By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Email: Click Here
Posted: Feb. 5, 2017 | 1:15 p.m.
DINWIDDIE – Dinwiddie County’s Farm Bureau, in conjunction with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF) supports the agriculture community in many ways–both statewide and through individual county offices, such as here in Dinwiddie. There are 1,932 members of the Dinwiddie County Farm Bureau and that includes both farmers and non-farmers.
“I am honored to be a part of this organization and proud of what we do for our community. Dinwiddie Farm Bureau is committed to helping Dinwiddie County and its citizens become a safer, healthier, and more well-educated community. We are also committed to the promotion of agriculture and its importance to Dinwiddie County and the State of Virginia,” said Edward “Hutty” Titmus, President Dinwiddie Farm Bureau.
For farmers, one of the main benefits VFBF provides members is lobbying on behalf of farmers. In 2017, the Farm Bureau saw desired results on 28 out of 35 key policy issues. A few of the successes include: $15 million in additional funding for conservation practices; $2.04 million restored to cut funding for Virginia Cooperative Extension; and 100 percent restoration of funding for the Reforestation of the Timberlands Program.
Dinwiddie Farm Bureau partnered with the local Sheriff’s department to help with the purchase of two law-enforcement canines. These canines aid with drug enforcement and tracking of lost individuals. Day-to-day support and maintenance for these animals has also been provided. Additionally, Dinwiddie’s Farm Bureau helped with the purchase of bracelets for county residents with alzheimers, in case they become lost. They also provided devices that will alert 911 for seniors in need of assistance.
Farm Bureau helps farmers with its commodity advisory committees. These groups alert farmers to emerging trends and issues and respond with relevant policy recommendations. The committees focus on the following areas: aquaculture, burley tobacco, cotton, dairy, equine, flue-cured tobacco, livestock, peanuts, poultry, soybeans, feed grains, and grain marketing and specialty crops. The VFBF Grain Division is a licensed grain dealer, and ships to 30 destinations in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The grain division helped 235 members and sold almost 3 million bushels in 2017.
Virginia Farm Bureau also spearheads the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation, and Rural Sustainability, which assists rural agricultural enterprises. The foundation helps farmers with strategic planning, feasibility studies, business plans, and assistance with grant and loan applications.
Dinwiddie Farm Bureau takes an active role in educating our youth about agriculture. The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides free educational materials to teachers to incorporate agriculture into their lesson plans. AITC also conducts teacher training workshops and sponsors an agriculture literacy week each March. In 2017, AITC connected nearly 225,000 children to agriculture. During the ag literacy week, more than 1,000 volunteers read to children in almost 2,000 classrooms.
Farm Bureau offers discounts and savings for all of its members. For farmers, specifically, it gives them discounts on tractor parts and tires, baler twine, John Deere equipment, and more. In addition, Farm Bureau is often involved in community outreach efforts and many offices hold annual appreciation days for their members. On September 21, 2017, Dinwiddie Farm Bureau held its annual picnic and member appreciation day. This included a business meeting, picnic, and live entertainment, all provided to its members at no cost by Dinwiddie county Farm Bureau.
Dinwiddie Farm Bureau awards two $1,000 scholarships yearly for graduating Dinwiddie High School seniors pursuing any area of study. They also award several smaller scholarships for seniors pursuing a career in agriculture.
“Not only is Dinwiddie County Farm Bureau active with State Legislative issues concerning our fellow farm families across the state, but we are very active in our local community as well. We are very concerned with the health and well-being of the residents of Dinwiddie,” said Titmus.
Dinwiddie County Farm Bureau—an invaluable resource for our farmers and our county.