FBN June 2015

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Farm Bureau News


Social Media: 'I kept hearing,"Tell your story"'

The Voice of Virginia’s Agricultural Producers

Farm Bureau News

Volume 74, Number 4 June 2015


Features 13

“Social media, for me, is a way I can tell

Many farmers using social media to share with consumers

my story and reach

Social media is boosting Virginia farmers’ ability to connect with consumers.

500 to 600 people without leaving

4 Outdoor classrooms feature agronomy, agriculture, conservation

Two education-focused farms in Northern Virginia afford students and others a closer look at how farmers raise food and protect natural resources.


Providing farm tires, and more, for 50 years

Virginia Farm Bureau’s products division is celebrating 50 years of providing farmers with varied and competitively priced tires and replacement parts.


Virginia Farm Bureau News (USPS 017-763) (ISSN 1525-528X) is published six times a year, January, March, May, June, August, September/October (combined issue). 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 $1.42 (included in membership dues).

the farm.” —COLEY JONES DRINKWATER Richlands Dairy Farm

Departments 6

Across America

11 Viewing Virginia

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. 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. 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. Member: Virginia Press Association

EDITORIAL TEAM Greg Hicks Vice President, Communications Pam Wiley Managing Editor Kathy Dixon Sr. Staff Writer/Photographer Sara Owens Staff Writer/Photographer Bill Altice Graphic Designer Maria La Lima Graphic Designer Cathy Vanderhoff Advertising


Officers Wayne F. Pryor, President Scott E. Sink, Vice President

For Your Benefit

Board of Directors


A Pie for Every Season


Heart of the Home



Emily Edmondson 1 Tazewell Richard L. Sutherland 2 Grayson Evelyn H. Janney 3 Floyd Gordon R. Metz 4 Henry Stephen L. Saufley 5 Rockingham 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 Janice R. Burton * Halifax Grant A. Coffee ** Lunenburg




Producer members will receive their next issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News in August. The magazine is published six times a year.

Dinwiddie County dairy producer Coley Jones Drinkwater uses social media to share accurate information about farming (Photo by Sara Owens).



*Women’s Committee Chairman **Young Farmers Committee Chairman

Save the Date!

$145,000 up for grabs in Farm Bureau entrepreneurship challenge Applications for the second annual American Farm Bureau Federation Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge are being accepted through June 30. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds. The challenge provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations being cultivated in rural regions of the United States. It is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses. New this year: Competitors must have an idea for a business that is related directly or indirectly to food and agriculture. Businesses directly related to food and agriculture include farms or ranches, value-added food processing, food hubs, community-supported agriculture programs, farm-to-table restaurants and farmers’ markets. Businesses indirectly related to food and agriculture include support services such as crop scouting, agritourism, ag advertising agencies and ag tech companies that develop apps. Also new: Farm Bureau will endeavor to connect top-scoring teams with resources for crowdfunding loans to help them jump-start their businesses. “Taking a startup company from innovative concept to strategy to reality often hinges on access to capital,” said Dr. Lisa Benson, AFBF director of rural development. “The challenge and crowdfunding are great options for small rural business owners to access necessary funding to take their business to the next level.” Competitors must be based in a rural community as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Competitors’ primary residences or businesses must be located in a county with fewer than 50,000 residents or a town with fewer than 2,500 residents. Applications include a business plan, video pitch and photo. The top 10 teams will be announced Oct. 15. They will be comprised of six teams that will win $10,000 in startup funds and four finalist teams that will win $15,000 in startup funds and compete at AFBF’s 2016 Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., in January. Finalists will compete for the title Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur of the Year and $15,000 in additional startup funds. One finalist also will be honored with the People’s Choice Award and $10,000 in additional funding. The competition timeline, detailed eligibility guidelines, a preview of the online application and profiles of the 2015 finalist teams are available at strongruralamerica.com/challenge.

We’re social! Friend, follow and “like” the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation on your favorite social media site! You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to find out more about agriculture and your Farm Bureau membership. • Facebook.com/VaFarmBureau

• Twitter.com/VaFarmBureau

• Instagram.com/VaFarmBureau

• YouTube.com/user/VirginiaFarmBureau

646.7 Pounds of pull tabs from aluminum cans donated by county Farm Bureau women’s committees last month to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Virginia. The donation represents a year-round collection effort. The Ronald McDonald House organization recycles the aluminum to help offset its operating costs.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Outdoor classrooms provide lessons in agronomy, agriculture and conservation Future decision-makers get their hands dirty on farms in their Northern Virginia communities

“Look, I found a bug!” one student shouted as her group examined pond water with special binoculars. “Ew, feel this mud!” another student exclaimed as his group learned about the parent material, humus, air and water found in different levels of soil. The children were among third graders from four elementary schools in Prince William County and Manassas. They were attending a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience at Windy Knoll Farm in Prince William. Over the past three years, more than 1,200 schoolchildren have visited the farm to learn about agriculture, conservation practices and relationships between the two. Sponsored by the Prince WilliamFairfax Farm Bureau and led by the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, the Windy Knoll workshops reinforce Virginia Standards of Learning and simultaneously teach elementary school children about farming. Don and Helen Taylor, the beef cattle and sheep farm’s owners, said they merely supply a 95-acre classroom. “We are passionate about sharing 4




In the past three years, more than 1,200 students have participated in educational programs at Windy Knoll Farm in Prince William County.

our farm with others,” Helen Taylor said. She and her husband have been hosting events on the farm for years, and when he retired in 2012 they began formalizing a program with the local Farm Bureau and the PWSWCD. “They are now our partners,” Don Taylor said. During the workshops, students visit various stations where they learn about soil composition, riparian buffers, animal care and aquatic life. “This gives them hands-on learning of the required SOLs,” explained Andrea Saccoccia, PWSWCD educational operations specialist. “They get their hands dirty while they’re learning,” Don Taylor said. Jay Yankey, a Prince William farmer, vice president of the Prince William

Fairfax Farm Bureau and a PWSWCD district manager, said the field trips show elementary school students how farmers protect their natural resources. “It’s another opportunity to educate our youth about agriculture,” he said. And they do fun activities like making an animal care “farm charm” with Agriculture in the Classroom staff. The students filled a small plastic bag with blue glitter representing water for animals, cornmeal to represent the grains farmers feed their animals, brown shredded paper to represent hay and bedding, red paper to represent barns for shelter and a plastic eye because farmers keep a good watch on their animals. In an area that is becoming more suburban, the Taylors said, it’s

important to teach future decisionmakers about farming.

Fauquier Education Farm That’s why Windy Knoll isn’t the only farm in Northern Virginia working to educate the public. The Fauquier Education Farm in Fauquier County hosts educational programs for farmers, students and area residents and has gotten help from its local Farm Bureau. “We thought it was a great agriculture resource for people who don’t understand farming and for kids who can visit the farm and see that veggies don’t just appear in grocery stores by magic,” said Autumn Crider, president of the Fauquier County Farm Bureau. Over the past six years, the county Farm Bureau has donated almost $54,000 to the farm and its outreach programs. The FEF is a working farm that grows a wide variety of produce, including squash, watermelons, cabbage, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, potatoes, sweet corn, collards, onions, peppers and tomatoes. The fruits and vegetables are donated to local food banks. The farm was established in 2010 by the nonprofit Fauquier Community Action Committee. The committee envisioned providing agricultural education and supplying citizens in need with fresh produce. The farm has partnered with the Fauquier County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, which grows test plots on the property. Extension agents serve as advisors to the farm.

FIND OUT MORE! Windy Knoll Farm windyknollfarm.com Fauquier Education Farm fauquiereducationfarm.org

Soil composition, riparian buffers, animal care and aquatic life are covered in Windy Knoll Farm’s Standards of Learning-relevant programs for schoolchildren.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Across America

FDA deems GMO apples and potatoes safe for consumption

Two varieties of genetically engineered apples and six varieties of genetically engineered potatoes have been evaluated and deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


he U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed its evaluation for two varieties of genetically engineered apples and six varieties of genetically engineered potatoes and concluded that those foods are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts. Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties of apples, known by the trade name Arctic Apples, have been genetically engineered to resist browning associated with cuts and bruises. J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank and Atlantic potatoes are known by the name “Innate” and have been genetically engineered to reduce the formation of black spot bruises. They also are engineered to produce less acrylamide, a chemical that can form in some foods during 6


high-temperature cooking such as frying and has been found to be carcinogenic in rodents. The FDA found that the apples and potatoes were not materially different from their conventional counterparts, and the agency could not identify any safety or regulatory issues under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that would require further evaluation. Foods derived from genetically engineered plants must meet the same legal standards, including safety standards, as foods derived from traditional plant breeding methods. To help developers of foods derived from genetically engineered plants comply with their obligations under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations, the FDA encourages them to participate in a voluntary consultation process with the agency prior to commercial distribution.

Across America

American Farm Bureau still supportive of FDA authority for GMO labeling Citing a need for consistent and credible messaging, the American Farm Bureau Federation has again voiced support for legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. “State-led mandatory food labeling initiatives mislead consumers about the safety of GM foods, even though there is no credible evidence linking

a food-safety or health risk to the consumption of GM foods,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said March 25. A national labeling standard, Stallman said, “will give consumers the information they need while avoiding the unnecessary confusion and added cost of a patchwork of state laws.” He was speaking in support of the proposed Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which was re-introduced in late March by U.S.

Reps Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. The bill previously was introduced in 2014 but was not enacted. It would clarify the FDA as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety and create a voluntary labeling program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service. The AMS also administers the USDA Organic Program.

Farmers set to stand up for biotechnology The American Farm Bureau Federation Food Labeling Act. The site also offers state-specific facts is encouraging farmers across the about the use and value of GMO crops. country to speak out in favor of In Virginia, 96 percent of cotton, 94 percent of biotechnology through a just-launched soybeans and 93 percent of corn is grown with GMO advocacy campaign. seeds. Soybeans are worth $284 million, corn is valued Farm Bureau is encouraging farmers at $196 million and cotton contributes $77 million to the to “Get a Move On” and share their state’s economy annually. support for a national, scienceIn addition to the advocacy site, Farm Bureau WE SUPPORT FEDERAL “GMO” LABELING UNIFORMITY LEGISLATION food labeling standard like UNIFORMITY LEGISLATION WE SUPPORTbased FEDERAL “GMO” LABELING has a grassroots site at fb.org/biotech that includes the taken to in H.R. the Safe and Accurate Weapproach urge Congress pass1599, bipartisan legislation, such Food as the Pompeo-Butterfield and Accurate Labeling an overview ofSafe biotechnology; an Food explanation of Act th We urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation, such asuniformity, the Pompeo-Butterfield Safe consumers and Accurate Foodhave Labeling Labeling Act. (113 Congress), which would create national GMO labeling answer questions might aboutAct th biotechnology’s benefitsconsumers to consumers, the environment, (113 and Congress), which would createGetaMoveOn. national labeling uniformity, answer“GMO,” questions about The organization has created a website, GMO foods provide consistent information to GMO consumers about “non-GMO,” and “natural”might food have labels. The farmers and the “GMO,” U.S. economy; and links tolabels. credible GMO foods and provide consistent information to consumers about “non-GMO,” and “natural” food fb.org, fromprinciples which producers sendPompeo-Butterfield emails to legislatorsbill are supported by a farm-to-fork coalition (www.cfsaf.org)The legislative set forthcan in the of legislative principles set forth in the Pompeo-Butterfield bill are supported a farm-to-fork coalition (www.cfsaf.org) of sources forbybiotech information. encouraging them to voterepresenting “Yes” for theall Safe and Accurate nearly 40 organizations segments of the U.S. food value chain. nearly 40 organizations representing all segments of the U.S. food value chain.




Million Million

Million Million


94% 94%

Soybeans Soybeans

$77 $77

$196 $196


Corn Corn

93% 93%

Cotton Cotton

96% 96%

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015

Consumers’ right-to-know should be respected and not jeopardized or weakened by mandatory labeling requirements that

Consumers’ right-to-know should be respected and not jeopardized or weakened by mandatory labeling requirements that can potentially mislead purchasers by suggesting some products are healthier or safer than others. If consumers are


$284 $284


Across America

Women in Ag survey underscores need for leadership skills Participants say they’re comfortable advocating for agriculture


ommunicating effectively, establishing and achieving goals, and strategic planning ranked highest on a list of important leadership skills for women in agriculture to master, according to a new American Farm Bureau Federation survey. Nearly 2,000 women participated in the informal online Women in Ag survey, which was conducted to determine the goals, aspirations, achievements and needs of women in American agriculture. “The survey results point to a need for a deeper dive into what leadership traits women in agriculture are interested in learning about in order to achieve their goals,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and chairman of the AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee. Another finding of the survey is that most of the women surveyed are comfortable advocating about agriculture, and most believe they have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful. Social media is the preferred avenue of advocating about agriculture among the women surveyed (See related article on Page 13). “Farm and ranch women continue to be seen as credible sources of information on the production of food, fiber and renewable fuels,” Saylor said. “Working to develop connections with 8


Most survey participants were confident in their ability to succeed.

consumers and being transparent when responding to questions about how food is produced benefits all of us in agriculture.” Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed own or share ownership of a farm or ranch. One-third of women surveyed have not yet started a business but indicated they would like to do so in the future. Respondents cited obtaining financial support, developing a business plan and

finding time to accomplish tasks as their most common business challenges. The Women’s Leadership Committee sponsored the survey. Women who are farmers, ranchers, farm or ranch employees, agribusiness professionals, ag students and industry supporters were invited to participate; Farm Bureau membership was not a requirement. Responses were received from women in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Across America

Lack of land and government regs top young farmer concerns

The majority of survey participants consider themselves lifetime farmers.

Nevertheless, most young producers remain optimistic BY KATHY DIXON

A lack of available farmland is the top issue concerning young farmers in America today, according to a recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Almost 30 percent of participants in the 23rd annual AFBF survey of farmers and ranchers ages 18-35 said the challenge of finding adequate land on which to grow crops and raise animals topped their list of concerns. “I always tell people that land is the thing that young farmers and, really, all farmers need, but they don’t make any more of it,” said Chris Haskins, a tobacco and beef producer in Pittsylvania County. Haskins, a fourth-generation farmer, said he is fortunate to have land that he and his father purchased from their family. Right now they have enough land for both of them to earn a living, but if Haskins’ two young children decide they want to farm once they grow up, they

will need to locate more land. For young people who want to begin farming or ranching or expand an established operation, “securing adequate land remains their top challenge,” said Jon Hegeman, an Alabama farmer and chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. “Another major challenge is coping with burdensome government regulations.” Other issues ranked as top concerns on the survey included the willingness of parents to turn over the reins of a farming operation, overall profitability of farms, taxes and urbanization. Despite varied obstacles, the survey found, 84 percent of participants are more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five years ago. Ninety-two percent said they are better off than they were five years ago. The majority of those surveyed— 75 percent—consider communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs. Many use social media platforms as a tool to accomplish that, in addition to traditional outreach methods such as farm tours, agritourism and farmers’ markets.

Other findings Additional findings from the Young Farmers & Ranchers survey include the following: • 91 percent of respondents consider themselves lifetime farmers. • 74 percent use Facebook to communicate with the public. • 23 percent use Twitter. • 74 percent use highspeed Internet, and 23 percent rely on a satellite connection. • 45 percent reported that they had started a new business in the past three years. • 58 percent analyze the nutrient content of their soil. • 56 percent use conservation tillage to protect soil and reduce erosion.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Across America

Reports show demand for recent college graduates with degrees in agricultural programs U.S. ag secretary: ‘These jobs will only become more important’ A U.S. Department of Agriculture report released last month shows considerable demand for recent college graduates with degrees in agricultural programs. The report showed an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the U.S. food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields. According to an employment outlook report released May 11 by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture-related fields—22,500 short of the jobs available annually. “There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get wellpaying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.” The report projects almost half of the job opportunities will be in management and business. Another 27 percent will be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas. Jobs in food and biomaterials production will make up 15 percent, and 12 percent of the openings will be in education, 10


communication and governmental services. The report also shows that women make up more than half of the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment higher education graduates in the United States. Other highlights of the report include: • While most employers prefer to hire graduates of food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment programs, graduates from those programs fill only about 60 percent of the expected annual openings. Even as enrollments in the programs increase and the job market becomes somewhat more competitive, good employment opportunities for the next five years are expected. • Growth in job opportunities will be uneven. Employers in some areas will struggle to find enough graduates to fill jobs. In a few areas, employers will find an oversupply of job seekers. • A strong employment market is anticipated for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural science and business educators, crop advisors and pest control specialists. • Job opportunities in STEM areas are expected to grow, particularly for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists and veterinarians. The report, Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural

Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015–2020, is the eighth in a series of five-year projections initiated by USDA in 1980.

Graduates have good chance of putting ag degrees to work Degrees in agriculture—as well as mining, teaching, medicine, physics and chemistry—are among the most desirable in the current job market, according to a recently released report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. From Hard Times to Better Times, the third in a series of CEW reports on the topic, notes that the overall job market for recent college graduates continues to improve, but graduates’ chances of finding work depend on their majors. The report analyzes changes in unemployment rates and annual wages for college graduates since 2009. CEW researchers found that agriculture and natural resources majors in their early 20s saw unemployment rates spike to 7 percent in 2009-2010 but have since seen them drop to 4.5 percent. Median annual earnings cited for graduates with an undergrad degree in agriculture or natural sciences between 2011 and 2012 were $34,000 for graduates ages 22 to 26 and $59,000 for those who were 35 to 54. For holders of a graduate degree in agriculture or natural sciences, median annual earnings were $53,000 for graduates ages 24 to 34 and $78,000 for those who were 35 to 54. The full report is available at cew.georgetown.edu/report/ hardtimes2015.

Viewing Virginia

Virginia farm numbers down slightly from 2013 The number of farms in Virginia in 2014 is estimated at 45,900, down 100 from 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. NASS also reported in late February that the commonwealth’s total amount of land in farms, 8.2 million acres in 2014, represents a 100,000-acre decrease from 2013. The average Virginia farm size is 179 acres, down 1 acre from 2013. The number of farms with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased by 200, while the number of farms with more than $100,000 in ag sales increased by 100. “Virginia farms are trending similar to the national average with respect to changes in farm size, number and economies,” said Tony Banks, assistant director of commodity marketing for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “If we look at farm size based on sales, it’s not surprising that the number of Virginia farms with $100,000 in sales has increased, given the increase in farm prices last year.”

2014 was another banner year for state’s aquaculture industry Findings of the 2014 Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Crop Reporting Survey showed another banner year for shellfish aquaculture, with farmers selling $55.9 million in oysters and clams last year. That represents an increase of 14 percent in total revenue for clam growers and 33 percent for oyster growers. According to the survey, Virginia has been the nationwide leader in growing hard clams for years, but in 2014 the industry sold an all-time high of 243 million. Sales of 39.8 million cultured oysters made the commonwealth a leader in East Coast production as well. “Our shellfish aquaculture industry continues to grow at an amazing pace year after year,” said Spencer Neale, vice president of commodity marketing for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “The majority of the credit, of course, goes to the growers and producers, but this is also a story of many stakeholders working together with the industry to support what has become a truly dynamic sector of Virginia agriculture. These include outstanding researchers, state agencies and organizations representing growers, and the industry at large.” The Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report is produced annually by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences and is available online at http://www.vims. edu/research/topics/aquaculture/ index.php.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Viewing Virginia

Franklin County farmer chosen for national leadership class Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott Sink is one of 10 young farm and ranch SINK leaders who have been selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation to participate in the eighth AFBF Partners in Agricultural Leadership program. The two-year program is designed to help agricultural leaders accelerate their leadership abilities and solidify their roles as advocates for their industry. Sink chairs the VFBF National Affairs Committee and is a member of the Emerging Agriculture Enterprises Advisory Committee, Legislative Advisory Committee and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC board of trustees. Additionally, he serves on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture Innovation and Rural Sustainability. Sink also is a member of the AFBF Federal Deficit Task Force.



Exporting apples to China could help Virginia growers A trade deal cut last winter could reduce downward pressure on the price of Virginia apples as well as open new markets in China. The trade-off is that Chinese apple producers must be allowed to sell in the U.S. as well. “China is far and away the world’s largest apple producer, and they also have a huge population and demand for fresh apples,” said Spencer Neale, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation vice president of commodity marketing. “But while they produce more apples than anyone else, a significant portion of their apples go into the apple juice market. So as their economy grows, their consumers are demanding more fresh apples.” U.S. imports of Chinese apples have been banned for years for fear of bringing a pest, the Oriental fruit fly, into the United States. But the deal would allow imports to resume provided the Chinese apples are bagged and decontaminated properly. “It’s a simple trade-off, we can’t sell our apples over there if we prohibit them from shipping to the U.S.,” Neale said. But economists expect the U.S. growers will benefit the most from the expansion of trade, increasing apple exports by up to 10 percent a year. Almost all apple exports and imports between the U.S. and China will happen on the West Coast, so no new sales of Virginia apples are expected, Neale said. Even so it’s an important deal for Virginia growers. “Washington State produces more apples than anyone else in the country,” Neale said. “If a large share of those apples aren’t exported, instead of going west to China they come east and put pressure on our Virginia apple prices. “We’re the sixth largest apple producing state in the country, but we’re not so big that we need to export that far away. Our ideal export markets are Mexico and countries in the Caribbean.”

State veterinarian urges horse owners to think about vaccinations The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services last month began urging horse owners to check with their veterinarians for vaccination recommendations for their animals. Virginia had only one confirmed case of West Nile Virus and one of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in 2014, although other states had a much higher incidence of cases. “Timely vaccination has been shown to decrease WNV and EEE disease incidence drastically,” said Dr. Richard Wilkes, state veterinarian. “Without vaccination, we would expect to see

many more infected horses, so we still urge horse owners to consider EEE and WNV vaccination. We believe that in most cases, private veterinarians will recommend them for their clients.” Other prevention methods include destroying standing water breeding sites for mosquitoes, using insect repellents and removing animals from mosquitoinfested areas during peak biting times, usually dusk to dawn. Wilkes also suggested that owners inquire about rabies vaccinations for their horses. There were no cases of rabies in Virginia horses last year but four in 2012 and 2013.

SOCIAL MEDIA gaining importance on farms Many farmers are using social media to share information about agriculture— and their businesses—with consumers near and far BY SARA OWENS

Coley Jones Drinkwater makes posting agricultural facts, photos and videos to her Facebook page part of her daily routine, just like milking cows. The Dinwiddie County dairy farmer uses her Facebook page “Dinwiddie Farmer” (Facebook.com/DinwiddieFarmer) to educate consumers about agriculture. “I feel like, for my generation, promoting agriculture has to be part of my job. It’s just something we have to do,” Drinkwater said. “We need to make it a part of our day and stick with it.” Drinkwater targets readers who are unfamiliar with farming, and she tackles such modern agriculture topics as feeding a growing population and food waste. “At Farm Bureau meetings I kept hearing, ‘Tell your story. Tell your story.’ I decided that for me, Facebook was a way for me to tell my story and put a face on farming,” Drinkwater explained. “I don’t get off the farm much, so I don’t come into contact with a lot of consumers. Social media, for me, is a way I can tell my story and reach 500 to 600 people without leaving the farm.” Drinkwater said she chose to name her page “Dinwiddie Farmer” to give it a face and personalize it. She also operates a Facebook page for her family’s Richlands Dairy Farm (Facebook.com/ RichlandsDairyFarm). That page is used mostly for promoting their pumpkin patch and corn maze.


‘Dinwiddie Farmer’ committed to education

Coley Jones Drinkwater shares photos and videos on her Facebook page “Dinwiddie Farmer.”

Drinkwater uses her smartphone to take and post photos and videos around her farm and her neighbor’s grain operation. “For me, videos seem to work the best. I can show people the farm and find I typically get more responses. It gives people an opportunity to see me, see the farm and to hear me.” She said her following started small, with mostly family and friends sharing

her posts, but it slowly grew. “It’s easy to (communicate) through Facebook and get discouraged,” she said. “There are days I check my posts and see that I didn’t get any ‘likes’ or ‘shares.’ But then I hear from people in person that tell me they love what I posted, so more people are seeing and following than I think. Social media has more of an impact than I realize.”

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015






Montgomery farmers use social media to engage animal rights activists Montgomery County dairy and sweet corn producers Casey and Stacey Phillips of Dry Valley Farms participated in the dairy industry’s #MilkTruth campaign this past January. It was launched as a means for industry participants to share information. During the campaign, Stacey Phillips said she read many posts from animal rights activists who were trying to highjack the message. “Several groups posted many untruths about the animal practices that take place in the dairy industry,” she said. “Given my firsthand knowledge of dairy operations, I felt compelled to post the truth so that those reading the posts would see someone from the dairy industry standing up and sharing the truth.” When she posted about how she and other dairy farmers take care of their cattle, she was instantly called a “liar and a murderer. I found that the people posting for the animal rights’ groups were quick to be very cruel with their replies, despite my response being very civil. “We feed our families these products that people are bashing; that should be the ultimate show of just how safe we know these products are.” After the campaign, the Phillipses have continued to use their farm’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/DryValleyFarms) to address agriculture misconceptions because they feel it’s their responsibility as ag professionals to promote the truth. “We started on social media as a way to give people an insight into farming and to advertise our pick-your-own corn patch, but the harsh response I received during the #MilkTruth campaign prompted me to take it further,” Stacey Phillips said. “We still use social media to promote our business, but we also use it to stand up for ourselves and educate the public too.”

Stacey and Casey Phillips began sharing information with the public through the dairy industry’s #MilkTruth







campaign. They’re shown here with Cole, 1 month, and Austin, 2.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015












Gloucester farm business uses social media for promotion, marketing Jay Hutchins has been getting the word out about his family’s Gloucester County bulb, flower and seed business. “I started, reluctantly in 2012 with Facebook because I heard it was the thing to do. I didn’t really know how it would pan out, but Facebook went well so I tried other sites,” Hutchins said. Brent and Becky’s Bulbs now has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Skype. Hutchins said he found Facebook (Facebook.com/ BrentandBeckysBulbs) to be where most of his customers are interacting and that photography is the biggest draw. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s really true.” Hutchins said this is the first year he hasn’t purchased print advertising. “I spent $60 to boost a post on Facebook about the newest portion of our website that launched, and that post went to 14,000 people and it was shared a lot. That was money well-spent. “Social media for us is a cheap way to get the word out. It helps people know ‘Hey, we are here, and this is what we can do for you.’”

Hutchins said businesses need to figure out their niche and customer to use social media effectively. “If I share a photo of a tulip and write about its history, that it is 88 years old, the benefit of the flower, versus posting about a sale, we get the most interaction on those more-social posts.” One such post shared a photo of a sunset on the farm. “I think people liked that post because it was us being people, not a company,” Hutchins said. “When we’re viewed as a friend’s page versus a company, we get more followers.” People are following Brent and Becky’s on social media for a reason, Hutchins said. “When they see something they like and share it, their friends see it. That’s word of mouth without saying a thing.” Brent and Becky’s ships nationwide on their website, brentandbeckysbulbs.com, and social media allows them to reach a broader audience. Hutchins said he remains active on social media even when travelling. “While I was in Holland, I used up my data three times sharing photos,” he said. “People just loved seeing the photos, and we got more followers that way.”

COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA TERMS FOLLOW: To “follow” a person or business on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you choose to see the messages that person posts on his or her site. On Facebook, you can “friend” a person’s page to follow his or her content or “like” a business’s page to follow its content. HASHTAG: A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Example: #MilkTruth LIKE: By “liking” a page on Facebook, you are choosing to follow a business’s posts. You also can “like” an individual post, showing that you read the post and agree with or appreciate the content. The same applies for Instagram; when you click the heart icon below a photo, you are “liking” that photo. MENTION: On Twitter, you can “mention” a friend’s Twitter page by tagging him or her in the post with @TheirUsername. SHARE: You can “share” someone’s post on Facebook by clicking the “share” button under a post. Then it is posted on your Facebook page for your friends to see. TWEET, RETWEET: On Twitter, a “tweet” is the 140-character message you send. To “retweet” is to forward someone else’s tweet to users.

Jay Hutchins said this is the first year Brent and Becky’s Bulbs has not purchased print advertising.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


For Your Benefit

Providing farm tires and parts for 50 years VFBF warehouse serves farmers, others in three states

Producer members have lots to choose from inside the 153,000-square-foot warehouse in eastern Henrico County, including tractor and equipment tires, farm truck batteries, baler twine, net wrap, oil, grease and plow parts. And this month Virginia Farm Bureau is marking the 50th anniversary of its products division, which is one of just three in the country. “We’re proud to say we’ve survived for 50 years,” said Ron Diamond, vice president of VFBF products and administrative services. Even after 50 years of operation, “a lot of people don’t realize Farm Bureau sells products,” said warehouse manager J.B. Atkinson. “I get calls from people who look at their membership card and see that we sell tires and other products, and say they had no idea we sold those things.” But sell, they do. Annual sales are close to $6 million. Tractor and farm equipment tires make up the bulk of the sales, Diamond said, but non-farmers take advantage of the savings on car and light truck tires as well. Farm Bureau members can get significant savings on all manner of tires—auto, truck, equipment, tractor, lawn and garden, all-terrain vehicle— “pretty much any type of tire you want, we either have or can get,” Atkinson said. Last year they sold 5,000 tractor tires and 10,000 auto and truck tires. The ability to provide customers with quality products at significant savings has enabled the warehouse to operate for the last 50 years. In June 1965, Farm Bureau members at a special convention approved the concept of group-purchasing tires for members. They later added other products to the lineup of offerings. 18




Farm Bureau warehouse employees (clockwise from left) Norman Puryear, J.B. Atkinson, Judd Johnson and Jake Eaves posed with large and small samples from the tire inventory.

Over the years, the division has tried offering different products like lawn mowers and string trimmers, but when they didn’t sell, they were discontinued. “Our program has been very adaptable,” said Norman Puryear, one of the warehouse’s four full-time employees. “If something doesn’t work; we try something else.” Virginia Farm Bureau sells to about 350 dealers in Virginia, Maryland and the northern half of North Carolina.

The majority of the dealers—around 300—are in Virginia. Dealers buy the products and then resell them at retail outlets. One familyowned dealer in Louisa County, Besley Implements, has been selling Farm Bureau products for the products division’s entire 50 years. Pennsylvania and South Carolina Farm Bureaus also sell tires and batteries to dealers in their respective states.

For Your Benefit

Atkinson, shown with Ron Diamond, Farm Bureau vice president of products and administrative services, said some members are still surprised to learn they can buy competitively priced tires through Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau products are just a phone call away To locate your nearest Farm Bureau products dealer, call your county Farm Bureau office, or call the warehouse directly at 800-476-8473. You can check product pricing on Farm Bureau’s website at VaFarmBureau.org/MemberPrograms/MemberBenefits/ ProductsandEquipment.aspx.

Most Farm Bureau members prefer to purchase and pick up products from their local dealers, but some members in Central Virginia choose to pick up tires, batteries and parts directly from the warehouse in Sandston.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


For Your Benefit

Got travel plans? Save on your next hotel stay The Wyndham Hotel Group discount program for Farm Bureau members covers stays at more than 7,200 Baymont Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Planet Hollywood, Ramada, Super 8 Motel, Travelodge and Wingate Inn

locations nationwide. The discounted rate of up to 20 percent less than the “Best Available Rate” publicly available online is subject to availability at participating locations. Contact your county Farm Bureau to

get your Farm Bureau ID number and a toll-free phone number for making your reservation. Then be prepared to show your current Farm Bureau member card when you check in. Blackout dates may apply.

Members eligible for discounts on Polaris vehicles Farm Bureau members in Virginia are eligible for a manufacturer’s incentive discount of $200 to $300 on utility and sport vehicles and all-terrain vehicles from participating Polaris dealers. Members should negotiate their best deals with their preferred Polaris dealers and then present a membership verification certificate prior to delivery to apply the manufacturer's incentive discount to the final sale price.

Eligible individual, family or business members will receive the following manufacturer discount: • Utility and sport vehicles (excluding youth models) – $300; • All-terrain vehicles (excluding youth models) – $200; • BRUTUS UTV (limited-time offer) –$1,000; and

Visit FBAdvantage.com/Deals/ Polaris, and enter your membership number and ZIP code to create and print a Farm Bureau membership verification certificate to take to your participating Polaris dealership. * Benefit subject to change without notice. Consult FBAdvantage.com for current information.

• GEM electric vehicles – $300.

Members save at least 10 percent with Grainger purchases Free shipping for online orders! Farm Bureau members in Virginia can use the Farm Bureau Member Grainger Savings Discount to order supplies and products from Grainger to save a minimum of 10 percent on their purchases. Members nationwide who have shopped Grainger have saved an average of 26.65 percent off catalogue prices*, including: • 55.17% off electrical appliances; • 36.73% off safety equipment; • 35.29% off adhesives and sealants; • 33.51% off motors; • 30.83% off paint and painting equipment; • 30.57% off lighting; • 28.04% off HVAC and refrigeration; • 25.82% off office supplies; • 24.74% off hand tools; and • 23.65% off power tools. 20


Grainger also offers Farm Bureau members free standard shipping on online orders shipped via ground transportation. Same-day shipping is available for the majority of in-stock items. To get your member savings, make your purchase using Virginia Farm Bureau’s unique account number, available from your county Farm Bureau. Create an account with “Register Now” link at grainger.com. After you create a user ID and password, you can view exclusive Farm Bureau pricing. Before you start shopping, click the “My Account” link, then the “Shipping Address” link to change the pre-filled address (Virginia Farm Bureau) to your personal shipping address. To ensure your membership discount is applied, always reference the Virginia Farm Bureau account number when visiting a local Grainger store or ordering at 800-GRAINGER (800-472-4642).

If you need additional help, call Grainger’s special Farm Bureau Member Support line at 708-396-1900. * Average of actual discounts received by Farm Bureau members during the period of December 2012 to February 2013. Rates of discount are not guaranteed and may be different from those shown.

Limited-time discount pricing on generators, welders, outdoor power equipment from Grainger Through June 30 Farm Bureau members in Virginia can save more with special pricing on the following: • Generac generators • Miller welder/generators; and • Echo outdoor power equipment.

Farm Bureau insurance agent Jerry Funkhouser, shown with his wife, Laura, has owned livestock since he was 12 and is an active 4-H volunteer in Shenandoah County.

Shenandoah County agent believes in agriculture, giving back Shenandoah County Farm Bureau insurance agent Jerry Funkhouser didn’t grow up on a farm, but that didn’t stop his desire to work with animals. Funkhouser, who sells insurance and is a cattle farmer, recently was honored with the 2015 Ralph Stokes Award. The award is the top recognition given annually by the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. to an agent who has a high degree of integrity, offers Farm Bureau members excellent service, and has earned the respect of their peers. “I went to school in Arlington, but we spent weekends and summers in Shenandoah County with my family,” Funkhouser said. “I wasn’t raised on a farm, but it was in my blood and was important to me to farm. I can’t imagine not getting up in the morning and feeding my animals.” Funkhouser has owned livestock since he was 12, when he purchased his first hog. He purchased his first cow when he was 13. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Animal Science, and then became the store manager for the local Farmers Co-op, before starting his career with Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. 20 years ago. “I love my job at Farm Bureau,” Funkhouser said. “The best part is helping people and taking care of their needs and their family’s future.



“Recently I had a customer who had life insurance and an annuity with us. He passed away, and his wife had no idea about the policies. When she found out, she was beside herself. It was a dark time for her, financially and emotionally. I felt good knowing I had done my part as a Farm Bureau agent and had taken care of her needs too.” It is that drive to help others that Funkhouser said lead him to support his local 4-H. He has been an organizational leader and started the county’s 4-H livestock club. He also coaches the livestock judging team and the stockman’s team. “I believe 4-H develops young people to become future leaders in agriculture,” Funkhouser said. “More importantly, it teaches them to become leaders in their communities. Every child who grows up

in 4-H can use the skills they learn in their daily lives.” Funkhouser and his wife, Laura, have two children who grew up in 4-H. Their daughter helps her husband take care of the family farm. “It was important to me to pass my love of agriculture on to my kids. Being involved with them in 4-H really gave me the opportunity to spend time with them as we showed cattle.” Quality time is important to Funkhouser as an insurance agent too. “It always comes back to making sure that my job is to service my customers and help them meet their needs,” he said. “I have never sold a policy or made a change that benefited me. It is always what benefits the customer first. If you take care of your customers, they take care of you.”

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015



Save up to 50% off retail when you show your phone or print an online coupon

Saving money is as easy as 1-2-3! ONLINE: Have your membership number ready. 1. Go to vafarmbureau.org and Click on the “Member Deals Plus” icon. 2. Register and click “Submit”. 3. Once you’ve registered, respond to the confirmation email, and you can start saving immediately!

MOBILE: 1. Search for our “Member Deals Plus” mobile app here: 2. Log in using your mobile password: 100790

Membership ID #


3. Search participating locations nearby or enter any ZIP Code of where you’ll be.

Go to www.vafarmbureau.org to get started, or call 888-275-9136 for help logging in.

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Agritourism insurance: Know what’s covered before inviting consumers to your farm Agritourism activities have become popular additions to farm businesses, with more and more farms adding corn mazes, hay rides, farm tours and festivals to their property each year. When hosting these activities, it is important for members to realize that a farmowner insurance policy provides liability coverage for the production of crops, the raising or care of livestock and the operation of roadside stands or famers’ markets that primarily sell the farmer’s own unprocessed products, said Scott DeNoon, agriculture

underwriting specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. Other activities such as hay rides, corn mazes, farm tours, farm festivals and similar operations are not automatically covered under the farmowner contract. “It is extremely important that policyholders engaged in agritourism activities make their agent and insurance company aware of everything they are involved in to be certain that proper coverage is in place,” DeNoon said. VFBMIC can accommodate a variety

of agritourism exposures under the farmowner policy. In most cases, an existing policy can be endorsed, for an additional premium, to provide the necessary coverage, or a separate policy may need to be written. “Farm Bureau has resources available to assist policyholders by designing insurance programs tailored to the agritourism operations and can also offer advice to create a safe experience for participants,” DeNoon said. For more information, contact your Farm Bureau insurance agent.

Agritourism liability sign can offer protection Virginia’s Agritourism Liability Statute provides agritourism professionals with limited liability protection for their operations. If the sign detailing the specifics of the statute is displayed on property where agritourism activities are taking place, the professional cannot be held liable for injury, loss, damage or death to a participant in an agritourism activity resulting from the inherent risks of the activity. “Posting the sign in prominent locations on their property provides the agritourism professional with limited liability protection, but it is not a substitute for proper liability insurance coverage,” DeNoon said. The protection provided by the statute does not apply if the professional does one or more of the following:

• has knowledge or reasonably should have known of a dangerous condition on the land, in the facilities, or with the equipment or animals used in an activity and does not make that danger known to the participant, and that

danger causes injury, damage or death to the participant; • intentionally injures the participant. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information on obtaining a sign.

• commits an act or omission that constitutes negligence or a willful disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission causes injury, damage or death to the participant;

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Injured in an auto accident? Multiple insurance policies could come into play Injuries are an unfortunate consequence of some car accidents. Many people assume health insurance will cover all of their medical expenses no matter what happens, but that’s not always the case. As a rule, medical insurance will pay for injuries when all other forms of payment are exhausted. This is true for most types of insurance. Your medical insurance company won’t pay for injuries that happen at work until it is established that worker’s compensation won’t pay, or until you reach the limit of payout for worker’s comp. The same is true with auto insurance and injuries resulting from an auto accident.

If you don’t have auto insurance or your auto insurance policy doesn’t have medical coverage, your health insurance most likely will pay for your injuries if you are the only person involved in the accident. If another person was involved, then your health insurance company is likely to wait and see who was at fault and whether the other parties’ insurance will cover your medical expenses. Most health insurance companies move forward with a claim after all other claims are denied. Most medical providers are familiar with that process and will treat auto accident injuries

up front and bill you for anything that isn’t covered, like deductibles and co-payments. In the event of an auto accident in which you sustain an injury and file insurance claims, the deductible on your auto insurance and the deductible on your health insurance will both come into play. There is no deductible under auto insurance for medical coverage whether it comes from medical expense or uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage or a responsible third party’s bodily injury coverage.

Call your county Farm Bureau for help understanding the new health care laws. HealthMarketPlaceVA.com 24


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.

Montgomery educator earns national Excellence in Teaching honor Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Marlena “K” Preston of Montgomery County is one of six recipients of the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization’s 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. The award program recognizes educators for their successful efforts in teaching agricultural concepts. Recipients received a $500 PRESTON honorarium and funds to travel to the annual National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference this summer. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium. Preston teaches kindergarten at Belview Elementary School in Radford.

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AITC awards 29 mini-grants for school projects More than $12,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 29 schools statewide through the Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom mini-grant program. Grants generally were for $500, to fund programs that teach students about agriculture in a school or special event setting. This year’s grants will fund programs that reach an estimated 5,000 youth. An application for grants to be awarded this fall is available at AgInTheClass.org. Applications are due Sept. 1.

RECIPIENT SCHOOLS • Concord Elementary School, Appomattox County • STEM Preschool, Arlington • Bristol Middle School, Bristol • Buckingham Career and Technical Education Center, Buckingham County • Clark Elementary School, Charlottesville • Johnson Elementary School, Charlottesville • Walker Upper Elementary School, Charlottesville • Evergreen Elementary School, Chesterfield County • Falling Creek Elementary, Chesterfield County • St. Michael’s Episcopal School, Chesterfield County • Boyce Elementary School, Clarke County • Cumberland High School, Cumberland County • Liberty Middle School, Fairfax County • Snow Creek Elementary School, Franklin County • Sontag Elementary School, Franklin County • Cluster Springs Elementary School, Halifax County • Mehfoud Elementary School, Henrico County • Nuckols Farm Elementary School, Henrico County • St Mary’s School, Henrico County • Clarksville Elementary School, Mecklenburg County • Park View Middle School, Mecklenburg County • Belview Elementary School, Montgomery County • James Monroe Elementary School, Norfolk • Powhatan Junior High School, Powhatan County • Dublin Middle School, Pulaski County • Woodville Elementary School, Richmond • Damascus Middle School, Washington County • Meadowview Elementary School, Washington County • Mt. Vernon Elementary School, York County VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


A Pie for Every Season

Pie screams for ice cream on hot summer days And sometimes it screams for yogurt! June is Dairy Month, and pie is a natural companion for ice cream, one of America’s favorite desserts. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the average American eats 23.2 quarts of ice cream per year. It takes an average of 12 pounds of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream. So that’s almost 70 pounds of milk that dairy cows need to make in order to satisfy each person’s annual ice cream cravings!

Interestingly, vanilla ice cream continues to be America’s flavor of choice and beat chocolate for a second time, according to results of an annual survey of International Ice Cream Association member companies. The IDFA reports that vanilla is the most versatile flavor of ice cream because it mixes well with toppings, drinks and bakery desserts. Top flavors after vanilla are chocolate, cookies and cream, strawberry and mint chocolate chip.

Traditional pies are delicious topped with vanilla ice cream. Try this one from Judith Havasy of Louisa County in the Cooking Virginia Style with Farm Bureau Women.


1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons quick tapioca 3 cups apples, peeled and chopped 3 cups berries, washed and drained 2 tablespoons butter 2 8-inch refrigerated pie crusts, unbaked vanilla ice cream, for serving DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, apples and berries. Toss to coat fruit, and let stand for 15 minutes. Put one pie crust in a pie pan. Spoon in the filling, and dot with butter. Cover with the second crust, and seal the edges. Cut slits in the top crust, and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Top with vanilla ice cream. Many different berry pies are extra-good when topped with vanilla ice cream, Americans’ favorite flavor.



A Pie for Every Season

Frozen Key Lime and Strawberry Pie A cool slice of frozen, dairy-based pie is always a treat on a summer day. Here’s one from the Southeast United Dairy Industry. INGREDIENTS

2 6-ounce cartons lowfat or fat-free vanilla yogurt (refrigerated, not frozen) 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed 3.4-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding mix 10-ounce box frozen strawberries, thawed OR fresh strawberries, washed and sliced 9-inch graham cracker crust DIRECTIONS

Mix the yogurt and limeade, stirring well. Add the pudding mix. Stir in the strawberries, and pour mixture into the crust. Freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Strawberries provide a sweet element in traditionally tart key lime pie.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


Heart of the Home


Red, white and blue are traditional colors for celebrating Flag Day in June or Independence Day in July, but what do they have to do with good cooking? A lot! The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate eating plan encourages people to eat in color. This summer, why not eat in patriotic colors? We’ve got a red, white and blue meal for you this month—grilled red meat, accompanied by Vidalia onion and rice casserole and a blueberry and goat cheese salad. For Dairy Month, follow it up with some vanilla ice cream for an extra bit of white. From the Beef Checkoff website at beefitswhatsfordinner.com comes an Asian-inspired steak recipe.

Ingredients like fresh ginger and orange juice make for a uniquely tangy steak marinade and sauce.



Heart of the Home

Asian BBQ Steak

Helen Smith of Prince Edward County offers this sweet-onion side in the Cooking Virginia Style With Farm Bureau Women cookbook.


⅓ cup ketchup ¼ cup hoisin sauce

Vidalia Rice Casserole

¼ cup orange juice


2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 cups water

1 pound of beef top round steak, cut ¾˝ thick

1 cup white rice, uncooked 6 large Vidalia onions, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

½ cup butter


In a small bowl, combine ketchup, hoisin sauce, orange juice and ginger. Remove and refrigerate ½ cup of this marinade. Place the steak and remaining marinade in a food-safe plastic bag, turning the steak to coat. Close the bag securely, and marinate steak in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Remove the steak from the marinade, and discard the marinade. Place the steak on a grill—over medium, ashcovered coals or a gas burner set to medium heat. Cover and cook for 10 to 11 minutes, turning occasionally. Check to make sure the beef has reached 145˚ for medium rare. While meat grills, pour the reserved marinade into a small microwave-safe dish; cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high 1 to 1½ minutes or until heated through, stirring every 30 seconds. Carve steak into thin slices; season with salt and pepper as desired. Drizzle the sauce over the slices of meat, and serve.

2 tablespoons parsley The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council offers this refreshingly light salad.

¼ teaspoon salt

Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

¼ teaspoon white pepper 1 cup half and half paprika to taste


4 cups mixed salad greens 3-4 ounces goat cheese or other soft cheese 1 cup fresh blueberries ½ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted in a 300˚ oven for 5 minutes ¼ cup prepared Italian or balsamic dressing DIRECTIONS

Arrange greens on four salad plates, dividing evenly. Slice or shape the goat cheese to form four rounds. Arrange a round of goat cheese in the center of each plate. Sprinkle blueberries and toasted nuts over the greens, and drizzle dressing over the entire salad. Serves 4.


Grease a 9˝ x 13˝ casserole dish, and preheat oven to 350˚. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil; add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onions, and sauté 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in rice, parsley, salt, pepper, Swiss cheese and half and half. Spoon mixture into casserole dish. Cover and bake at 30 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with paprika before serving.

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


GMO campaign and strawberries featured on Real Virginia Featured this month on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program: • Virginia farmers are answering critics of genetically modified foods • Strawberries are kicking off the pick-your-own season • Making hay is big business in Virginia Real Virginia To view Real Virginia, visit VaFarmBureau.org.

Real Virginia airs nationwide at 3:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month on RFD-TV on Dish Network and DirecTV. It airs weekly on WVPT Harrisonburg, WBRA Roanoke, WCVE Richmond, WHRO Norfolk, WVVA Bluefield and WTKR Norfolk, as well as on cable systems across the state. It’s available online at VaFarmBureau.org.

2015 magazine classified ad schedule and policies Members of Virginia Farm Bureau will receive one free 15-word classified ad per membership per year in Virginia Farm Bureau News, mailed to producer members, or in Cultivate, 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. Ads with more than 30 words and ads from nonmembers will not be accepted. Use the form in this issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News or the online form at VaFarmBureau.org/marketplace to place your ad. 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 and July Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); and • May and August 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 above your name on the mailing label of your copy of Cultivate. All member numbers will be verified.

Farm Bureau needs your updated contact information, including email Are your membership records current? If you’ve moved, acquired a new telephone number, or changed your name or email address, it’s important that your new information is reflected in your membership and insurance records. Email addresses and cell phone numbers help your Farm Bureau agent reach you in instances where prompt communication is important. If you need to update your records, email your current contact information to membership@vafb.com, and our staff will handle the update. You’re also welcome to call or visit your county Farm Bureau office to update your records.


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.

Important: We are not responsible

provide proofs or tearsheets. •A ds submitted without payment will be returned.


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

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 VaFarmBureau.org.




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. • We do not invoice for classified ads or

Ads and cancellations must be received (not mailed) by the following deadlines: ISSUE DEADLINE Mailed to producer members August July 1

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. 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!

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

NAME:___________________________________________________________________________________________ MEMBER NO.:______________________________________________________________________________________ COUNTY:_________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS:________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: __________________________________________ STATE:________________________


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

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

Category in which ad should run (select only one): q Crops q Farm Equipment q Hay/Straw q Livestock 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 August (mailed to producer members) q This is my one free 15-word ad for 2015 q Payment enclosed: $ _____________ Ad placement available for these issues only 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).

VaFarmBureau.org / JUNE 2015


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

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