Southampton County Farm Bureau representatives participate in 2016 Annual Convention

Published 12:37 pm Thursday, December 22, 2016


President Gary Cross, Vice President Chris Simms, Bruce Phillips and Matthew Brantley of the Southampton County Farm Bureau Board of Directors were among 275 delegates who helped formulate legislative policies during the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation 2016 Annual Convention. Gayle Phillips, member of and advocate for the Southampton County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee also attended the annual convention. Overall, five Southampton County Farm Bureau representatives attended the convention, which was held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

The delegates adopted policy positions to guide Farm Bureau’s legislative direction during the 2017 General Assembly. Issues that were addressed included the current impact of the budget shortfall on key agriculture and forestry programs; supporting the sale of meat from state-inspected facilities and maintaining state inspectors to get new and emerging facilities online to meet growing demand; supporting the sale of pasteurized milk from inspected sources; supporting quality weights and measures inspections; and maintaining the water rights of landowners.

Along with setting legislative priorities, delegates re-elected VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor of Goochland County and VFBF Vice President Scott E. Sink of Blacksburg, and three members of the VFBF board of directors. William F. “Bill” Osl Jr. of Cumberland County, Peter A. Truban of Shenandoah County, and W. Ellis Walton of Middlesex County will serve three-year terms.

Delegates elected Bruce N. Stanger of Montgomery County to represent Farm Bureau producer members in Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe counties.

Delegates also elected Faye Hundley of Essex County to serve as chairman of the VFBF Women’s Committee and Mindy McCroskey of Washington County to serve as chairman of the VFBF Young Farmers Committee.

Convention participants also heard from several speakers.

Keynote speaker Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, discussed challenges for the nation’s farmers in the coming year. Dr. Robert Holsworth, managing principal with analysis firm DecideSmart, shared his insights on the 2016 election and how it may affect farmers and rural Virginia.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Basil Gooden acknowledged Virginia farmers’ steps to protect water quality on their land. He celebrated the success of Virginia’s Resource Management Plan program by unveiling a new metal sign for farmers with RMP plans to place on their property.

Southampton County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With 126,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life.

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