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County Farm Bureaus recognized for excellence of local programs

va-farm-bureauFarm Bureaus in the counties of Hanover, Nottoway, Powhatan, Russell, Stafford and Tazewell were recognized Dec. 2 by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation for their work in educating the public and promoting agriculture and Farm Bureau.

As a result of their cultivation and retention of members and their promotional and community activities, the six organizations received Best in State and New Horizon awards at the 2015 VFBF Annual Convention in Norfolk.

Hanover County Farm Bureau, led by President Leigh Pemberton, won a Best in State Award in the category for membership acquisition with a membership drive during the Ashland Strawberry Faire.

Nottoway County Farm Bureau, led by President Lewis E. Williamson, won a Best in State Award in the member involvement and retention category for its Farm and Forest Conservation Lunch and Learn program. The informational event was held in cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

Powhatan County Farm Bureau, led by President Max Timberlake, captured a Best in State Award for agriculture promotion or education aimed at the general public with its Celebration of the Horse event to benefit local 4-H and FFA activities.

Tazewell County Farm Bureau, led by President Bill Osborne, won a Best in State Award for its governmental relations program. The county Farm Bureau mobilized farmers in opposition to a proposal to close elk hunting west of the Blue Ridge.

VFBF presented two inaugural New Horizon Awards in recognition of new and innovative county Farm Bureau programs.

Stafford County Farm Bureau, led by President Shields Jones, received a New Horizon Award for its “Farm Country, Stay Alert” campaign to raise public awareness of requirements and safety issues related to transporting farm equipment on public roads. The organization partnered with Virginia Farm Bureau and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Russell County Farm Bureau, led by President Bruce Warner, received a New Horizon award for its work to organize the Southwest Virginia Ag Expo with Virginia Cooperative Extension, FFA and other community partners.