still has a following. Farm Bureau and The Meadow Event Park are working to preserve his legacy. 8

Construction changes Farm Bureau plans for General Assembly

The old General Assembly Building is being demolished, but Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s built a solid plan for keeping members informed and engaged this legislative session. 13

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE Producer members will receive their next issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News in April. The magazine is published quarterly, and back issues can be viewed at issuu.com/ virginiafarmbureau. WE’RE SOCIAL!

Resource Management Plans exceeding original goals


Heart of the Home



EDITORIAL TEAM Greg Hicks Vice President, Communications Pam Wiley Managing Editor Kathy Dixon Staff Writer/Assistant Editor Sara Owens Staff Writer/Photographer Patricia Hooten Graphic Designer Maria La Lima Graphic Designer Claire Mills Advertising

Board of Directors DIRECTOR

Leeanne Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park, posed with resident Secretariat descendant Groundshaker (Photo by Kathy Dixon).


Member: Virginia Press Association

Scott E. Sink, Vice President



All advertising is accepted subject to the publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for the content of their advertising. The publisher maintains the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaints about services or products. The publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised.

Officers Wayne F. Pryor, President

Departments For Your Benefit

Members — Address change? If your address or phone number has changed, or is about to change, contact your county Farm Bureau. They will update your membership and subscription information.


More than 92,000 acres statewide are covered in 338 RMPs. Most of that acreage is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


Postmaster: Please send changes of address to, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Bureau News, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond, VA 23261-7552; fax 804-290-1096. Editorial and business offices are located at 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Telephone 804-290-1000, fax 804-290-1096. Email virginiafarmbureaunews@vafb.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Emily Edmondson 1 Tazewell Richard L. Sutherland 2 Grayson Bruce N. Stanger 3 Montgomery Gordon R. Metz 4 Henry Russell L. Williams II 5 Rockbridge Peter A. Truban 6 Shenandoah Thomas E. Graves 7 Orange Leigh H. Pemberton 8 Hanover William F. Osl Jr. 9 Cumberland Robert J. Mills Jr. 10 Pittsylvania J. M. Jenkins Jr. 11 Lunenburg W. Ellis Walton 12 Middlesex M. L. Everett Jr. 13 Southampton David L. Hickman 14 Accomack Faye Hundley * Essex Mindy McCroskey ** Washington *Women’s Committee Chairman **Young Farmers Committee Chairman

President’s Message

New year will require renewed focus In changing my calendars and closing the books on 2017, I had occasion to reflect on the fact that we live in remarkable times. WAYNE F. PRYOR Each year is remarkable for different reasons, and each new one starts with questions. But there is no question in my mind as to whether Virginia Farm Bureau’s producer membership is ready to hit the ground running this January.

Membership momentum We finished up last year with a remarkable effort on the part of members, leaders and staff to begin rebuilding our organization’s membership. I’m grateful to everyone who had a role in that. Our “membership year” begins each Nov. 1 and runs through Oct. 31. Our membership goal for 2017 was 126,431, and we closed the year out with 127,709. One challenge for 2018 will be to think of those 1,200 additional memberships not as a “cushion,” but as momentum to keep growing. Another challenge is to make the people in those 1,200 households and businesses feel like valued members, rather than numbers. Farm Bureau is only as strong and effective as our members are interested and engaged—and satisfied with their $40 investment. I can assure you our staff are continually assessing ways to provide value.

New year, new developments At the VFBF Annual Convention at the end of November, I was struck by two things: the number of new faces at the event, and some of the topics to which our members gave their rapt attention. If someone had told me

30 years ago that Virginia farmers would be leasing land for solar energy structures, and asking questions about someday growing legalized marijuana, I’d have been skeptical. I continue to be impressed by how our producer members of all ages continue to look forward, knowing they need to operate their grandparents’ farms with their grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s interests in mind. This issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News includes on Pages 6 and 7 the dates and locations for some of our key annual conferences, as well as other events. I hope you will make note of those and consider attending the ones that interest you. The winter meeting season is a tremendous opportunity to learn about regional, national and global trends that could soon enough find their way to your front porch.

We’ll supply the alerts; we need you to take action I’d like to close with one special request of our producer members during the 2018 session of the General Assembly. If you are not signed up to receive Farm Bureau Action Alerts related to state legislation, please sign up this month (You can find out how on Page 9), and use the alerts to stay informed about bills that could affect our livelihoods. If you are signed up, please take every opportunity to contact your state lawmakers when asked. Virginia’s legislative process is not a spectator sport, and remarkable times call for remarkable efforts.

Top membership counties for 2017 County Farm Bureau


Washington 3,392 Charles City-James CityNew Kent-York


Hanover 2,879 Franklin 2,729 Tazewell 2,581 Smyth 2,518 Augusta 2,468 Rockingham 2,364 Bedford 2,353 Russell 2,273 County Farm Bureau

Percentage of goal

Alleghany 112.53% Tazewell 110.20% Chesapeake 108.89% Wise - Dickenson


Grayson 107.57% Rockingham 106.73% Wythe 104.56% Richmond 104.21% Henrico 104.08% Henry 103.94%

Wayne F. Pryor, a Goochland County beef and grain producer, is president of Virginia Farm Bureau.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Farm Bureau website helps you maximize your membership As a registered member at vafb.com, you’ll be the first to gain access to new content, convenient account features, membership information and insurance policy details. Once registered, members can:

• v iew policy information 24/7, and easily find your insurance agent or county Farm Bureau office with our improved locator tool; • r equest policy changes and pay premiums online; and

• get access codes and information for all member benefits, including the new John Deere discount program; and

•d  ownload auto insurance ID cards.

• update your contact information to ensure you receive Farm Bureau’s monthly e-newsletters. Virginia Farm Bureau insurance policyholders can:

Follow us at VaFarmBureau and VirginiaFarmBureauInsurance on Facebook and @VaFarmBureau and @VFBInsurance on Twitter to learn more about Virginia agriculture and get tips to help avoid costly insurance claims.

45 years since Thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat broke track records for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. His birthday will be celebrated in March at the Virginia Horse Festival (Page 16), and his legacy is at the heart of the tourism and preservation programs at The Meadow Event Park (Page 17).




This month on Real Virginia: Southside farmer wins regional honor; Census of Agriculture benefits all Americans Featured this month on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program:

Real Virginia airs nationwide at 3:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month on RFD-TV on Dish Network and DirecTV, and on selected cable outlets around the state. It airs weekly on WVPT Harrisonburg, WBRA Roanoke, WCVE Richmond, WHRO Norfolk, WVVA Bluefield and WTKR Norfolk. Watch Real Virginia anytime online at vafb.com.

• Find out why the U.S. Census of Agriculture is important to everyone. • A Pittsylvania County farmer has been named Southeastern Farmer of the Year. • 2017 was a record-setting year for soybean growers. • We’ll take a close-up look at agriculture in Chesapeake.

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Abingdon 276-623-0128

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Hanover 804-550-5700

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Last year’s Young Farmers Winter Expo included a tour of a horse training facility that generates solar energy.

Young Farmers Winter Expo set for late February The 2017 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Winter Expo will take place Feb. 23-25 at the Natural Bridge Hotel and Conference Center. Workshop topics will include farm

transition and succession planning; farm insurance; precision and prescription agriculture; developing issues into policies and actions; and GMO conversations. The event will feature tours of

a robotic dairy, a meat processing facility, cattle fencing and pasture rotations, historic sites, the Natural Bridge and caverns and nearby Safari Park. For more information, visit YoungFarmersExpo.org.


Women’s Spring Conference to be held in Roanoke

The Women’s Spring Conference will feature a robust collection of workshops. 6


The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Spring Women’s Conference is set for March 16-18 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The event will include workshops on building and leaving a legacy; educating consumers using words we understand; communicating effectively with local media; and the power of positivity. Also on the agenda are tours at Virginia Tech that will focus on research that helps Virginia farming operations. For more information, email angela.haskovec@vafb.com.


Save the Date!

Save the Date!

National Ag Day


National Ag Day is March 20 and falls during National Ag Week, March 18-24. The annual observances are organized by the Agriculture Council of America, a nonprofit organization that fosters public awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.

Virginia Horse Festival to return in March The annual Virginia Horse Festival will take place March 23-25 at The Meadow Event Park in Carolina County. Join some of the equine industry’s top experts for three days of clinics, demonstrations and exhibits of interest to horse enthusiasts. Special guests Austin Anderson and the Texas Trick Riders will perform, and an indoor trade show and outdoor vendors will offer a wide range of horse-related supplies and services. For the first time, children 12 and younger will be admitted free. The Meadow is the birthplace of Secretariat, who was born March 30, 1970, and the festival will honor the Triple Crown winner with a special slate of birthday events. For festival details and ticket information visit VirginiaHorseFestival.com.

Conference on agricultural trade will be held in Richmond The 2018 Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade will be held March 5 at the Richmond Marriott Downtown. The conference will be co-hosted by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the Virginia Port Authority and Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. For details or to register, visit vafb.swoogo.com/govagtrade2018.

County presidents’ conference planned at two sites Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual conference for county Farm Bureau presidents will be held Jan. 30 at the VFBF main office in Richmond and in Wytheville. Agenda items will include VFBF bylaw amendments and financial investment options for county Farm Bureaus. Presidents can get additional information from their county Farm Bureaus.

Farm Bureau warehouse open house offers big savings Farm Bureau members can save 10 percent on purchases from the Virginia Farm Bureau Service Corp. Products Division at its Feb. 23 open house in Henrico County. The open house will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Farm Bureau warehouse at 1541 Mary St. in Sandston. At the warehouse sale, members can save on a variety of tires, batteries and oil and grease products. They also can save on disk blades, plow parts and chisel teeth. The discount is available for all products except baler twine, which already will be specially priced for the open house.

The Products Division provides members with a variety of quality supplies, through Farm Bureaucertified local dealers and the Farm Bureau warehouse. For information on specific products, call the warehouse at 800-476-8473. vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


In lieu of Legislative Day, members should make contacts with legislators through Action Alerts

Construction plans will prevent group visits to the General Assembly Building, but Farm Bureau has built a solid plan for keeping members informed and engaged.




esponding to Action Alerts sent by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Governmental Relations Department will be the most effective way to communicate with legislators during the 2018 Virginia General Assembly. It’s a different approach this year, necessitated by demolition work on the old General Assembly Building. State lawmakers’ offices have been temporarily relocated to the Pocahontas Building between Bank and East Main streets on the south side of the Capitol, and that move prompted cancellation of the annual VFBF Legislative Day. “Organizations like Farm Bureau have been asked to hold off on bringing large groups in this year to allow time for everyone to adjust to the new location,” said Kelly Pruitt, VFBF assistant director of member engagement. “We’ll be working on bringing small groups to the General Assembly as well as organizing teletown hall meetings with legislators to create opportunities for member interaction.” In the meantime, Pruitt said, responding to Farm Bureau Action Alerts will be more critical than ever, given the number of bills expected to have an impact on agriculture this year. “Many folks read Action Alerts only to stay informed on what’s happening in the General Assembly,” she noted. “But this year it’s so important to follow through and send those emails and make those phone calls to legislators in support of Farm Bureau’s positions, since most members won’t have the opportunity to meet with their legislators in person.” Bills expected to be reviewed by legislators may include a number of member-identified critical issues for the 2018 General Assembly. Those issues are: • Providing adequate and stable funding for the Agriculture Best Management Practices Cost-Share

Program, along with appropriate funding for technical assistance: - Stable funding represents funding at a $35 million level each year for the Ag BMP Cost-Share Program with $4.55 million for technical assistance. - Adequate funding represents $76.8 million to stay on track to meet the 2025 water-quality goals with $9.9 million for technical assistance. • Appropriating $200,000 for two engneer positions at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to support the technical assistance needs of 47 local soil and water conservation districts; • Supporting a Virginia’s Rightto-Farm law in order to ensure viability and economic growth and opposing efforts to weaken this statute or dilute its focus; • Appropriating an additional $2.5 million for Virginia Cooperative Extension for positions that represent gaps identified by county Farm Bureaus and that have been lost due to stagnant resources with increasing costs for benefits, operations, etc.; • Opposing legislative or regulatory changes that would set farmers back from using established sources of water for agriculture; and • Supporting legislation to update Virginia’s land use assessment laws to: - reflect current qualifying agricultural uses; - remove barriers for new or beginning farmers to be able to qualify for the program; - update information allowed to demonstrate production history; - update the conservation program requirements to include participation in state programs; and - clarify language to reinforce the ability of commissioners of the revenue to use multi-year contracts.

Sign up for Farm Bureau’s Action Alert system Throughout the year Farm Bureau staff send out Action Alerts asking producer members to voice their concerns about specific agricultural issues to their legislators. The more members respond to those alerts, the more effective Farm Bureau is in making sure Virginia farmers are heard. If you are a producer member with an interest in helping to maintain your ability to farm in Virginia, you can help by responding to Action Alerts. To sign up to receive them, contact Kelly Pruitt at kelly.pruitt@vafb.com or 804-290-1293 with your name, membership number and contact information.

New General Assembly building will preserve traditional look, have enhanced functionality The former General Assembly Building at the northwest corner of Capitol Square closed to the public at the end of June and is scheduled for demolition in early 2018. A new, 15-story General Assembly Building will be constructed on its predecessor’s footprint. The new design incorporates the existing original 1912 facade, which will be stabilized during demolition. The lower four floors of the 426,000-square-foot building will include public spaces such as committee rooms, a cafeteria and other meeting facilities. Above the fourth floor will be legislator and staff offices and additional meeting spaces.

Watch the work If you are a longtime participant in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Day and it just won’t seem like January without a trip to Richmond, you can watch the demolition and construction work via webcam at virginiageneralassembly. gov/GABwebcam.html.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018




For Your Benefit

Harvest more savings with John Deere program As of late last year, you can receive valuable John Deere discounts just for being a Virginia Farm Bureau member. All Farm Bureau members in Virginia are eligible for John Deere’s GreenFleet™ Loyalty Rewards program. That means savings on tractors, commercial mowers, utility vehicles, excavators and more at John Deere dealerships. You’re also eligible for special parts discounts and 10 percent off Home & Workshop Products. Simply sign up for the John Deere GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program using a valid Farm Bureau membership number and your ZIP code at JohnDeere.com/Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau members are eligible for the following discounts in these categories of equipment:

• $350-$3,200 off Commercial Mowing; • $100-$250 off Residential Mowing; • $200-$350 off Utility Vehicles; • $200-$350 off Tractors; • $500-$3,700 off Golf and Sports Turf; and • 17 percent off MSRP for Commercial Worksite.

Other details:

• GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards benefits are only available at John Deere dealerships. • GreenFleet members can manage their accounts at MyJohnDeere. Deere.com. For full GreenFleet terms and conditions, visit JohnDeere.com/ GreenFleet. For full program details, visit vafb.com/benefits.

Program offers members prescription drug discounts Virginia Farm Bureau’s free Prescription Drug Discount and Savings Program affords members an average savings of 25 percent on more than 12,000 FDA-approved, namebrand and generic prescription drugs at more than 57, 000 pharmacies nationwide. Members pay no fee to use the program, which is designed for individuals with no insurance coverage for prescription drugs. The Prescription Drug Discount and Savings Program is not insurance. Rather, it works via what’s known as a “consumer card” or “point of sale card” that can be used by your entire household. There are no medical exams, no waiting periods, no claim forms to file and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Simply present your card at a participating pharmacy when you have your prescription filled, or use it when ordering medicines through the mail-order program of Agelity Inc. Your county Farm Bureau can provide starter card information and information on how to locate participating pharmacies near you and compare potential savings on generic and brand-name drugs.

Members eligible for Ford’s F-150 sweepstakes Until Sept. 30, 2018, Farm Bureau members are eligible to enter the Built Ford Tough F-150 Sweepstakes for a chance to win a two-year lease on a new 2018 F-150. There are three ways to enter the sweepstakes: 1. Complete the entry form online at FordSpecialOffer.com/FarmBureau/ Sweeps; 2. complete the official entry form at selected events across Virginia; or 3. text the word SWEEPS as an SMS text message to 46786 to receive a link to the entry form. Participants must be legal residents of the United States or District of Columbia, 21 years old or older with valid driver’s license, and current Farm Bureau members. Complete rules can be found on the sweeps website.

You don’t have to wonder about health risks with Life Line Screenings Members can save on four non-invasive vascular health screenings—for carotid artery, abdominal aortic aneurysm, atrial fibrillation and peripheral arterial disease—and have a free osteoporosis screening to assess risk for stroke, heart attack and bone fractures. Life Line Screenings, the national leading provider of preventive screenings, offers these procedures to Farm Bureau members at the discounted rate of $145. Watch for mailings about Life Line screenings in your area, or contact your county Farm Bureau for details.

Get discounts and free shipping on all Grainger orders Farm Bureau members in Virginia get discounts on all equipment and supplies from Grainger, plus free standard ground shipping on all standard Grainger products*. Get started with your price savings using three easy methods: 1. Present the Virginia Farm Bureau organization account number— available from your county Farm Bureau and at vafb.com/ benefits—at the time of purchase. 2. Visit grainger.com/content/ farmbureau to establish a new Grainger account using that Farm Bureau account number. 3. Call Grainger customer service at 877-620-2852 to update your existing Grainger account with the Farm Bureau organization account number. To be sure you get your Farm Bureau discount, always reference Virginia Farm Bureau's organization account number when visiting your local branch or making a telephone order or when setting up your personal account online. *FREE standard shipping on all orders shipped ground transportation. Other freight charges will be incurred for services such as expedited delivery, special handling by the carrier, sourcing orders and shipments outside the continental United States.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Across America

who want to see what the livestock inventory is in their area, to see if there’s enough cattle nearby to support a local processing facility.” NASS has worked to make the census easier than ever to fill out, Ellison said. Producers can complete a paper document or complete an online form that has automatic calculations and is available on both desktop and mobile devices. Get details at agcensus.usda.gov.

DOT grants agriculture temporary electronic logging device waiver

It’s time for nation’s farmers to be counted


he U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service began mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture form to nearly 45,000 Virginia producers last month. “The census is conducted every five years, and we’re asking all farmers to participate,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia NASS state statistician. “It’s very important to our industry, it’s important to ag businesses and it’s also important to researchers at our universities.” According to USDA regulations, any person who earns $1,000 or more a year from an agricultural operation is considered a farmer and must reply to the census. Census forms are due by Feb. 5. Much of the information collected by the census is financial—crop acreage and yields, prices received, rental rates for land and livestock numbers. Other questions are more demographic in nature. All information gathered is strictly confidential. The federal government has collected data on U.S. agriculture since 1840. Originally, only a few categories of farm information were collected, such as cattle herd numbers and corn acreage. But each census offers a chance to improve data collection and document emerging trends in the 12


industry, Ellison explained. New 2017 census questions include military veteran status, as well as expanded questions about food marketing practices. There are also new questions about on-farm decision making to better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers and others involved in running a farm enterprise. Once the census results are compiled and released in February 2019 “they could help the Department of Agriculture make decisions for the industry,” Ellison said. “If communities need information, for example, whether a farmers’ market could be successful, this information could help with that.” Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, added that the census “gives a snapshot for community leaders to see the state of agriculture in their county and their state. Nationally, it’s an opportunity to monitor trends in the industry, to see if there are any shifts in production, or even if some production is moving offshore. This data is often used to set public policy that benefits food security in this country.” Farmers also benefit from the census information, Banks noted. “For instance, we may have beef producers

A waiver granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation allows agriculture the exemption to electronic logging device requirements in commercial trucks that went into effect in December. The 90-day waiver was granted in response to a petition by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other ag groups. AFBF Congressional Relations Director Andrew Walmsley said the waiver allows the agency to reevaluate the mandate’s impact on agriculture. “Beginning Dec. 18, most other commercial vehicle drivers (have had to) comply, but if you have ag commodities or livestock, you’re going to have an additional 90 days” while DOT reviews the petition to grant an exemption for a longer term. Farm Bureau is seeking an exemption to the rule for up to five years. Walmsley said the ELD mandate raises many concerns for those who haul livestock and ag commodities. “I think there’s a realization that there needs to be more flexibility in the devices,” he said. “There’s also an understanding that you can’t just leave live animals on a trailer overnight if a driver runs out of hours of service. All those factors are contributing for the need for the agency to continue to work with Farm Bureau and others to address those concerns before any type of mandate were to take effect.”

Resource management plans exceeding original goals to protect bay


ust three years after Virginia’s Resource Management Plan Program was implemented, the program has far exceeded its goal. More than 92,000 acres throughout the state are now included in 388 RMPs. The original goal established by the state’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan was to have RMPs developed for 10,000 acres of farmland.

“A perfect fit” Paul Davis and his father, Clifton “Boogie” Davis, enrolled all 500 acres of their New Kent County farm, Davis Produce, as soon as the program started. “We were already doing everything they were asking us to do, so it was a perfect fit,” remarked Paul Davis. The Davises use no-till planting,

wildlife buffers around waterways and cover crops on their barley, corn, small grain, soybean and pumpkin fields. “Our philosophy is to have something green growing all the time,” Davis said. “I like to think we are on the cutting edge of agriculture and environmental quality.” RMPs require participants to install or implement specific agricultural best management practices. They also document practices already in use, as in the case of the Davises. Better tracking of conservation practices can provide decisionmakers with more accurate data when determining costshare monies. The program is the first of its kind for any state in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It was approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board in 2013 and was implemented in July 2014. Applications must be submitted to the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

More than 2,300 acres certified To encourage greater implementation of RMP plans, a stakeholder advisory group examined funding, training and resource needs. The group included representatives from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other organizations.


“Our philosophy is to have something green growing all the time. I like to think we are on the cutting edge of agriculture and environmental quality.” — PAUL DAVIS Clifton “Boogie” Davis (left) and son Paul enrolled Davis Produce in New Kent County in the Resource Management Plan Program as soon as the program started.

The group submitted a legislative report on Oct. 1, 2017, that said 50 RMPs were currently in the development stage; 323 had been approved by soil and water conservation districts; and 15 were under review by those districts. Of the 388 total plans, four were awaiting certification inspections and 10 had been fully implemented and certified. That totals 2,335 certified acres. According to the stakeholder group, the RMP Program has been successful thanks to financial incentives. Federal grant funds and limited Water Quality Improvement Funds have allowed DCR to contract with private-sector RMP plan developers, with whom the majority of RMPs have been developed. Additionally, the SWCB has approved cost-share funding incentives related to RMP development, implementation and certification. The group also discussed potential marketing strategies that could be used to increase awareness of the RMP Program. DCR designed a new logo for the program, and producers with a certified RMP may purchase a sign that features the logo. The Davises purchased a sign to post on their property and said it helps brings attention to their conservation efforts— especially when hosting groups on their farm. vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


A thorough telling of one Thoroughbred’s story Insider information draws visitors to Secretariat tours



wwwwwww,” 22 tour participants collectively exhaled after learning that Christopher Chenery never got to see Secretariat win the Triple Crown. The group—a neighborhood “lunch bunch” of friends from Chesterfield County—was participating in a Secretariat Birthplace Tour at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County last November. Led by Leeanne Ladin, co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend, the tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at the historic property and the Thoroughbreds raised there. “Meadow Stable had very famous horses long before Secretariat came along,” Ladin explained to the group. She said Chenery bought the property in 1936 to raise racing Thoroughbreds. He had several national champions such as Hill Prince, First Landing, Sir Gaylord, Cicada and others. But after 1962, Meadow Stable began to decline, along with Chenery’s health. In 1967, “everything came to a crashing halt,” Ladin shared. “Mrs. Chenery died, and Mr. Chenery



went into the hospital and never came out.” Their daughter, the late Penny Chenery, was asked to take over the business. And although she had a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and was only three months shy of earning a master’s at Columbia Business School, Chenery was a Denver housewife. Despite her family’s doubts about her running the farm, Ladin noted, Penny Chenery was determined to keep alive her father’s dream of breeding a Triple Crown champion. The lunch bunch learned that Riva Ridge entered the picture in 1969 and in 1971 won $500,000 as a 2-year-old racehorse. “He saved this farm and united the family,” Ladin exclaimed. “In 1972, Riva Ridge became the first Meadow Stable horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Mr. Chenery’s dream. His nurse had the TV on in his (hospital) room, and when she told him that Riva had won the Derby, tears streamed down his face.” Riva Ridge also won the 1972 Belmont Stakes. The next year, Secretariat won the Triple Crown, breaking track records in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. “Those records still stand today,” Ladin noted.

Fun facts about Secretariat • A 2017 Audi commercial spliced footage of Secretariat winning the Belmont with its sports car images. • The blanket Secretariat wore after the Belmont Stakes win that made him part of Triple Crown history fetched $88,000 at auction. • Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery in Goochland County has brewed two beers that honor Secretariat: Secretariat’s Meadow, an Imperial Red IPA, and Tremendous Machine, a stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Secretariat Birthplace Tours at The Meadow Event Park include exhibits inside Meadow Hall on the site of the Chenery homeplace.

That kind of insider information is one of the draws of the tours, which have attracted everyone from local 4-H clubs to visitors from as far away as Germany. The tours are offered six days a week year-round. Phyllis Jenkins of Chesterfield was one of the lunch bunch participants and had seen Disney’s Secretariat film but said she learned new things about Secretariat’s origins and his legacy. “I very much enjoyed the tour and have recommended it to others,” she noted. Ladin has spent the last decade gleaning information about Secretariat and The Meadow’s history. She has met and interviewed Penny Chenery; Ron Turcotte, Secretariat’s jockey; Charlie Davis, his groom; and other former Meadow employees. They’ve all shared stories that have enriched the tour narrative. The State Fair of Virginia bought The Meadow Event Park in 2003 and stabilized the remaining historic barns. Tours and Secretariat-themed events began on a small scale, then Virginia Farm Bureau Federation bought the property in 2013 and hired Ladin to manage the Secretariat tourism program.


• 2018 is the 45th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown win. • Fifteen of the 20 contenders in the 2017 Kentucky Derby had Secretariat in their bloodlines.

Historic designation boosted tourism Ladin immediately began the daunting process of obtaining state and national historic designations for Secretariat’s birthplace. After almost three years of work, the Meadow Historic District obtained the coveted listings on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. The district includes Secretariat’s foaling shed and the farm’s yearling and stallion barns, horse cemetery, well house and pump house. “That was definitely a turning point, because more people stood up and took notice,” Ladin said. “The designation helped with the validation, visibility and momentum of the program.” Also in 2015, Meadow Vice President of Operations Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe came on board. One of her goals has been to increase the significance of Secretariat to the property and to expand the tourism program. Part of the proceeds from the Secretariat tours goes to a historic barn restoration fund operated by the Museum of the Virginia Horse, of which Ladin is vice president. vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Groundshaker settles in at greatgreat-grandfather’s birthplace It’s been a while since Thoroughbred horses have lived at The Meadow Event Park, but that changed in early 2017. Groundshaker, a greatgreat-granddaughter of Secretariat and the last horse bred and raced by Secretariat owner Penny Chenery, now lives on the property. Despite her famous genes, Groundshaker’s time at the track was brief and undistinguished; she raced twice and never placed. On Feb. 14, she will be 7 years old and enjoying her time as the star attraction of the Secretariat Birthplace Tours. “Having Groundshaker at her ancestral home is like a valentine from Penny

Chenery to Secretariat fans everywhere,” noted Leeanne Ladin, The Meadow’s Secretariat tourism manager and co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend. “She’s a living link to racing immortality. Maybe Groundshaker wasn’t destined for the winner’s circle at the racetrack, but she is definitely a winner with our tour visitors.” Ladin said guests get a double treat watching the antics of Groundshaker’s spunky little companion, Mia the miniature horse. The two share a large, white-fenced paddock with a white barn trimmed in blue, the colors of Meadow Stable racing silks.

Secretariat’s birthday celebrated during Virginia Horse Festival Celebrating Secretariat’s birthday and recognizing the 45th anniversary of his Triple Crown sweep are highlights of this year’s Virginia Horse Festival. The Meadow Event Park signature event will take place March 23-25. This year children 12 and younger will be admitted free. Secretariat birthday events include tours of Meadow Hall, which houses displays of Secretariat memorabilia as well as photos of famous Virginia racehorses. On March 24, a special ticketed program will be held to honor Secretariat. Kate Chenery Tweedy will talk about her mother, the late Penny Chenery, and the bond she shared with Secretariat. The festival also will host Austin Anderson, a Texas trick rider, and a LandSafe program that teaches riders how to fall in a way that reduces or eliminates the risk of injury. The weekend will be packed with seminars, demonstrations and clinics for horse enthusiasts of all ages. For more information visit VirginiaHorseFestival.com.



Secretariat Tourism Manager Leeanne Ladin conducts Secretariat Birthplace Tours six days a week at The Meadow.

Tourism manager lives and BY KATHY DIXON

Dressed in “Secretariat blue” from head to toe, Leeanne Ladin wears her work like a badge of honor. Secretariat is her hobby, her passion and her job. “I feel so lucky to be a steward and help keep Secretariat’s legend alive,” she said enthusiastically. “It feels more like a mission than a job.” As Secretariat tourism manager for The Meadow Event Park, where the famed racehorse was born, Ladin has what she calls the “dream job.” Her responsibility is to develop the property’s Secretariat tourism program. Since she spends so much time there, Ladin and her husband, Gary, moved into a house on the property in 2014. Every day she crosses state Route 30 to feed Groundshaker, a great-great-granddaughter of Secretariat who was gifted to The Meadow by the late Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner. The big bay mare lives in a paddock on the property, along with her companion, miniature horse Mia. Ladin keeps her own horses—a palomino walking horse named Meadow and a Rocky Mountain horse named My Girl—in a pasture at her house. “It’s hard to believe that this all started nearly 10 years ago when Kate Chenery Tweedy, Wayne Dementi and I teamed up to write Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend,” Ladin mused. “The book has led me down paths I never expected.” Ladin said she’s always paired riding with writing. As a child, she spent summers riding a pony at her grandparents’ farm in Rocky Mount, Va. “I would sit on my grandmother’s porch and

Historic barn restoration aided by Secretariat tours, other events

breathes Secretariat write poems about ponies,” she recalled with a chuckle. But it wasn’t until a Virginia Commonwealth University journalism class in 1973 that she got Secretariat fever. She wrote an article about his Triple Crown win, and “he became a hero to me.” Fast-forward decades later. After working as a magazine editor and as a marketing and public relations professional for several different organizations, Ladin and Dementi formed Dementi Milestone Publishing. They co-authored a book about the State Fair of Virginia, and the last chapter was about The Meadow. After interviewing Chenery, Secretariat jockey Ron Turcotte and former Meadow Stable employees, Ladin and Dementi decided there was enough of a story to write a separate book about The Meadow, Secretariat and the family that owned him. In the summer of 2007, Kate Chenery Tweedy, Penny’s daughter, came to Virginia and joined Ladin in researching Meadow history. The completed book was published in 2010 just before Disney’s Secretariat was released. “The book really changed my life and led to the Secretariat tourism program,” Ladin shared. The book was unveiled at a Secretariat birthday celebration in 2010. The following year, tours became part of the annual celebration. Today the tours are an integral part of operations at The Meadow. “It’s such a multi-layered story, and I feel so lucky to be a part of telling that story,” Ladin said.

The Museum of the Virginia Horse is a 501(c)(3) that recently was reorganized to oversee the historic barn restoration fund at The Meadow Event Park. “Tours are an important part of the Secretariat program, but we also need to restore the barns and complete the story,” said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, president of the museum board. “The barns and the Secretariat memorabilia are great, but we need to make the property more interactive so that it becomes a living heritage site dedicated to the history of Virginia horses, Secretariat and the state’s horseracing legacy.” The board began meeting in early 2017. “The Meadow is such a historic asset, and people are looking for a heritage tourism experience,” explained Leeanne Ladin, the museum board’s vice president. “They want to see something authentic that they won’t see anywhere else.” Plans are underway to restore the Meadow Stable

barns and foaling shed and replicate the former farm manager’s office. It would feature a tack room with saddles and bridles, pictures of the early Meadow Stable champions and possibly interactive kiosks showing video interviews with former Meadow grooms. “We want to give visitors more of a feel for what it was like here in the heyday of Meadow Stable,” Ladin said. She added that many visitors have asked for a statue of Secretariat. History is an integral part of The Meadow, and Secretariat tourism is becoming more integrated with events at the property. For example, Ladin has given tours to participants at RV rallies, chamber of commerce functions and horse shows. But the goal is to make the program more than just events. “Events come and go, but the story of The Meadow and Secretariat is there 365 days a year,” noted PiersonJolliffe.

For more information on the Secretariat Birthplace Tours, visit MeadowEventPark.com.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


FARMING for OVER 400 YEARS Virginia Farm Bureau Federation




Adaptability keeps U.S. agriculture viable, journalist tells farmers


cross the nation, farmers and ranchers have asked agricultural journalist Tyne Morgan “how long” until the industry’s next glory days of high commodity prices and supportive policy. “I don’t have the answer to that,” Morgan said, adding that adapting to change is what keeps U.S. agriculture viable. “We grow when we have challenges like we’re seeing today.” Morgan hosts U.S. Farm Report, the nation’s longest-running syndicated program focusing on agriculture and rural issues. She delivered keynote remarks Nov. 28 at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. MORGAN The current scenario for U.S. corn and soybean production is not exactly glorious, Morgan noted. Prices are lackluster, and “we have a lot of supply. We have good demand; we have too much supply.” But, she added, the description she heard frequently this past fall was that yields were “better than we expected.” More concerning, she said, are current levels of farm debt. “We’re at levels that we haven’t seen since the 1980s,” and if U.S. farms’ debt-to-income ratio continues to grow it could have a negative impact on land prices. Given that scenario, Morgan said, healthy production levels “are saving people” in some instances. Another question she fields from producers is “What is it going to take to move corn prices higher?” When she relayed that to industry experts, “the No. 1 answer is ‘China.’ We need more demand from China,” which has surpassed Canada as the top importer of U.S. ag products. But it’s going to take more than that, Morgan added. “We need more than just China. … We need to find new markets” among countries with growing populations and rising standards of living. Touching briefly on NAFTA and recent calls by the current administration to re-negotiate agreements with Canada and Mexico, Morgan noted that, in the 21 years since NAFTA’s 18


VFBF 2017 Annual Convention Nov. 28- 30 at the Williamsburg Lodge Participants: About 650 farmers and other agriculture professionals, including 276 delegates representing 88 county Farm Bureaus Purpose: To shape VFBF policy for the coming year, present awards, share relevant industry information and elect directors Philanthropy: Live and silent auctions sponsored by the Young Farmers Committee raised $9,681.50 for Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom and to fund scholarships for Virginia Tech’s Agricultural Technology Program. Details: Coverage of speakers’ remarks and award winners’ achievements is available at vafb.com/convention.

creation, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled. When she asked a group of bankers what would happen if NAFTA’s agricultural components were abandoned, “they didn’t even skip a beat. They said, ‘We’d be back in the 1980s.’”

2017 State board elections:

Monsanto director: Farmers need to counter falsehoods with the truth

District 4 Gordon R. Metz, Henry County

“The general public is a little bit suspicious of modern agriculture,” but farmers have the ability to change their minds. That was the message from Vance Crowe, director of millennial engagement for Monsanto, who spoke Nov. 30 at the VFBF Annual Convention. Crowe previously worked at a National Public Radio affiliate station in California where broadcasters railed against modern agriculture. “I didn’t know any better, so I just followed along,” he said. Years later, a friend sent him a job posting for his current position at Monsanto. Crowe said he decided to apply—just to CROWE find out if the company was as bad as he’d been led to believe. “I found out Monsanto is not the company people think it is,” Crowe shared. He added that the products Monsanto is making are helping farmers produce food more bountifully, effectively and efficiently. He told the Farm Bureau audience that they have the ability to influence many consumers because of their proximity to Washington. “I need you to tell people they shouldn’t fear modern agriculture,” Crowe said. He showed a picture of a tomato with a syringe placed above it and asked the audience what it implied. “GMOs,” several people shouted out. Crowe explained that anti-farming advocates use that image to influence people into thinking GMOs are harmful. “There are only two things people are more afraid of than needles: death and public speaking,” Crowe said. “But there are no GMO tomatoes, and syringes are not used in that technology.” He said farmers need to explain what they do and how they do it, and offered advice on how to spread those messages. Listen to what the other side is saying, and read what they’re reading, Crowe suggested. “You have to understand people’s fear in order to engage with them.”

Health insurance reform remains a top priority for rural Virginia

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation finished 2017 in good shape, said Wayne F. Pryor, VFBF president. But Pryor warned that dark clouds are on the horizon for rural Virginians. “At the end of September our state was facing a huge hole in the health insurance market. At one point 65 Virginia counties were looking at the strong possibility that no health insurance company would participate in the Affordable Care Act exchange,” he told those attending the VFBF Annual Convention. “That could have meant thousands of Farm Bureau members would have lost individual health insurance options next year. Whether you personally agree with the Affordable Care Act or not, many of your family members and neighbors have been using it for years. And it was about to be shut down for lack of subsidies for low-income participants. “This is unacceptable,” Pryor said. “This will be the biggest pocketbook issue for famers across the state this fall and winter. Rural Virginia is being left out. And we in Farm Bureau need to press all our elected leaders for a solution.” Farm Bureau has a long history of helping rural Virginians find affordable health insurance options. Beginning in 1952 it offered both individual and small business group policies for

District 1 Emily F. Edmondson, Tazewell County

District 7 Thomas E. Graves, Orange County District 10 Robert J. Mills Jr., Pittsylvania County District 13 M.L. Everett Jr., Southampton County

Producers, others honored with awards Distinguished Service Awards Janice R. Burton, Halifax County, past chairman, VFBF Women’s Committee Steve Sturgis, Northampton County, advocate for farmers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon, representative of farmers in the Shenandoah Valley Warren Beach Award for support of young farmers Martha Moore, vice president of governmental relations, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation County Farm Bureau Best in State Awards Craig County Farm Bureau, for agriculture promotion or education King William County Farm Bureau, for Farm Bureau policy promotion or local issue involvement, and for membership marketing, acquisition or retention County Farm Bureau New Horizon Awards Bedford County Farm Bureau, for Legislative Farm Tour Patrick County Farm Bureau, for Patrick County Farm Bureau Ag Expo

| HEALTH INSURANCE cont'd on page 20 »

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


| HEALTH INSURANCE cont'd from page 19 »

Farm Bureau members. In 1992 it moved to become a broker for Anthem policies. In 2002 and 2013 it acquired two other health insurance brokerage companies licensed to work in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. “If real and material reform doesn’t come in the next year, health insurance companies might be forced to, once again, restrict their coverage offerings to only Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads,” Pryor warned. “Meanwhile, our rural hospitals and health care providers will struggle to keep their doors open. The whole health care system could start to break down, and rural Virginians will bear the brunt of that collapse.”




Lee County Extension agent wins Young Farmers Discussion Meet

The convention’s opening general session started with a parade of flags borne by county Farm Bureau presidents.


Smyth County farmers honored for achievements Justin and Lori McClellan of Smyth County were named winners of the 2017 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Achievement Award. The award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. The McClellans have beef cow-calf and calf feeding operations, as well as an excavation and trucking business. Justin McClellan serves on the Smyth County Farm Bureau board of directors. The McClellans will receive one year’s use of a Kubota tractor; a John Deere Gator 20


XUV from Southern Farm will receive $500 from Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. Bureau and a travel packat cost from James River age to the 2018 AFBF Annual Equipment; and cash awards Convention. of $1,000 from Farm Credit, $500 from VFBF and $500 from Chesterfield County Farm Bureau. They also will receive a travel package to the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Matthew and Shelbie Heldreth of Wythe County were this year’s Achievement Award McCLELLANS runners-up. They

Amy Fannon, a Virginia Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources agent and unit coordinator in Lee County, took top honors Nov. 28 in the VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet. The Discussion Meet competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting in which discussion and active participation is expected from each contestant. Competitors are judged on their discussion skills, understanding of important agricultural issues and how well they build a consensus on a predetermined topic. Fannon won a John Deere Gator utility vehicle, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. She will receive an upgraded model thanks to James River Equipment in Buchanan, as well as a $1,000 cash award from Virginia Farm Bureau Health Care Consultants. First runner-up was William “Bear” Lloyd of Washington County. Other finalists were Jesse Martin of Rockingham County and Sarah Randolph of Wythe County. All four Discussion Meet finalists won $500 from VFBF.

CONVENTION WORKSHOPS Producers learn about potential for growing hemp, marijuana Virginia farmers attending a workshop on the regulation, production, processing and distribution of marijuana during the VFBF Annual Convention were told there are three ways to create a legal market for growing marijuana. “Change the federal status, get a vote by the people or create legislation at the state level,” explained Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, Colorado’s oldest, largest and most diverse trade association for licensed cannabis businesses. Cannabis, or marijuana, she said, has a plethora of medicinal purposes. In Colorado, the growth and sale of medical and recreational marijuana is legal. She told attendees that there have been more than 20,000 published medical studies worldwide about marijuana’s efficacy. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow the growing and processing of medical marijuana. In Virginia, the substance is still illegal; however, an MIG poll found that as many as 96 percent of Virginians support medical marijuana if prescribed by a doctor. “As you consider growing marijuana in your state, think about what populations could benefit,” Kelly said. Studies have found marijuana can stop seizures, kill cancer cells, alleviate migraines and help with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, among other things, she added. Farm Bureau supports the use of state-licensed and -approved facilities to research the medical benefits of production cannabis. The organization also supports research, market development and legalization of the production of all fiber crops, including low-grade industrial hemp. Lindsay Reames, Virginia’s assistant secretary of agriculture and forestry, said a handful of Virginia farmers are growing hemp in conjunction with research at state universities. Until industrial hemp is no longer listed as a federally controlled substance, however, no additional farmers will be able to grow it. Hemp has low inputs, requires minimal fertilizer and is a potential alternative cash crop to tobacco, Reames said. “Industrial hemp could be converted into biodiesel, animal feed, plastics, textiles, animal bedding and human food.” New federal legislation introduced this summer— H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017— would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of

marijuana, Reames explained. The bill would open existing hemp research to Virginia colleges and add a program under which farmers could grow hemp without a university affiliation.

Attorney: ‘Always make the company bear the costs associated with leases’ for solar fixtures, cell towers For farmers and landowners considering leasing land to cellular or solar energy companies, there are several issues to consider. Attorneys Mark Botkin and Kevin Rose told farmers that, above all, landowners should make the companies bear the costs associated with such leases. The pair from Harrisonburg law firm BotkinRose PLC spoke on Lessons Learned on Leases – Solar, Cellular and Others. “Make it so the rent you receive is a net figure,” Botkin said. Having a written lease also is a must, he emphasized. The lease should include extension or renewal and termination clauses to include potential deconstruction costs for removing the tower. That’s key, Botkin said, in the instance of a lease term during which critical technology changes. If, for example, 20 years into a long-term lease a tower becomes obsolete, “you now have a cell tower on your property that needs to be removed.” Cell tower leases generally will be for longer terms, like 25 years. Solar leases can be for anywhere from five to 30 years. With that in mind, “protect the lease with an escalation clause,” Botkin added. “That will ensure that rental payments will increase to reflect inflation.” Additionally, Rose said, do not assume that there is no room for negotiation on leases. “Most companies are looking at multiple sites, so you don’t want to play too much hardball ... but I’ve found the companies are reasonable, and the leases are not a ‘take it or leave it.’” Botkin encouraged landowners to keep in mind that most leases will require 24-hour access to the leased land, access roads, maintenance and upkeep. “Make sure the company will pay for all associated costs,” he said. It’s also important that the cell tower or solar company obtains and pays for an insurance policy and adds the landowner as a named additional insured. And with leases comes the potential for personal property taxes, real estate property taxes and rollback taxes, all of which should be paid by the company. And all lease agreements should be reviewed by an attorney, Rose and Botkin advised.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


or vehicles used as part of your business. Virginia Farm Bureau writes business policies for commercial and personal services, offices, retail operations, specialty contractors, churches and more. “Business or commercial coverage plans protect your livelihood and are essential for business owners,” said Lisa Whitus, personal and commercial lines underwriting manager for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “Business insurance can provide business property and liability coverage, as well as coverage for loss of business income—all of these are to have in place when you rely on your business for your income or the income of your employees.” Even if a business is based in your home, Whitus noted, a personal homeowner policy will not automatically cover business property or business liability. “You need a business policy, plain and simple,” she emphasized. “Don’t think that because you operate your business in your home you’re covered. You’re not.” When using vehicles for your business, all should be insured on a commercial auto policy, Whitus added. Some businesses may have property that moves from job site to job site. Think contractor’s tools, LuLaRoe clothing or Pampered Chef merchandise. “Typical property policies do not always adequately cover these off-premises needs,” Whitus noted. “For businesses that include traveling with products, and also having products in your home that consumers then come onto your property to purchase, that’s a whole other policy need.” Contact a Farm Bureau insurance agent to discuss protecting your business today, or visit vafb.com/ business-insurance.

Even smaller-scale businesses based in one’s home need insurance.

Operate your own business? Make sure you’re covered


hen you own and operate a business, whether in your home or at a separate location, it’s important to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage. A homeowner policy or standard auto policy will not protect your business

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Does my homeowner or farmowner policy include earthquake coverage?

Earthquakes are not something we have always thought about happening in Virginia. But since a significant one in 2011 that had its epicenter in Louisa County, earthquakes may be more on Virginians’ minds, said Gerald Gardner, director of sales for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. There are some items that are not automatically covered on your insurance policy, and earthquake protection is one of those. Any home could be damaged during an earthquake or an aftershock, Gardner explained. Even just a few cracks in sheetrock can be costly to repair. To find out more about what is included in your insurance policy—and how to add protection against earthquakes, floods and other items not included in a standard policy, contact your insurance agent.

Your Farm Bureau agent can help you make sure your outbuildings are protected.

Expecting ice, sleet or snow? Make sure you’re covered


inter is here, and so is the potential for damaging snow or ice storms. Make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your personal property from the weight of ice and snow or everyday occurrences. Snow can be heavy and can cause extensive damage to homes, farm buildings and property. “Roof collapse due to the weight of ice, sleet or snow is automatically provided for a person’s primary residence under a home or farm policy,

but it is not automatically covered for farm barns, outbuildings and equipment,” explained Sam Rooks, vice president of underwriting and policy services for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “It can be added, so before you’re facing a major storm talk to your agent to make sure you have the proper endorsements added to your policy.” Virginia Farm Bureau offers more than 50 endorsements that can be added to home and farmowner policies

that include replacement cost, business income and coverage from weight of ice, sleet and snow—and flooding that could occur from bigger storms. “Make sure you have coverage in place before a loss occurs,” Rooks added. “Review your policy with your insurance agent to find out what types of coverage are available to you.” For more information call or visit your county Farm Bureau office.

GREAT NEWS: Coverage for farm wineries, breweries and cideries available The Virginia wine and beer industries are two of the fastestgrowing segments of the commonwealth’s agricultural economy. In response to those expanding markets, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. is now offering coverage for farm wineries, breweries and cideries under the farmowner program. “As the leading insurer of farms in the state, we believe it is important that we have a competitive product available to meet the insurance needs of these growing industries,” explained Scott DeNoon, VFBMIC farm product and underwriting manager. “Farm wineries and vineyards have been eligible for coverage in our farmowner program for several years,” DeNoon added. “With the recent growth in this segment of agriculture, we decided to take a closer look at our

product and pricing structure to make sure we are doing all we can to positively support the Virginia wine industry.” This renewed focus has resulted in a significant price reduction for farm wineries and cideries. In addition to comprehensive property and liability coverage, optional endorsements are available to insure exposures that are unique to vineyards, wineries and cideries such as wine/cider contamination, harvested/vineyard orchard products and outdoor vines, orchard trees and trellises. Similar coverage also is available in the farmowner program for farm breweries since they are rapidly becoming a part of Virginia’s agricultural landscape, DeNoon said. “The rate structure is the same, so the premiums are competitive with protection being provided for liability,

equipment and perils that are breweryspecific,” he explained. Insurance for harvested brewery products, brewery contamination and beer leakage and contamination are among the available coverages. In addition, liquor liability coverage is available for farm wineries, cideries and breweries, along with protection for tank collapse, spoilage, product recall and products stored for others. Coverage also can be provided for equipment breakdown and for operations hosting activities such as tastings, weddings and similar events. DeNoon said that Farm Bureau insurance agents are able to design an insurance program to meet the specific needs of farm wineries, cideries and breweries that is both comprehensive and affordable. To get started, contact your Farm Bureau agent. vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Group health insurance policies available through Farm Bureau Saving money on employee benefits while still attracting and retaining employees is a must in today's economy. Virginia Farm Bureau’s health insurance agency—Experient Health— can help with group insurance policies. Experient Health offers many group insurance plans, including vision, dental, life and disability. The company is a subsidiary of Virginia Farm Bureau and has staff in its Richmond office and throughout the commonwealth who can help businesses find the best insurance plans for their employees. “We do all the work for companies, making it easier for them to put together a good insurance plan,” whether they have as few as two employees or as many as 150, said Brett Denton, Experient Health vice president.

Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents are required to offer group health insurance to employees or pay a penalty, Denton explained. “This is commonly referred to as the employer mandate or ‘pay or play.’” Experient Health sells Aetna, Anthem, Optima Health, Piedmont Community Health Plan and United Healthcare products for businesses, as well as various dental, vision and life companies. “We offer a variety of insurance carriers to help meet the needs of our clients and to find a product that will work best for them and their employees,” Denton added. When a company contacts Experient

Farm Bureau helps business owners weigh their options for employee health insurance plans.

Health, they are asked various questions that enable an agent to customize options for their company. For more information, call 855-6776580.

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11/27/17 9:44 AM

Short-term health insurance policies bridge a health insurance gap For individuals who missed the open enrollment deadline, lost their coverage outside of the annual open enrollment period or do not have a qualifying event, a short-term health insurance plan may be an option. Short-term health insurance plans help bridge gaps in coverage for individuals and families in times of transition. They give individuals the flexibility to drop the coverage at any time without penalty and the ability to apply for another term of coverage with certain restrictions. The plans are based on the family’s or individual’s needs, with a range of available deductible amounts. “These policies are likely a good choice for applicants who need coverage without a qualifying event, who are between jobs or are waiting for a new employer’s coverage to become

effective,” said Brett Denton, vice president of Experient Health. The plans also can be helpful to people who: • are coming off their parents’ insurance plan; • recently were discharged from the military; • missed open enrollment and do not have a qualifying event; • are waiting for Medicare; • need a temporary alternative to COBRA insurance; or • are losing coverage following a divorce. Denton noted that short-term health insurance plans do not meet the

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act minimum essential benefits. “This means you could have a penalty for having a plan that doesn’t meet the law requirement and have a tax burden at the end of the year.” Short-term plans also are not designed to cover everything and typically will not cover routine office visits, maternity, mental health or preventive care. They also will not cover preexisting conditions. “If you’re healthy and just need temporary coverage until another plan kicks in, or you missed the last open enrollment, this may be a good option,” Denton said. “And often plans will kick in the next day.” For more information about shortterm health insurance plans, call 800229-7779 or visit vafb.com/quote.


Have questions about Medicare Supplements? Call today!

Virginia Farm Bureau 1-800-229-7779 An authorized licensed insurance agent for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, license number: 109534

This policy has exclusions, limitations and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For more information on benefits, please contact your agent or the health plan. Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program. The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent or insurance company. Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. trades as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, and its service area is all of Virginia except for the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, and the area east of State Route 123. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. AADVOTH006M(15)-VA 55681VASENABS

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Heart of the Home

Take the edge off chilly weather with a


hilly temperatures in the heart of the winter call for a hearty dish like chili. Some people make it with beans, some make it with meat, and some make it with both. But however you make it, chili is the perfect dish for a cold winter day. When mixed up in a slow cooker, it can be waiting for you when you get home from work. The vegetarian and traditional chili recipes—both for preparation in a slow cooker—are from Virginia Farm Bureau employees who were winners in a 2017 chili contest at the company’s 26


home office; the white chicken chili recipe comes from North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Rainbow Vegetarian Chili INGREDIENTS

3 cups of dried beans (Mix your favorites: black, kidney, cannellini, navy, garbanzo, etc.) 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 red, green, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped 2-4 jalapeño peppers (Save some for garnish) 26-ounce can crushed or strained tomatoes ¼ teaspoon chipotle spice 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons cumin

Heart of the Home


Source: Angela Haskovec, senior program

Source: Christy Gilman, business intelligence

1 teaspoon ground cumin

analyst, Virginia Farm Bureau

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Omit if the jalapeños are enough spice for you)

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1½ teaspoons dried oregano ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles ½ cup shredded, reduced-fat Monterey cheese DIRECTIONS

3 tablespoons chili powder salt and pepper to taste

Source: North Carolina Cooperative Extension

6-ounce can tomato paste 12-ounce can or bottle beer 3-4 teaspoons cumin 1-2 teaspoons garlic salt 1-2 teaspoons oregano

2 tablespoons masa flour 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans

1 cup wild rice OR quinoa

In a skillet, brown the meat with the onion and garlic, then drain. Place meat mixture in a slow cooker with next 9 ingredients. Cook 5 hours on low. In a small bowl, mix some of the chili broth with masa flour, and stir mixture into chili a little at a time to thicken.

1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the ground chicken, onion and garlic for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted, or sprinkle cheese over top of individual servings. Serves 6.

2 cans diced tomato and chiles (such as Ro-Tel)

6 cups water OR combination of water and vegetable broth sea or Himalayan salt to taste

1 pound ground chicken

2 15-ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 16-ounce cans tomatoes

1 teaspoon paprika



2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon oregano

White Chicken Chili

2 medium zucchini, chopped (about 3 cups)

1 onion, chopped

pot of chili

coordinator, Virginia Farm Bureau

Lone Star Chili 3 pounds ground beef OR 1½ pounds each ground beef and ground venison

Chili was popularized during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, according to the International Chili Society.

Add beans and cook for another hour.

Rinse beans, and soak them in water overnight. Drain and rinse beans the next morning. Rub coconut or olive oil all over the inside of a slow cooker to keep the rice or quinoa from sticking. Add beans, onion, garlic, bell and jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, spices and water (or water and broth) to the slow cooker. Stir, and add rice or quinoa. Cook for 6-7 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low, until beans are tender. Stir occasionally, if you’re around, to keep the rice or quinoa from clumping at the bottom.


vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


It might look dreary outside now, but plant choices like (clockwise from left) salvia, butterfly bush and plumbago can help draw colorful visitors this spring and summer.

Attracting butterflies, hummingbirds to the garden


aybe it’s cold or dreary now, but in a few months gardens all over Virginia will be bright and lively again—and hopefully full of butterflies and hummingbirds. By establishing specific plans, you can create a garden space that’s attractive to both creatures. Horticulturalist Mark Viette of Augusta County said planting a garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies is easy, and he recommends selecting more than one variety of plant that appeals to them. “Out of all the plants you can plant, the No. 1 plant that will attract more 28


hummingbirds than anything else is salvia, Black and Blue,” he said. “The plant will start blooming late in the season. In very cold areas, you should bring it inside during the winter and protect it.” Butterfly bushes are known for attracting butterflies, and Viette cited a variety called White Profusion. “In a lot of research, it was found the white form of the bush attracts more butterflies and hummingbirds than the other types,” he explained. Another plant that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies is plumbago, a hardy perennial. Additionally, fall-blooming varieties

of aster, and summer-blooming phlox will draw winged visitors and will last almost until the first frost. They also will attract carpenter bees. “All of these are great plants to incorporate throughout the garden,” Viette said. “It’s important to note that hummingbirds tend to be territorial, so you want lots of these plants in the garden so that there are a lot of food sources for these wildlife.” Focus on planting long (10 or 20 feet), narrow flower beds, Viette recommended. “Butterflies like to travel up and down the same plant when it’s in full bloom.”

In Memoriam

Robert Delano passes, led both state and national Farm Bureaus Robert B. Delanox Richmond County Robert B. Delano, former president of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and American Farm Bureau Federation, died Dec. 5. Mr. Delano, DELANO who was 93, served as VFBF president between 1962 and 1980 and again from 1986 to 1988. Prior to his terms as president he served on the VFBF board of directors starting in 1959. In 1967 he was elected to the AFBF board of directors, and he served as that organization’s vice president from 1975 to 1980, when he was elected president. He served as AFBF president for six years and is the only Virginian to have held that office. Following service in the U.S. Army during World War II, Mr. Delano served as an assistant county agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension in Dinwiddie, Nottoway and Prince George counties. In 1947 he returned to his native Northern Neck, assumed the management of his beloved ancestral farm, Level Green, and began a long career first as a dairyman and later as a grain producer. In 1955 he helped organize the Richmond County Farm Bureau, and he served for two years as its charter president. In addition, he was elected to the board of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. and served for five years as its president. Mr. Delano was named Man of the Year in Agriculture in 1978 by Progressive Farmer magazine. In both

1981 and 1982, U.S. News & World Report named him among the three most influential agricultural leaders in America and worldwide. “Mr. Delano was one of the most respected agricultural figures the state of Virginia has ever known. He helped shape policy not only at Farm Bureau but also at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech and at Virginia Cooperative Extension. He ascended to the top Farm Bureau position in the country when he was elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation,” said Greg Hicks, VFBF vice president of communications. “Bob Delano was a very soft-spoken leader who was clear in the direction he gave and allowed you the freedom to perform what he asked of you.” A graduate of Virginia Tech, Mr. Delano served on the university’s board of visitors from 1994 to 1998. He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1985, received a Distinguished Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1987 and received Virginia Tech's Distinguished Achievement Award in 1991. In 1997 he was inducted into the John N. Dalton Society of the Friends of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine for his long-standing support of that college. In 2000 he received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award, and in 2002 he was inducted into the university’s William Preston Society. He served as the society’s president from 2008 to 2010. Additionally, he was a member of Hokies for Higher Education and the Veterinary Medicine Citizens Committee and served as president of the Tide Neck VPI & SU Alumni Association. Mr. Delano also served on the Northern Neck State Bank board and was a deacon, Sunday school teacher

and lifelong member of Warsaw Baptist Church. He is survived by two children, four grandsons and a great-grandson. He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Martha Webb Delano.

Steven L. Bosticx Goochland County Steven L. Bostic, president of Goochland County Farm Bureau, died Dec. 4. Mr. Bostic, who was 65, served as his county Farm BOSTIC Bureau’s president for 15 years, beginning in 2002. A grain and cattle producer, he loved farm life and bestowed that love to his children, who will carry on his farming legacy. He also was employed at Dominion Energy Inc. as a mechanical supervisor for 36 years. Mr. Bostic made significant contributions to his community and served on the local board of Southern States Cooperative in Goochland since 2008, most recently as board chairman. “Steve was always smiling, always had something positive to say and was respected by all who knew him, both in and out of Farm Bureau,” said Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne F. Pryor, also of Goochland. “He was a great leader who freely gave of his time and talent to Goochland Farm Bureau.” Mr. Bostic is survived by his wife, Charlene; two children; a granddaughter; and two brothers.

vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


These Bees Count named AITC Book of the Year Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom’s annual Agriculture Literacy Week will take place March 5-9, and Virginia AITC has selected These Bees Count, a children’s book by Alison Formento, as its 2018 Book of the Year. This book leads young readers through a farm adventure as they learn how bees work to produce honey and to help food and flowers grow. “This is our largest volunteer event of the year. We are expecting over 1,000 volunteers to participate and read to children across the commonwealth,” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager. “The 2018 book highlights how integral pollinators are to food production.” Copies of These Bees Count are available for purchase at $10 each, and an educator guide with reading comprehension and art activities is available for teachers and volunteers. These Bees Count is best suited for children in pre-kindergarten through third-grade.

Virginia Farm Bureau 1982–2016


“An uplifting account of

From the Ground Up: Growth of a Modern Farm Bureau

the success story that is

Virginia Farm Bureau”

Greg Hicks

Wayne F. Pryor,


Growth of a Modern Farm Bureau If you are a Farm Bureau member, you’ve seen history in the making! Commemorate it with a copy of this colorful, hardbound history and celebration of Virginia Farm Bureau’s past 34 years! Available for $30 at DementiMilestonePublishing.com/from-the-ground-up. Or contact author Greg Hicks, greg.hicks@vafb.com.




Agriculture Literacy Week volunteers previously have included participants in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program and Young Farmers Program, FFA members, employees of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other state agencies, and members of other agricultural organizations and businesses. Farm Credit of the Virginias and Southern States Cooperative Inc. have been major supporters as well. For Agriculture Literacy Week details or to order books, visit AgInTheClass.org.

2018 magazine classified ad schedule and policies Members of Virginia Farm Bureau are eligible to place one free 15-word classified ad per membership per year in Virginia Farm Bureau News, which is mailed to producer members, or in Cultivate, which is mailed to associate members. Ads of 16 to 30 words must be accompanied by payment of $20. Any additional ads placed by members in the same calendar year must be accompanied by payment of $10 for 15 words or fewer, or $20 for 16 to 30 words. Ads submitted without payment will be returned. We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. Ads with more than 30 words and ads from nonmembers will not be accepted. Place your ad using the form in this issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News or the “Marketplace” link at vafb.com/benefits (You will need to register on the site as a Farm Bureau member). No ads or cancellations will be taken by phone. Ads will be accepted only from members whose membership is current. Magazine classified ads can be placed in the following five categories only: • Crops; • Farm equipment; • Hay/Straw; • Livestock; and • Livestock equipment. Classified ads will be published in the following issues: • April Virginia Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only); • May Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); • August Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); and • September Virginia Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only). Finding your member number When placing your ad, be sure to include your Farm Bureau member number, which can be found on your membership card and above your name on the mailing label of your copy of Virginia Farm Bureau News. All member numbers will be verified.


How to place your classified ad STEP 1

Use the form below to provide contact information and the text for your ad. • Ads will be accepted from Farm Bureau members only. • Classified ads are not transferable. • Please type or print. • Classified ads will not be accepted or cancelled over the phone.


Indicate the issues in which you want your ad to run.


Select the category in which you want your ad to run (Pick one only).


Your first ad of 15 words or less is free with your membership. Pricing for additional ads: 1–15 words $10/ad 16–30 words $20/ad Additional ads must be accompanied by a check (no cash) for each issue in which the ad is to appear. • Make check payable to: Virginia Farm Bureau. • Ads longer than 30 words will not be accepted.

Important: We are not responsible

• We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. • Ads submitted without payment will be returned.

for typographical errors or errors due to illegible handwriting (No refunds available). Classified ads carried in Cultivate and Virginia Farm Bureau News do not constitute an endorsement by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliated companies and organizations. We reserve the right to edit or reject ads, including ads that represent a business in competition with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company or any of our affiliated or affinity partners. We reserve the right to edit or reject any advertisement that makes reference to any particular political party or group, religious belief or denomination, race, creed, color or national origin.


Mail your ad (and payment) to: Virginia Farm Bureau News/Cultivate Classifieds P.O. Box 27552 Richmond, VA 23261-7552 Or place it via the Virginia Farm Bureau website at vafb.com.

Deadlines Ads and cancellations must be received (not mailed) by the following deadlines: ISSUE DEADLINE Mailed to producer members April March 5 September August 3

Moving? If your address or phone

number has changed—or is about to—don’t forget to contact your county Farm Bureau office to ensure that your membership and subscription information stays current!

Mailed to associate members May April 5 August July 5

One free 15-word ad per membership per year; dues must be paid before placing ad.

Category in which ad should run (select only one):

NAME:___________________________________________________________________________________________ MEMBER NO.:______________________________________________________________________________________

q Crops


q Farm Equipment

ADDRESS:________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: __________________________________________


q Hay/Straw


q Livestock

DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER: __________________________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS: ________________________ Ads will not be accepted without the information above

ADVERTISEMENT (one word per space; please type or print):

q Livestock Equipment No other categories available

1.________________________ 2.______________________ 3._________________________ 4.________________________ 5. _____________________________ 6._______________________ 7.______________________ 8._________________________ 9.________________________ 10.______________________________ ( ) 11._______________________ 12._____________________ 13.________________________ 14._______________________ 15. _____________________________ phone number

ISSUE IN WHICH AD SHOULD RUN:* q April (mailed to producer members) qM  ay (mailed to associate members) q August (mailed to associate members) q S eptember (mailed to producer members)

q This is my one free 15-word ad for 2018 q Payment enclosed: $ _____________ q Please place my ad in The Delmarva Farmer for 4 weeks at no additional cost to me. Your ad will automatically be included in the online VFB Marketplace for free. (Ads expire with membership). Ad placement available for these issues only


vafb.com / JANUARY 2018


Financing Country Living Since 1916 The Experts in Rural Finance Homes • Land • Construction • Livestock Barns • Outbuildings • Equipment

800-919-FARM (3276) www.FarmCredit.com

Profile for Virginia Farm Bureau

FBN Jan 2018  

Farm Bureau News is published quarterly and offers producer members agricultural news. The magazine also includes recipes and content relate...

FBN Jan 2018  

Farm Bureau News is published quarterly and offers producer members agricultural news. The magazine also includes recipes and content relate...