Southeast Farm Mom of the Year honored

Published 10:29 am Monday, August 6, 2012

Dee Dee Darden, center, holds a $5,000 check for being named Monsanto's America's Farmers Mom of the Year for the Southeast region. Looking on are, from left, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Matt Lohr; Martha Smith and Brad Roberts, both with Monsanto; Darden's daughter and husband, Carrie and Tommy Darden; and Rose Bradshaw, district sales manager with Monsanto.

ST. LOUIS—Delores “Dee Dee” Darden of Windsor was honored during the 2012 Virginia Ag Expo for being Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2012 for the Southeast region.

An Isle of Wight County Supervisor for the Windsor District, Darden was joined by her husband, Tommy, and daughter, Carrie, who submitted the winning nomination on her mother’s behalf.

Every fall, more than 1,500 school children and their parents visit the Darden farm for hay rides and pumpkin picking, and learn about how food gets from the farm to the fork.

From nearly 1,000 nominations, five regional winners were selected by American Agri-Women and Monsanto. Each received $5,000 from Monsanto, and the national winner was awarded an additional $5,000.

“We received nominations for hundreds of farm moms, all with a passion for agriculture and a zest for life on a family farm,” said Consuelo Madere, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year spokesperson. “Dee Dee Darden represents these women well. With her dedication to her family and her farm, and in reaching consumers in her community and well beyond, she is truly inspirational.”

Tommy and Dee Dee Darden own and operate Darden’s Country Store, a family-run business since 1952, where they cure and sell 1,000 hams a year. They also run a family farm, where they grow peanuts, cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans and pumpkins, and raise beef cattle.

Dee Dee Darden has served on several local, state and national commodity boards. She is the chairwoman of the Virginia Small Grains Check-off Board and past-president of Virginia Grains Producers. As past chairwoman of the National Peanut Board, she traveled nationally and internationally promoting the U.S. peanut industry.

“I was so excited and proud to be chosen America’s Farmers Mom of the Year for the Southeast,” she said. “It’s a real honor to be recognized for doing what you love to do.”

Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year is an extension of the America’s Farmers program, which celebrates the contributions of America’s farmers, who provide food, energy and clothing for a growing planet. Monsanto is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.