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Farm Bureau News

APRIL 2018

Ag-savvy agents keep farm customers satisfied

The Voice of Virginia’s Agricultural Producers

Farm Bureau News

Volume 77, Number 2 April 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).


Features 8

“Farm Bureau has good people-

Ag-savvy agents keep farm customers satisfied

Virginia Farm Bureau has been offering farm insurance since 1951. Knowledgeable agents and value-added products go a long way toward keeping customers satisfied.


Trump, tax cuts were talk of AFBF convention

to-people skills.”

— PAUL ROGERS JR., farmowner insurance policyholder, Sussex County

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


A presidential visit was among highlights of the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. 29

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 Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

Free Medicare seminars available

If you’re enrolled in Medicare or preparing to enroll, county Farm Bureaus have scheduled a series of seminars to answer your questions.


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

Board of Directors



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For Your Benefit Marketplace



Virginia Farm Bureau insurance agent Chris Adams (left) checked in with customers Joel (center) and William “Bootsie” Stanley in Hanover County (Photo by Kathy Dixon).

Producer members will receive their next issue of Virginia Farm Bureau News in September. The magazine is published quarterly, and back issues can be viewed at virginiafarmbureau. 2



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

A Volunteer Week thank-you, for yearlong dedication 88 county Farm Bureau presidents are essential to our success

If you’ve ever been involved with an organization that benefits your community, you’ve no doubt seen firsthand the value WAYNE F. PRYOR of volunteers. It’s no exaggeration to say Farm Bureau needs volunteers like the seeds we plant this spring will need sunlight and water. April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week, and I want to take this opportunity to recognize an incredibly dedicated segment of our volunteer base: our 88 county Farm Bureau presidents. Virginia has more than 44,000 farms, and county presidents have assumed fairly intense unpaid leadership roles to advocate for producers in their communities. Some of them have held that office for multiple terms, and some of them have “retired” only to agree to serve again when there was a need. There are county presidents who are even the second or third generation in their families to hold that office. We also have county presidents who are just a couple of months into their first terms. We need each of them and their respective experience. These are the people who frequently represent a county Farm Bureau at public meetings and explain Farm Bureau’s position on local issues. They also make time to attend numerous Farm Bureau events, serving on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Resolutions Committee and as delegates to the VFBF Annual Convention and, in some cases, the

American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. They often are the ones upon whom local media call when comment is needed from a farmer. They make sure board meetings run smoothly and that members’ concerns are addressed. They skillfully conduct the business at county annual meetings, and during Agriculture Literacy Week last month many of them made time to visit with children in their local schools. Last year when we began trying to boost Farm Bureau membership statewide, they called on their friends, neighbors and business contacts. Some of our county presidents are at least somewhat retired from farming. Most are not. In that light, their commitment to the needs of this organization is truly humbling. According to the Corporation for National Community Service, only about one-quarter of Americans volunteer. They average 32 hours per person annually. I suspect there are county Farm Bureau presidents who log that many volunteer hours each month. These are the men and women county Farm Bureau members are encouraged to contact with a question or a complaint. I’d like to suggest an additional reason to contact them this month, or anytime at all, really: To say, “Thank you for everything you do.” Wayne F. Pryor, a Goochland County hay and grain producer, is president of Virginia Farm Bureau.

Top membership counties as of March 20 County Farm Bureau


Washington 2,473 Charles City-James City- New Kent-York


Franklin 2,105 Hanover 2,066 Smyth 2,022 Augusta 1,793 Bedford 1,750 Russell 1,730 Tazewell 1,715 Scott 1,683 County Farm Bureau Percentage of goal

Greensville 83.15% Rappahannock 80.92% Smyth 80.27% Floyd 80.01% Giles 79.94% Nansemond 79.72% Buckingham 79.68% Lee 79.50% Isle of Wight


Fluvanna 79.24% / APRIL 2018



This month on Real Virginia: Victory Gardens, Virginia ag exports Featured this month on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program: • Learn which Virginia farm products are in demand overseas. • Find out why the Victory Gardens that took root during World War I are still relevant today. • See why agriculture is still alive and well in Loudoun County. 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

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

Farmers just like you are saving with solar energy.

• get access codes and information for all member benefits, including the new John Deere discount program; and • update your contact information to ensure you receive Farm Bureau’s monthly e-newsletters. Virginia Farm Bureau insurance policyholders can: • view policy information 24/7, and easily find your insurance agent or county Farm Bureau office with our improved locator tool; • request policy changes and pay premiums online; and • download auto insurance ID cards. 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. 4


How Much Could You Save with Solar? Schedule Your free solar assessment today! 877-851-9269 1890 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Save the Date!

Farm Bureau convention returning to The Homestead The 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention will take place Nov. 26-29 at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. The annual event will include featured speakers, policy discussion, awards presentations and informative workshops. Registration will open in early fall. The convention is open to county Farm Bureau delegates and other interested Farm Bureau members.

State Fair countdown As of April 16, there are exactly 165 days until the 2018 State Fair of Virginia opens on Sept. 28. Fair fact: The 2017 State Fair drew more than 1,100 entries in the open and youth horticulture competitions for crops, other plants, giant pumpkins and watermelons, and preserved foods. If you’re planning on growing something spectacular this year, you’ll find competition guidelines on the fair’s website at this summer. Last year’s guidelines are available on the site at this time for reference.

$2,700 Funds raised by farmers for Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom last year through Tractors for Agriculture in the Classroom. See Page 23 to learn how you can participate this year. It’s as simple as putting the tractor key in the ignition! / APRIL 2018


General Assembly

‘Team Ag and Forestry’ stepped up its game at General Assembly


irginia Farm Bureau Federation and other agriculture, forestry and commodity groups were successful at moving a number of bills through the 2018 Virginia General Assembly. Those successes were directly attributable to members of “Team Ag and Forestry” helping each other to garner votes from legislators in a coordinated way. “We’re grateful to the many Farm Bureau members who are leaders and members of other (ag and forestry) organizations for participating and supporting this collaboration,” said VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor. “It was an impressive effort this past winter, and more so for the fact that no organization lost its voice or its autonomy to represent its members’ positions.” Martha Moore, VFBF vice president of governmental relations, agreed. “There were times when Farm Bureau led the charge or championed the issue, and there were times when Farm Bureau supported that charge or issue.”

Some key issues At the request of Farm Bureau and other organizations, Dels. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) and Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt) and Sens. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) and Richard Stuart (R-Montross) carried successful legislation updating agriculture nuisance provisions of Virginia’s Right to Farm Act. It will fulfill the original intent of the act’s prohibition on nuisance lawsuits against responsible farmers by ensuring that such farms are appropriately protected

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from baseless claims of nuisance and from significant and unfair judgments when such claims may be appropriate. At the request of many cattle groups, Sen. Ben Chafin (R-Lebanon) carried successful legislation updating Virginia’s cattle assessment to pool funds for marketing, promotion and education to help Virginia cattle producers. The bill: • updates the size of the Cattle Industry Board to 11 members; • increases assessment to 50 cents; • delays the assessment until Jan. 1, 2019, and allows for a refund for producers who do not wish to contribute, as well as exemptions for calves under 99 pounds, animals valued at $100 or less and milk cows returning to the farm; • requires that the Cattle Industry Board develop a business plan before expenditure of funds; and • includes a five-year sunset provision. Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg), at Farm Bureau’s request, carried successful legislation to update land use assessment laws. The bill:

• reflects current qualifying agricultural uses; • removes barriers for new or beginning farmers to qualify for the program; • updates information allowed to demonstrate production history; • updates conservation program requirements to include participation in state programs; and • clarifies language to reinforce the ability of commissioners of the revenue to use multi-year contracts. Sens. Rosalyn Dance (D-Petersburg), Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg) and Jill

Vogel (R-Warrenton) and Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) combined efforts to lead in passage of legislation that will set up a registration system through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to allow more farmers to grow industrial hemp. That bill is still in limbo due to budget implications, but both the Senate and House of Delegates supported positions in VDACS to implement the program. Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) and Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) carried successful legislation to allow the provisions of an overweight permit hauling Virginia-grown farm produce to cross bridges and culverts.

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Special session convenes April 11 The regular General Assembly session adjourned without passage of a new biennial budget. Legislators will reconvene April 11 to discuss developing a budget, with that discussion pivoting on whether to expand Medicaid. Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for several key budget issues: • increased and stable funding for the state ag best management practices cost-share funding program, technical assistance and operational support for 47 soil and water conservation districts; • funding for filling essential positions in Virginia Cooperative Extension; • funding for the agriculture education program at Virginia State University; • 100 percent state match for the Reforestation of Timberlands Program; • funding to support creating an industrial hemp registration system within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and • overall stable and adequate funding for key programs within the state agriculture and forestry departments that support farmers and forest landowners.

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation


1 ASSESS » MARCH–MAY Farmer members surface issues for which they want the organization to consider developing policy at local/ regional meetings.

6 MEET » NOV.–DEC. County Farm Bureau leaders meet with state legislators at regional legislative meetings to discuss VFBF policy relevant to the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session.

7 RESOLVE » NOV. VFBF Resolutions Committee of 90 farmers reviews county Farm Bureau recommendations.

2 PLAN » MAY VFBF commodity/ issue-specific committees discuss issues and recommend solutions.

5 APPROVE » OCT. VFBF board gives final approval to critical legislative issues.

8 VOTE » NOV. County Farm Bureau farmer delegates discuss and vote on existing and proposed policy at VFBF Annual Convention.

3 DEVELOP » MAY–OCT. County Farm Bureaus continue developing policy recommendations based on issues surfaced.

4 DIRECT » OCT. Farmers from across Virginia serving on the VFBF Legislative Committee recommend critical legislative issues.

9 PRESENT » JAN.–MARCH General Assembly convenes in January, adjourns in February or March. / APRIL 2018




Virginia Farm Bureau insurance agents like Jason Seward (left) visit farms almost as soon as they start their new-hire training.



illiam “Bootsie” Stanley has held Virginia Farm Bureau insurance on his family’s Hanover County farm since the 1940s. He recently added the new Farmowner Advantage endorsement to the policy for his Thomas E. Stanley & Sons dairy and grain farm. “It’s a good deal, a really good deal,” Stanley remarked. His son, Joel, explained that if the pump on their milking equipment fails, it could cost thousands of dollars for repairs. But with the new endorsement added to their policy for just $125, the repair would be covered. “It’s really a no-brainer to add it,” he noted. What is farm insurance?

Farm insurance protects farm structures like barns and equipment such as tractors, combines and sprayers. It also can include coverage for harvested crops stored in those structures and provide liability protection for the operation. Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. has been offering farm insurance since 1951 and is currently the No. 1 farm writer in the state, noted Scott DeNoon, VFBMIC farm product and underwriting manager. Paul Rogers Jr. and Paul Rogers III of Rogers Farms in Southampton, Sussex and Surry counties, have held Farm Bureau farmowner insurance since 2004. They said Farm Bureau offered better coverage than their previous carrier, at a reasonable price. And since Jason Seward became their Farm Bureau agent in 2006, he’s now a “big factor” in their retaining the policy. The father and son have endured a couple of minor claims, and “we were very satisfied with the service,” Paul Rogers III remarked.

Grain producers Paul Rogers Jr. (left) and Paul Rogers III say Seward is a “big factor” in their decision to retain their Farm Bureau farmowner insurance.

“Farm Bureau has good people-topeople skills,” Paul Rogers Jr. added. Farmowner Advantage endorsement expands coverage

In April 2017 Farm Bureau introduced the Farmowner Advantage endorsement, which bundles several popular existing products with new coverage for equipment breakdown and lock replacement. Farm equipment breakdown covers repairs or necessary replacement of non-mobile farm systems and equipment, including items like irrigation, refrigeration, generators, fans and well pumps. “The equipment breakdown piece is the biggest value for farmers,” Seward noted. Under the endorsement, equipment breakdown coverage also is provided for home systems and includes

28,486 farmowner policies

repairs and necessary replacement of equipment like central air conditioning, furnaces, heat pumps, appliances and computers. “It’s valuable coverage, and we’re very excited about it,” DeNoon said. Hanover County Farm Bureau insurance agent Chris Adams called Farmowner Advantage “a great endorsement.” He operates a small hobby farm and added the endorsement to his own policy. “If a heat pump in your house breaks, it’s covered. The repair or replacement could cost a lot more than the price of adding the endorsement to a policy.” / APRIL 2018



Farmowner Advantage endorsement Cost is just $125 when added to an existing farm insurance policy. Optional endorsement that bundles seven popular coverages:

For farm: • Rented/borrowed equipment coverage included

$3,000 limit

• Increased limit for glass breakage in cabs

$500 to $750

• Property in transit coverage included

$2,500 limit

For dwelling:

• Increased theft limit for guns and gun-related items

$2,500 to $4,000

• Increased theft limit for jewelry, watches, furs

$2,500 to $3,000

• Increased limit for refrigerated food spoilage

$500 to $1,000

• Water backup coverage included $5,000 limit with $250 deductible

William “Bootsie” Stanley (right) and his son, Joel (center) are longtime Farm Bureau farmowner insurance customers. They recently met with Farm Bureau agent Chris Adams.

Additional Coverages Lock replacement $250 limit to replace locks when keys are lost/stolen

Farm equipment breakdown Covers repairs or necessary replacement of non-mobile farm systems and equipment, including electrical, heating and refrigeration equipment; irrigation equipment; generators; fans well pumps; computers; and GPS systems

Home systems protection (Home equipment breakdown) Covers repairs or necessary replacement of non-mobile dwelling systems and equipment, including central air conditioning; boilers; furnaces; heat pumps; emergency generators; electrical service panels; appliances; computers; well pumps; sump pumps; and home security systems 10


Agents get hands-on training Some Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. agents have agricultural backgrounds. Others do not. So how can they provide knowledgeable farm coverage to their customers? With thorough training, said Scott DeNoon, the company’s farm product and underwriting manager. As part of Farm Bureau’s sales school, new agents receive extensive training about the farmowner policy. They learn whether the policy covers a rented piece of equipment or a milk tank or a poultry house’s electrical system. They also learn to tailor coverage to fit the needs of farms based on their size and type of operation. On their second day of training, new agents visit a farm. They examine structures and equipment and apply what they learned the previous day. They consider coverage issues as well as farm safety concerns. “We provide value-added service for our farm owners,” DeNoon emphasized. “We don’t just write insurance; we look for ways to enhance their insurance coverage and prevent losses.” It is his hope that, once they’ve completed the training, agents are able to speak farm language fluently enough to satisfy farm customers. “We want our agents to be knowledgeable and be able to talk confidently and intelligently with their farm clients.” He says they’re making progress. At the end of 2017 their policy retention rate was 95.6 percent. “That’s proof that our agency force is doing a tremendous job of servicing the needs of our farmer policyholders.”

AGRITOURISM: Know what’s covered before inviting the public Agritourism activities such as corn mazes, hay rides, festivals, berry picking and farm tours are popular additions to farm businesses. When hosting these activities, it’s important to remember that some are not automatically covered under a farmowner insurance policy. “Farmowner policies provide 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,” explained Scott DeNoon, farm product and underwriting manager for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “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.” VFBMIC can accommodate a variety of agritourism activities under the farmowner policy. In most cases, the 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 their agritourism operations and can also offer advice to create a safe experience for participants,” DeNoon added.

Agritourism liability sign can offer protection

Virginia’s Agritourism Liability Statute provides agritourism professionals with limited liability protection for their operation. 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. DeNoon warned that the sign is not a substitute for proper liability insurance coverage. Protection provided by the statute does not apply if the professional does one or more of the following: • 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; • 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; or • intentionally injures the participant.

Don’t forget to consult with your insurance agent before holding events or activities for the public on your farm.

For more information, contact your Farm Bureau insurance agent. / APRIL 2018



‘A Natural Bridge to Agricultural Leadership’ ARTICLE BY SARA OWENS


Natural Bridge to Agricultural Leadership” was the theme for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Winter Expo, held Feb. 23-25 at Natural Bridge. Young adults with a passion for agriculture gathered to network, visit local farms and agribusinesses and gain knowledge that will be key to the industry’s next generation of leaders. The conference offered workshops on farm insurance for beginning, expanding and advanced young farmers; biotechnology; and how to be successful in the annual, issue-based Discussion Meet competition. Additionally, Bedford County Young Farmer Joy Powers shared information on agricultural development and anti-hunger programs of her nonprofit, Restore the Harvest, to benefit citizens of Malawi in southeastern Africa. Tours included the Natural Bridge formation itself and Natural Bridge Caverns, as well as nearby Virginia Safari Park. Participants also visited Ingleside Dairy Farm, which houses a robotic milking operation; Donald’s Meat Processing; and the McCormick Farm museum in Rockbridge County. The family-friendly event also included time to relax and socialize and to learn about leadership opportunities within Farm Bureau.


Participants in the Young Farmers Winter Expo toured Ingleside Dairy Farm, which features a robotic milking parlor, and Donald’s Meat Processing. Both are near Lexington. Other tour stops included the Natural Bridge Caverns and the McCormick Farm museum.




Ferrum speaker: GMOs extend ‘bridge to a better life’ Dr. Tim Durham doesn’t like the term ‘GMO;’ he prefers ‘biotechnology.’ “GMO has a bad connotation to it,” the assistant professor of agronomy and agricultural sciences at Ferrum College explained to Young Farmers Winter Expo participants during a Feb. 24 workshop. “Scientists don’t like to use it. It’s precision breeding or biotechnology. It’s a refinement of conventional methods that we’ve been leveraging for thousands of years.” Biotechnology has been widely used since 1996, and Durham called it a “scientific bridge to a better life.” But, he added, GMO critics in the developed world “have done a great job of demonizing technology they don’t know much about.” Dogs, Durham noted, have been bred over centuries for characteristics that people want. “We’ve genetically modified animals through selective breeding, and no one bats an eye,” he said. “That’s A-OK. But use it for crop improvement, and that’s somehow not OK.” He said consumers often think GMOs are totally unregulated, when they’re actually “the most heavily regulated technology ever released, and that’s not up for dispute. That’s an undeniable fact.” Durham said potential pitfalls are not particular to GMOs. “There have been more than 1,500 studies over 20-plus years showing there is no negative health or environmental impacts (posed by GMOs), so that’s what I’ll base my decision on.” He then shared resources for busting common GMO myths so that workshop participants would have information on hand when discussing the subject. “I know I’m preaching to the choir, but I want you to be equipped with facts to constructively engage in conversations about GMOs,” Durham said. “There has been a historical reluctance on the part of farmers to defend themselves and engage the public. “Farmers feel like they don’t need to justify themselves or their existence to others, but the farming community now understands that we need people in the trenches to spread facts, ‘The Gospel of



Modern-day Agriculture,’ if you will, to ensure our future.” He recommended directing consumers or anyone with questions to gmoanswers. com. The website uses more than 340 contributors, including farmers, academics and industry volunteers, to help answer questions from the public.

‘Everyone is learning from each other’ in Discussion Meet One quality of an effective leader is the ability to hold a thoughtful discussion. That skill is at the heart of the annual Young Farmers Discussion Meet. William “Bear” Lloyd of Washington County, the 2017 VFBF Discussion Meet runner-up, led a Feb. 24 workshop on how to succeed in the competition. Lloyd emphasized that the Discussion Meet is not a debate. Rather, it’s a roundtable discussion in which participants evaluate questions and underlying issues relative to a topic, then work together to form action plans. “The whole purpose of Discussion Meet is for it to be a mock forum or committee meeting,” Lloyd explained. “You take all the opinions together and figure out how to best come up with a solution.” When competing, he noted, it’s important to listen to others’ experiences. “That way everyone is learning from each other. You want to come up with ideas you can take back to your county Farm Bureau or Young Farmers group.”

Discussion meet topics are made available prior to competition, and Lloyd suggested competitors do their homework. “Use Virginia Farm Bureau’s website, and search for topics and read articles pertaining to those subjects,” he said. Bring good solid points to the table, but listen and contribute useful information.” Sarah Scyphers, also from Washington County and the 2014 VFBF Discussion Meet winner, added that developing an opening statement for each topic is helpful. “Get prepared, and know some information going into it. Having a couple of points, positive or negative, … is helpful.” And if a topic is completely unfamiliar, she said, ask a fellow competitor to explain it. “It’s like when you’re leading a meeting; you can ask someone to explain their point. That way you are still contributing.” Lloyd concurred. “You don’t have to know everything about the topic,” but he encouraged those thinking about competing to utilize state and national Farm Bureau resources to prepare. “It is Farm Bureau’s contest, so use that platform to your advantage.”

Save the Date! Want to compete in Discussion Meet? The state-level Discussion Meet begins at the Young Farmers Summer Expo, which will be held Aug. 2-4 in the state’s eastern region. Four finalists will be selected at the expo, and they will compete Nov. 27 at the VFBF Annual Convention in Hot Springs. For more information or to sign up, contact Ron Saacke at



Conference focused on current research, critical communication and farming's future BY SARA OWENS


Beef cattle, poultry and tobacco farmer Robert Mills Jr. of Pittsylvania County was the March 16 keynote speaker. He was named the 2017 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year and also serves on the VFBF board of directors. He spoke about “remembering who brought you to the

dance” and thanking those who offer help in one’s personal and professional life. He also noted Farm Bureau’s role in cultivating industry leaders. Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring delivered a March 17 keynote address and recounted growing up on her family’s Craig County farm. Ring was


etworking and educational opportunities were plentiful at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women's Spring Conference. Hosted by the VFBF Women’s Committee, the event was held March 16-18 in Roanoke. The theme was Farming: Our Heritage, Our Future.

Conference participants who visited the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg took part in activities such as practicing with surgical sutures and trying an exercise related to surgical procedures. / APRIL 2018



State Women’s Committee member Susan Smith led a meeting of Capital District members.

appointed Virginia state forester by then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2014. During her tenure, she noted, she worked closely with Farm Bureau and the Virginia Agribusiness Council to reach consensus on legislative goals. Conference workshop topics included how to communicate with local media; how to talk with consumers about agriculture using words they understand; the power of positivity; and an update on Agriculture in the Classroom activities. “We always strive to give Farm Bureau Women an opportunity to network and share information with each other by providing educational workshops and tours,” said Faye Hundley, VFBF Women’s Committee chairman. “This assists them in their efforts to promote agriculture in their communities. I was excited to see such a great crowd at this year’s conference, with a variety of ages and many new faces.” Some participants also visited Virginia Tech and toured facilities related to veterinary medicine, food research and plant research. Students and educators shared information they could take back to their farms.

Media training: “You need to tell your stories” In a media training presentation, Sherri McKinney encouraged participants to follow up with reporters when they have shared information accurately and fairly. “Reporters are people too, and they want to know when they do a good job, so tell them,” the VFBF senior 16


video producer and Real Virginia television program host said. “Share the interview on social media.” If a story contains misinformation, she added, it’s important to let news professionals know that as well. “Don’t blast them on social media, but call the reporter and explain what they got wrong, and give them the chance to fix it,” she urged. Responding to media inquiries promptly is crucial, McKinney emphasized. “You all work hard. You need to tell your stories,” she said. “We want you to be the source. We want you to be the voice of agriculture.”

good merits, and not throw stones at different (production) methods simply to justify a higher selling point.” Pratt acknowledged a “lack of trust (among) consumers, and it’s invaluable for us to advocate for our industry and provide honest, transparent marketing of our products.” She also shared that farmers— especially those who produce meat products—have to overcome a lot of misinformation that is out there. “Ninety-eight percent of Americans eat meat. We are the home team, but the vegans are beating us at our own game. We need to use some of their tactics.” She said critics of diets that include meat, or of certain agriculture practices usually talk about the “why,” while farmers talk about the “what”— the product or practice itself. “We have to do better with the ‘why.’ We have to do better with our advocacy. We have to step up our game.”

Educating consumers using words we all understand

When it comes to forming opinions on food, today’s consumers are at least a little confused, Dr. Paige Pratt, VFBF grassroots development specialist, noted. “Products today are labeled and labeled and labeled,” the cattle producer who holds a doctorate in animal science, told workshop participants. “We’ve made it hard for people to understand what they’re buying, and some of that confusion could be our fault. We need to refine what we are saying so consumers understand.” What they really want, she explained, is safe, wholesome, nutritious food. “Market what the food has to offer. Don’t go against each other as producers. We need to focus on marketing and selling food on our own

Silent auction donations included handcrafted items.

AITC donation celebration, conference events raise more than $35,000 Participants at the Women’s Spring Conference were recognized for support of Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom during a donation celebration. The event recognized contributions of $31,300 from county Farm Bureau women’s committees over the past year. Additionally, a silent auction and an ice cream fundraiser held during the conference raised $2,600 and $1,100, respectively, for AITC.

Bedford producer receives Farm Bureau Lady Leader recognition


Dr. Amy E. Johnson of Bedford County has been named the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Lady Leader. The Lady Leader program provides opportunities for spokeswomen who are passionate about promoting agriculture. Johnson grew up on her family’s beef cattle, sheep and turkey farm in Highland County. She was responsible for the sheep and caring for the cattle. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science, an associate’s degree in emergency health services, an additional bachelor’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in nursing practice. She is a family

nurse practitioner with Centra Medical Group in Bedford and frequently treats farmers in the community. She and her husband, W.P., and their two children live on his family’s farm, where they raise wheat, soybeans and hay. Johnson received a $500 cash award from Farm Credit, a tablet computer, a trip to the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention and a travel package to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. She also will receive travel expenses for speaking appearances on Farm Bureau’s behalf.

Hillsville producer named Farm Woman of the Year


Amanda Parris of Carroll County has been named Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Farm Woman of the Year. The award recognizes recipients’ contributions to family, home, farm business, community and Farm Bureau. Parris grew up on her family’s dairy farm; the farm later transitioned to beef cattle. As a child, she was an avid equine enthusiast and 4-H volunteer leader and taught riding lessons. She attended the American School of Equine Dentistry and operates Blue Ridge Equine Dentistry. She also is tourism relations manager for Carroll County

and assists local government in planning and implementing community events that focus on agriculture and youth. She and her husband, Michael, along with her mother, operate A&M Farms, where they directmarket grass-fed and -finished beef. Parris received $250 from the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., a trip to the 2018 VFBF Annual Convention and a travel package to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

Augusta student named Virginia Farm Bureau Ambassador


Madison Slaven of Weyers Cave in Augusta County has been named the 2018 Virginia Farm Bureau Ambassador. The recognition program is open to anyone 18 to 26 years old who wants to be a spokesperson for agriculture and represent Farm Bureau. Slaven is the daughter of Jeff Slaven and Lisa Oleskie. She is a senior at Virginia Tech, where she is majoring in animal and poultry sciences and minoring in international trade and development. Her family has a cow-calf operation, and Slaven said she hopes to have a career “that allows me to interact

with producers and work with them to find solutions to challenges … to make them more successful.” She received a $3,000 cash award from Farm Bureau and the organization’s Women’s Committee and will make public appearances and serve as an advocate for agriculture and Farm Bureau. She also will receive a paid trip to this year’s VFBF Annual Convention. First runner-up Cutler Blankenship of Pittsylvania County received a $500 cash award, and second runner-up Ashley Yanego of Shenandoah County received a $250 award.

County Farm Bureau committees recognized for work in 2017 Outstanding Women’s Program (and Southwest District winner): Smyth County Women’s Committee Innovation Award, recognizing the best agriculture activity (and Central District winner): Fluvanna County Women’s Committee Best Women’s Program by district: Capital District: Powhatan County Women’s Committee Eastern District: King William County Women’s Committee

Midwest District: Craig County Women’s Committee Northern District: Prince William-Fairfax County Women’s Committee Southeast District: Nansemond County Women’s Committee Southside District: Pittsylvania County Women’s Committee Valley District: Bedford County Women’s Committee / APRIL 2018





Thousands of producers lined up early for a seat to hear President Trump’s remarks during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.

Trump, tax cuts were the talk of national convention BY NORM HYDE


irginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers excelled in national competitions, 64 Virginia producers toured the massive IDEAg Trade Show and attended educational workshops, and Farm Bureau’s national policy positions were determined. But there’s no question that a visit by President Trump capped the excitement of the 99th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in January.

Speakers included two from Virginia Farm Bureau More than 7,400 Farm Bureau members attended the event in Nashville, Tenn., that highlighted AFBF efforts to unite the agriculture industry, engage in strategic 18


advocacy on farmers’ and ranchers’ behalf and transform how Americans view the nation’s producers. Farm Bureau members could choose from among 50 workshops at the convention to improve their marketing, leadership and outreach skills, and two Virginia producers were featured. Speaking up for modern agriculture requires putting a human face on farming, according to Jesse Martin, a Rockingham County Farm Bureau member and CEO of MACRA Business Insights. In a workshop titled "The Rosetta Stone of Farming” he said farmers now have to translate what they do for a living to a public totally unfamiliar with agriculture. “We’re having to communicate with consumers in a way that we’ve never been asked to before in the history of

President promised tax changes will benefit nation’s farmers Greeted with a standing ovation, President Trump praised

The convention was held at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center.


agriculture,” he said. “It’s a real challenge, because we’re not a multi-billion dollar organization, and we don’t have a ton of extra resources and a marketing team with VPs and experts we can pull in.” Farmers should be thinking about how to explain genetically modified organisms or conventional agriculture in terms anyone would understand, Martin recommended; he noted that that is much easier to do one-on-one than on social media. He encouraged producers to seek out conversations with family, friends and neighbors about how modern agriculture works and why farmers do things the way they do. Another workshop, “From Grassroots to the Elevator,” took a similar approach. Teresa Lindberg of Greensville County, winner of the 2017 VFBF Lady Leader spokesperson designation, shared ways to prepare a brief personal “elevator speech” to engage non-farmers.

Careful estate planning still needed under new tax laws Telling agriculture’s story is important to many farmers, but so is passing down the family farm. One workshop speaker noted that, while new federal tax laws have eased some inheritance tax challenges, there’s still plenty of estate planning necessary to successfully pass on a farm business. “A lot of the planning prior to the changes in 2013 focused on how to keep assets out of the estate for tax purposes. Now it’s totally flipped 180 degrees. For the vast majority of people, the question is how to include things in their estate to get a basic step-up for their heirs,” said Roger McEowen, Kansas Farm Bureau Professor of Agricultural Law and Taxation at the Washburn University School of Law. The best choice for farm families, McEowen said, continues to be consulting with a qualified estate planning and tax expert on a regular basis.

farmers for their grit, hard work and patriotism. He also praised the passage of a federal tax cut package just a few weeks before, claiming it will boost rural America’s economy. “It’s a total of $5.5 trillion in tax cuts, with most of those benefits going to working families, small businesses,” Trump said. William “Bear” Lloyd, a Washington County Farm Bureau member in the audience, was in agreement. “There are several things in the plan that are of benefit to us, such as the raising of the levels for families that are exempt from the estate tax,” Lloyd said. “We (now) have a lot of things such as allowing farmers to deduct capital and investments all in the first year of their taxes. Plus lower tax rates.” A change in attitude from Washington toward rural America is just as important as the actual tax code changes, added Gordon Metz of Henry County, who serves on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors. “I deal with a lot of individuals that are putting in businesses, and it’s amazing just how … the idea that things are going to get better, the idea that taxes might be better” can boost an entrepreneur’s spirit, Metz said. But “the devil’s in the details,” he warned, and he said Farm Bureau would have to monitor closely how tax changes are introduced to make sure they truly benefit rural Americans. Before Trump’s speech, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled the administration’s Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force Report, and Trump signed documents to implement two recommendations immediately. The first order will streamline the federal permit process for broadband construction in rural areas. The second was a White House memo to make it easier for broadband providers to place cell towers on federal land. Trump also decried the costs of excessive federal regulations and mentioned several that his administration has moved to eliminate, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule. He also spoke of a need to reform current NAFTA trade rules to give American farmers a better deal, and he promised the upcoming farm bill would lend stability to farmers now facing their fifth year of declining income.

The president signed two executive orders that fund and streamline expansion of rural broadband access. / APRIL 2018






Animal rights groups ‘cherry-picking’ scripture The Animal Agriculture Alliance

is warning farmers and ranchers that animal rights groups are increasing efforts to influence major religious denominations. “Americans are a spiritual people, but not everyone is familiar with the scriptures,” said Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of the alliance. She said animal rights groups “are cherry-picking scripture passages to promote their ultimate agenda, which is to eliminate animal agriculture.” Smith told participants in the AFBF Annual Convention that her organization has seen an increase in animal rights policy positions in mainstream religious platforms in the past few years. The Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church have passed resolutions urging members to abstain from eating meat or opposing modern animal agriculture for “moral” reasons, she explained. “I didn’t anticipate it in my own church in Alexandria, Va., but last year during a stewardship meeting someone read an animal rights religious platform statement almost word for word,” Smith said. The Humane Society of the United States has sponsored an “animals and religion” outreach program since 2007 and paid for a staff member to attend seminary and become ordained to give the program credibility, Smith noted. HSUS has a 15-member multi-faith advisory council that is developing a youth Sunday school curriculum. In 2014, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a “Jesus People for Animals” effort to “help Christians convert to vegan food and clothing.”

Farmers and ranchers re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall to a second two-year term.

Delegates re-elect Duvall, Pryor and consider numerous issues


elegates to the AFBF Annual Convention unanimously re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall to another twoyear term. Virginia Farm Bureau Federation President Wayne F. Pryor also was re-elected to a two-year term on the AFBF board of directors. Delegates also approved measures to help assure a prosperous agricultural and rural economy in the coming year and beyond. Among those were measures supporting: • an improved Agriculture Risk Coverage program to decrease risk-management disparities across counties; • a flexible cotton support program that considers cotton seed, cotton lint or both to help beleaguered growers; • strengthened and more flexible risk management and safety-net programs for dairy farmers; • permission for workers to seek employment from more than one farmer under the H-2A program; • trade and trade agreements that strengthen market opportunities for U.S. agriculture;



• elimination of sunset provisions in trade agreements; • modification of NAFTA to improve market access to difficult Canadian dairy markets, in addition to improved food-safety standards for imported products; • an end to use of “non-GMO” labels on products that do not have GMO alternatives; • a $1 per member increase in dues paid by state affiliates of the American Farm Bureau Federation; and • support for the use of gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR, along with a voluntary and uniform labeling program for such products. Delegates from Virginia were Pryor; VFBF Vice President Scott Sink; William Coffee of Lunenburg County; Tommy Motley of Pittsylvania County; Jeremy Moyer of Amelia County; Brandy Puckett of Carroll County; and Channing Snoddy of Fluvanna County, along with alternate delegates Stephanie Cornnell of Prince William County and Bruce Warner of Russell County.

VFBF receives five AFBF awards for programs


irginia Farm Bureau Federation was recognized with four out of a potential four American Farm Bureau Federation Awards of Excellence at the 2018 AFBF Annual Convention. The awards honor state Farm Bureaus that demonstrate outstanding achievements in four program areas • advocacy; • engagement and outreach; • leadership and business development; and • membership value.

New Horizon Award

Additionally, VFBF was one of six state Farm Bureaus honored for innovation with an AFBF New Horizon Award. That award recognized a direct-marketing program of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability, or VA FAIRS. In 2016, the foundation began marketing Lulus Local Food, a direct sales, inventory and marketing software program for farmers and food hubs. Once licensed to use the secure, cloud-based software, farmers can easily coordinate direct market sales to individuals or through local food hubs. Created in 2004 and spearheaded by VFBF, VA FAIRS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist rural agricultural enterprises.

Young Farmers (from left) Amy Gail Fannon, Justin and Lori McClellan and Stacey and Casey Phillips took part in AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers recognition programs.

Virginia Young Farmers honored at national convention


wo couples representing Virginia Farm Bureau Federation were named national runners-up and a third Virginian was a semifinalist in American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions at the AFBF Annual Convention. Justin and Lori McClellan of Smyth County were first runners-up for the AFBF YF&R Achievement Award, and Casey and Stacey Phillips of Montgomery County were first runners-up for the AFBF YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award. Amy Gail Fannon of Lee County advanced to the semifinal round in the organization’s Discussion Meet.

dairy farm, and Stacey Phillips teaches special education at a local elementary school. Both are passionate about sharing information about farming through social media. Four years ago they started a pick-your-own sweet corn operation, and they host school groups and other visitors for farm tours. They also actively use social media to share information and address misconceptions about agriculture. The McClellans and Phillipses will receive Case IH 50A Farmall tractors, courtesy of Case IH. In 2017 they won the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Achievement Award and Excellence in Agriculture Award, respectively.

Achievement Award

Discussion Meet

The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers for their work in building a profitable farm operation. The McClellans own a beef cow-calf and calf feeding operation, as well as an excavation and trucking business. Justin McClellan also serves on the Smyth County Farm Bureau board of directors.

Excellence in Agriculture Award

Duvall presented an AFBF New Horizon Award to VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor (left).

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes recipients for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Casey Phillips manages his family’s

Fannon won the VFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet in November 2017 and began preparing for national competition. The Discussion meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic and work toward a consensus. Fannon is a Virginia Cooperative Extension agent and unit coordinator. She is a former member of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and lives and farms with her family, who raise pumpkins, corn and alfalfa hay. / APRIL 2018


For Your Benefit

Direct-marketing software available through VA FAIRS

Save on qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealers

armers and food hubs interested in selling products online have an opportunity to do so more easily. The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability, also known as VA FAIRS, is marketing Lulus Local Food, an innovative sales and marketing software. Farmers can use the secure, cloud-based product to make sales directly to individuals or through local food hubs. Numerous individual farms, community-supported agriculture operations, farmers’ markets and more than a dozen food hubs currently use the product. “The software allows farmers and businesses to get started or to grow their programs,” explained Molly Harris, who created Lulus Local Food with the help of VA FAIRS in 2008. “The growth of this program allows fundamental change to take place in how food is sourced in local communities,” Harris added. “We’re hoping to see an increase in direct marketing sales, especially in areas that may not have access to local foods. The software allows farmers or direct marketers to have an online inventory, and it is very easy to update and manage.” Additionally, the software processes credit card payments, collects sales tax and provides financial reporting. Chris Cook, executive director for VA FAIRS and assistant director of rural development for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation said the program helps promote local food and product sales year-round, especially during months when farmers’ markets traditionally are closed. “We hope this will help increase employment in the areas where Lulus is used and become an economic development driver,” he said. “We look forward to connecting consumers and locally grown products through the use of this software.” For more information visit

Members can save $300 to $500 on qualifying products from participating Case IH dealers. You can generate a certificate to present at your local dealership at; have your membership number at hand. Eligible individual, family or business members receive the following manufacturer discount on purchases of the listed products:


•F  armall Compact tractors, A, C and C CVT series – $300 •F  armall Utilities, C and U series – $500 •M  axxum Series and Farmall 100A series – $500 • Self-propelled windrowers – $500 • Large square balers – $500 • Round balers – $300 • Small square balers – $300 • Disc mower conditioners – $300 • Sickle mower conditioners – $300 • Scout Utility Vehicles – $300

Caterpillar offers savings up to $2,500, plus $250 credit on attachments Caterpillar Inc. offers Farm Bureau members in Virginia savings of up to $2,500 on select Cat machines, as well as a $250 credit on work tool attachments purchased with a new Cat machine. You can generate a certificate to present at your local dealership at; have your membership number at hand. Get the following savings on qualifying new Cat machines from participating dealers: • Small wheel loaders, 924, 926, 930, 938 models – $2,000 • Compact wheel loaders, 903, 906, 907, 908, 910 914 models – $1,000 • Small dozers, D3, D4, D5 models – $1,000



• Medium dozers, D6K – $1,000 • Medium dozers, D6N – $2,000 • Medium dozers, D6T – $2,500 • Backhoe loaders, 420, 430, 450 models – $1,000 • Backhoe loaders, 415, 416 models – $500 • Compact track loaders, 279, 289, 299 models – $1,000 • Compact track loaders, 239, 249, 259 models – $500 • Multi terrain loaders, 277, 287, 297 models – $1,000 • Multi terrain loaders, 247, 257 models – $500 • Skid steer loaders, 262, 272 models – $1,000

• Skid steer loaders, 216, 226, 232, 236, 242, 246 models – $500 • Telehandlers, TH514, TL1055, TL1255 models – $1,000 • Telehandlers, TH255, TH406, TH407 models – $500 • Mini hydraulic excavators, 304, 305, 305.5, 308 models – $500 • Mini hydraulic excavators, 300.9, 301.4, 301.7, 302.4, 302.7, 303, 303.5 models – $250 • Small excavators, 311, 313, 315, 316, 318 models – $1,000 • Medium excavators, 320, 323, 325, 326, 330, 335 models – $2,000 • Large excavators, 336, 349 models – $2,500


Farmers support AITC by doing what they do best



armers can help drive support for Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom with every mile they operate their tractors this summer. Now in its fourth year, the Tractors for Agriculture in the Classroom fundraiser invites farmers to donate money for every hour they spend on a designated tractor or other piece of equipment between March 1 and Nov. 30. “This event is a fun way for siblings, parents, children or neighbors to be competitive for a good cause—by seeing who can log the most hours on their farm equipment or who can raise the most money for AITC,” said Morgan Slaven, AITC development associate. To date, the initiative has raised more than $10,000 and engaged dozens of farmers across the state in the name of agricultural literacy. Last year, more than $2,700 was donated through Tractors for AITC. Mecklenburg County Farm Bureau initiated the idea for the campaign in 2014. This year AITC would like to strengthen the social media presence of the campaign by asking participants to use the hashtag #Tractors4AITC and to tag Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom in posts about the campaign. To double the impact of contributions, participants are encouraged to ask equipment dealers to match their donations. James River Equipment has been the title sponsor of the pledge campaign since 2016. Individuals not actively engaged in farming who wish to support the project may make a pledge per mile driven in a truck or other vehicle. For details and to register, visit tractors.pdf.

Support AITC at these upcoming events May 7 22nd Annual AITC Golf Tournament The Crossings Golf Club, Glen Allen 800 Virginia Center Parkway Online registration at AITCGolf2018 Contact Whitney Perkins, 804-2901034 or

Oct. 11 3rd Annual AITC Clays Across the Commonwealth Flying Rabbit Sporting Clays, Mount Crawford Online registration opens at least six weeks before the event at Contact Morgan Slaven, 540-3837579 or

Oct. 12 3rd Annual AITC Clays Across the Commonwealth Kettlefoot Rod & Gun Club, Bristol Online registration opens at least six weeks before the event at Contact Morgan Slaven, 540-3837579 or

Newport News educator named AITC Teacher of the Year Jennifer Massengill, a science and technology teacher at Hampton Roads Academy in Newport News, has been named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2018 Teacher of the Year. The award recognizes a Virginia educator for incorporating agriculture into his or her core curriculum. Massengill also was named one of eight national 2018 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award recipients by the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit. “Jennifer uses her extensive school

garden as the jumping-off point for real-life, hands-on examples to demonstrate required core curriculum such as science, technology and language arts.” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager. Massengill’s goal has been to involve each student with the garden. Through science classes, blog groups, afternoon garden club activities and morning cooking classes, those experiences provide meaningful, real-life context to required core curriculum. As Virginia AITC Teacher of the Year Massengill will receive a scholarship to attend the 2018 National Agriculture

in the Classroom Conference in June in Portland, Maine, and a $500 award. Virginia AITC also recognized two finalists, who will receive registration to MASSENGILL the National AITC Conference: Christine Miller of Swift Creek Elementary School in Chesterfield County and Chris Ratliff of McCleary Elementary School in Craig County. / APRIL 2018


Two cost-saving features available for auto policies Virginia Farm Bureau personal auto insurance customers may be eligible for two enhancement features depending on their type of auto policy: new vehicle replacement coverage and accident forgiveness protection. Both are available at an added cost and may not be available until your policy renews. For more information, contact your Farm Bureau agent.

New vehicle replacement coverage For policies with an effective date of Sept. 1, 2017, and after, customers with a new vehicle that is two model years or less in age and has not been previously owned can have it replaced when a covered total loss occurs. Only vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverage will be eligible for the benefit.

Coverage is available on any owned, new private passenger, farm and utility-type vehicle on a policy, not including antique vehicles, unlicensed farm use vehicles and vehicles having stated amount of coverage. The amount paid to replace the covered vehicle will not exceed the cost of a new vehicle of the same make and model with the same equipment.

Accident Forgiveness Protection Virginia Farm Bureau Fire & Casualty personal auto policies with an effective date of Nov. 1, 2017, and after are eligible for one at-fault accident to be forgiven on a policy at any one time when Accident Forgiveness Protection is added to that policy. The forgiven at-fault accident will not cause any change to existing premium adjustments that otherwise would be affected by the accident. This protection applies to all private

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passenger, farm and utility vehicles on a policy and excludes antique automobiles and unlicensed farm use vehicles.


If I’m driving a vehicle that belongs to a friend, or to a family member who isn’t in my household, and am involved in an accident—am I covered? In most instances, auto insurance does follow the vehicle on a policy, so you would be covered. But there are circumstances that could revert responsibility for an accident back to the driver. For example, if there are bodily injury claims or the car’s owner doesn’t carry enough insurance, the coverage could be the driver’s responsibility . There are other situations that can affect coverage as well, so it is best to discuss specific questions with your insurance agent.


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Alarm system



Simple deterrents can prevent crime on farms Signage, security cameras, appropriate lighting and alarm systems all can help deter theft and other crimes on farm property.


rime on farms can be a serious problem, and rural communities have seen an alarming increase in the thefts of tools and equipment from farms. “Theft has always been an issue with farms, but we’re seeing even more today,” said Frank Dunton, Virginia Farm Bureau’s vice president of investigations. Dunton is a certified forensic, fire and fraud investigator with more than 40 years’ experience. “There are steps that farmers can take,” he noted, “to ensure their property and items are safe and secure.” The top priorities for landowners, he said, should be proper lighting and properly secured equipment, vehicles and tools. He recommended using bright, LED lights that are motionsensor activated. “When the lights come on due to motion, you are alerted that something is there,” Dunton explained. Properly locking all buildings, including shops, sheds, garages and barns also is essential. Dunton also suggested: • Installing cameras on buildings or items of value, including

sprayers or equipment in a field – “Even just a cheap deer camera can make a difference,” Dunton said. “These cameras aren’t as pricey as they used to be and can be a big help.” • Maintaining an inventory of all tools and equipment, especially those of considerable value – Record the serial and model numbers for each item, as well as a description of the type, make and brand, and note any distinguishing markings and the replacement value. “It’s important to also make sure those items have the proper insurance,” Dunton said. “If they were to be stolen, you want them to be replaced.” • Using metal engravers or stamps to mark tools, vehicles, machinery and equipment with a permanent identification number, and taking a photo of each item – This will help provide a way for police to identify stolen property. •D  oing a thorough review of your property on a regular basis – This can help you determine whether

something is out of place or missing. • Installing an alarm system on your home or any other significant building. • Posting “No Trespassing,” “Posted” or “Beware of Dog” signs on the property to deter people from entering. • Reporting all thefts, big or small, to the police. Additionally, “if you see something suspicious on your neighbor’s property, call them and let them know so they can check it out,” Dunton said.

Home crime prevention When it comes to your home, many of the same tips apply. “Keep ladders away from the side of your home or other buildings so that you aren’t inviting a thief to climb through your window,” Dunton said. “Keep your bushes, trees and hedges trimmed well, so you can see out of your windows. And again—I can’t stress it enough—keep things locked and install motion-sensored, bright lights.” / APRIL 2018



2018 FORD F-150 Virginia Farm Bureau members are eligible to enter the Built Ford Tough F-150 Sweepstakes* for a chance to win a 2-year lease on a brand new 2018 F-150! To enter, visit fordspecialoffer. com/farmbureau/sweeps or text the word SWEEPS to 46786.** *NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENT OF U.S. or D.C., 21 YEARS OR OLDER WITH VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE TO ENTER AND A CURRENT FARM BUREAU MEMBER. ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends 9/30/18. For entry and official rules with complete eligibility, prize description and other details, visit Sponsored by Ford Motor Company, One American Road, Dearborn, MI 48126. **Autodialed marketing messages will be sent to the number provided.Consent is not a condition of purchase or entry. Message and data rates may apply. Sweepstakes ends 9/30/18. For full rules, alternate means of entry, privacy policy, visit

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‘Just Drive’: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month


t was just a quick call. It was just a short trip. It was just a picture. It was just an email. It was just a glance. It was just a text. “‘Just’ is all it takes,” according to the National Safety Council, which observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The council is working to empower drivers to put safety first and “Just Drive.” In 2016, about 40,000 people died in U.S. motor vehicle crashes; the top three causes of fatalities on the road are alcohol, speeding and distracted driving. While many distractions exist while driving, cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time.

Myth vs. reality “I can multitask while driving” The brain can quickly toggle between tasks but can’t do two things at the same time, like driving and talking on the phone. Driving and talking are both thinking tasks, and the brain switches between the two and slows reaction times. Activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to one-third when a driver is listening to or talking on a phone, according to the NSC.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of deaths in U.S. vehicle crashes

“Talking on a cell phone is just like speaking to a passenger” Passengers can be good for you, as adult passengers can help the driver and be alert to traffic problems. The person you are talking to on the phone can’t see what is going on.

“Speaking hands-free is safe” Drivers talking on the phone—even hands-free—can miss seeing up to 50 percent of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights.

“I only use my phone at a stoplight, so it’s OK” Even at stoplights it is important to remain attentive to your surroundings. A recent AAA study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they finish sending a voice text or using their phones.

“Voice-to-text is safe to do while driving” You may not actually be looking at the phone, but it still can be distracting. Additionally, the temptation to check for autocorrect errors may move your eyes from the road to your phone. A webinar on how to eliminate distractions around you while driving is available on the NSC website at Other organizations also share information online about distracted driving, including Virginia Farm Bureau partners such as Drive Smart Virginia ( and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( / APRIL 2018


Is your home storm-ready? Hurricanes dominate headlines more often during the summer and fall than thunderstorms and lightning, but the South Carolina-based Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Research Center cautions homeowners not to underestimate the destructive and deadly force of summer storms. Thunderstorms occur more often and have a direct impact on more people and homes in the United States than hurricanes. And, according to the National Weather Service, every thunderstorm produces lightning. IBHS says a whole-house or -building surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of lightning damage, along with localized surge protectors for power cords of electronic equipment and any telephone and cable or satellite television lines.

Prepare your surroundings to reduce damage

• Trim trees and shrubbery away from structures, and remove any weakened sections of trees. • If a storm is imminent, limit sources of windborne debris by securing or removing lawn furniture, planters, bird feeders and decorative objects.

Protect your home’s openings

• If your garage door doesn’t have a pressure rating sticker, have it evaluated and, if necessary, have a bracing system installed. • Seal openings, cracks and holes on the outside of your home. Fill holes where wires, cables and pipes enter and exit the home, and seal around electrical boxes and circuit breaker panels. Seal cracks around wall

outlets, dryer vents, bathroom and kitchen vents and wall lights.

Strengthen your roof

• Make sure the roof sheathing is securely fastened to the roof frame. • Seal the roof deck to minimize water getting into your attic if the roof cover is blown off. • Re-attach loose shingles with roofing cement to prevent them from blowing off. • If you have vinyl or aluminum soffit covers, strengthen their attachment to the walls and fascia. • Create a continuous load path in your home, which means tying the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation using metal connectors such as hurricane straps, clips or ties. For more information on thunderstorm protection, visit


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. 55681VASENABS AADVOTH006M(15)-VA 28


Free Medicare seminars available If you’re on or soon to be on disability, nearing retirement age, or are age 65 and still working, you may have Medicare on your mind. “As people get closer to enrolling in Medicare, they often have questions about how Medicare works and what they need for additional health insurance,” said Tracy Cornatzer, sales manager for Virginia Farm Bureau’s health insurance division. “Medicare can at times seem daunting or confusing, but we’re here to walk you through the process.” If you have questions about Medicare and want to know more, whether you are enrolled already or nearing enrollment, there may be a local Medicare seminar available, sponsored by your county Farm Bureau. The following seminars have been scheduled, and will be held at the county Farm Bureau office unless otherwise noted: • April 5, Louisa County Farm Bureau • April 9, Alleghany County Farm Bureau • April 10, Culpeper County Farm Bureau at Culpeper County Central Library • April 11, Henry County Farm Bureau at Blue Ridge Regional Library • April 11, Chesterfield County Farm Bureau at Chester Library • April 12, Chesterfield County Farm Bureau at Clover Hill Library • April 12, Rockbridge County Farm Bureau • April 16 and 17, Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau at Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex • April 16 and 17, Rockingham County Farm Bureau • April 18, Prince William-Fairfax County Farm Bureau • April 19, Smyth County Farm Bureau

• April 20, Sussex County Farm Bureau • April 23, Goochland County Farm Bureau at Pamunkey Regional Library-Goochland Branch • April 23, Franklin County Farm Bureau at Franklin County Library

• June 26, Campbell County Farm Bureau at Campbell County Library Each seminar is available at no cost. To register, call your county Farm Bureau office, even if the seminar is held at a neighboring office.

• April 24 and 25, Augusta County Farm Bureau • April 25, Shenandoah County Farm Bureau • April 26, Page County Farm Bureau at Massanutten Regional Library-Page Public Library • April 26, Brunswick County Farm Bureau • May 2, Hanover County Farm Bureau at Doswell Community Center • May 3, Amelia County Farm Bureau • May 7, King George County Farm Bureau at American Legion Post 89 • May 9, Loudoun County Farm Bureau at Purcellville Library • May 10, Prince George County Farm Bureau • May 10 and 11, Carroll County Farm Bureau • May 14 and 15, Albemarle County Farm Bureau at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library • May 17, Cumberland County Farm Bureau • May 22, Powhatan County Farm Bureau • May 24, Stafford County Farm Bureau at Central Rappahannock Regional Library-England Run Branch • May 24, Spotsylvania County Farm Bureau • June 6, Montgomery County Farm Bureau • June 6, Accomack County Farm Bureau • June 13, Greene County Farm Bureau

Want to know the basics about Medicare? There are four types of Medicare: • Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home health care. • Part B helps cover medical services, like doctors, outpatient care and other medically necessary services not covered by Part A. Many people purchase a supplemental insurance policy, such as a Medigap plan, to handle Part A and B coverage gaps. • Part C, or Medicare Advantage Plans, are combination plans managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare that cover medically necessary services. • Part D is a prescription drug coverage that is available to everyone with Medicare. About three months before you’re eligible for Medicare coverage, you should receive a questionnaire in the mail. Your answers to these questions help Medicare set up your file and make sure your claims are paid correctly. Once enrolled in Medicare, you should schedule a free preventive visit with your doctor within the first 12 months to assess your health status. Staff at your county Farm Bureau office can assist you in obtaining supplemental insurance and answer your Medicare questions. You also may visit quote. / APRIL 2018



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 Cultivate, which is mailed to associate members, or in Virginia Farm Bureau News, which is mailed to producer 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. Use the form in this issue of Cultivate or the online form at 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 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 Cultivate. All member numbers will be verified. CROPS DEER AND RABBIT REPELLENT – $13.95 makes 10 gallons. Safe, effective, longlasting, guaranteed. 540-464-1969.


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,

DISC – 3-pt. hitch, 6.5 feet. Shed in nice condition. Sell or trade. $675. 540-6722732.

Growth of a Modern Farm Bureau

HORSE BOARDING – Starts as low as $100/month and up. Near interstate. Fairfield, VA. 540-348-6209.

STEEL FLAT TRUCK BED – 14-ft., built by Grumman, good, useful condition. $1,000. Wythe County. 276-223-7773.

DAIRY GOATS – Lamancha, Toggenburg, Nigerian dwarf. Milkers, doe and buck kids. 540-672-2538

VACUUM PUMP – Model 306053, needs pulleys. Belt 3-horse motor, $150 OBO. Leave message. 276-623-1615.

REGISTERED ANGUS FEMALES – AI genetics, superior EPDs, spring/fall calvers, gentle, certified, accredited, affordable. 540-641-0295.

FOR SALE – Two new Holland 851 hay rollers. 5x6 rolls. $3,500 each. 434-476-2933.

Commemorate it with a copy of this colorful, hardbound history and celebration of Virginia Farm Bureau’s past 34 years!

GENERATOR – 110 & 220 50 AMP, power takeoff, $750. Two-cycle, wheels, 92 hours, $1,250. 804-279-3219.


Available for $30 at Or contact author Greg Hicks,



FOR SALE – John Deere 4240, $14,000. New Holland Forage Harvester, $2,700. 434-709-1724. JOHN DEERE – 2010 commercial parts: backhoe attachment, grill, radiator, hydraulic cooler, front bucket, more. 540257-4742.

If you are a Farm Bureau member, you’ve seen history in the making!

REGISTERED ANGUS BULLS – Calving ease, semen tested, excellent bloodlines. Reasonably priced, good selection. C-Stock Farm, Scottsville. 434-286-2743 or 434981-1397.

FOR SALE – John Deere 555G tract loader. 434-676-8884.

FOR SALE – Manure spreader, post hole digger, tractor blade, aerator, spreader. 804-822-5228.


LIVESTOCK CHAROLAIS BULLS – High quality and easy calving. Veterinarian owned, $1,500 to $3,500. Abingdon, 276-628-9543.

KIKO MEAT GOATS – Bucks, several young does, $400 and up. Mineral, VA. Email:, 540-894-3973, 540894-3405. ANIMAL SUPPLEMENTS NATURAL LINE – Minerals, kelps, salt blocks, proteins. Free catalog. Email 800-540-9181. DONKEYS – All sizes, colors. Great for protection. For more information, call 540875-7519.


JOHN DEERE – 1989 9500 combine, 925 flex head HT-25 header cart. 804-241-4497.

ANTIQUE CHESTNUT FENCE RAILS – Stored in barn. $8 each. Call or text, 540-4627794.

OLIVER – Model 391 wagon running gear, $1,000. Ford model 101, 4-bottom plow $400. 804-543-5790

ENGLISH SADDLE – Brand new bridle, D snaffle bit, S. pad, black padded neoprene girth. 434-724-3313.

JOHN DEERE – Aftermarket wide front end. 804-458-4961.

FENCING – Installation of farm fencing especially within one hour of Staunton. 240-498-8054.

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. STEP 2

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.

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


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

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

Mailed to associate members August July 5

Important: We are not responsible

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: __________________________________________



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 This is my one free 15-word ad for 2018 q August (mailed to associate members) q Payment enclosed: $ _____________ q S eptember (mailed to producer members) 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 / APRIL 2018


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

800-919-FARM (3276)

FBN April 2018  

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

FBN April 2018  

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