Windsor woman falls short in contest

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012


ISLE OF WIGHT—Delores “Dee Dee” Darden was not named National Farm Mom of the Year. That honor went to Debbie Lyons-Blythe of Kansas.

“I was contacted Sunday and told the voting was close,” said Darden. “It’s a great showcase for women.”

An Isle of Wight County supervisor for the Windsor District, she said she’s not disappointed.

“I hated it for her (daughter Carrie). She really worked hard,” said Darden.

Her daughter nominated her mother for a second straight year. This year Darden was named Farm Mom of the Year for the nation’s southeast region, for which she will receive $5,000.

Relieved at having finished the annual ritual of planting peanuts on Monday, Darden said she’s looking forward to an upcoming appearance on “RFTV,” a cable program devoted to farming.

“The check will be presented and I’ll be interviewed, and that’ll be good,” she said. “I’m happy.”

Next up for her is a trip to Florida for the Commodity Classic, which is an annual meeting of growers of corn, soybeans and sorghum.

Darden and her husband, Tommy, have a 600-acre farm raising beef cattle, corn, cotton, peanuts, pumpkins and wheat. The couple also operates Darden’s Country Store, which has been in the family going on 60 years.

Dee Dee Darden has been past leader of the Virginia Grain Producers Association and the National Peanut Board, and is chairwoman of the Virginia Small Grains Checkoff Board.