Pam Dudding Contributing writer
For many companies, meetings and schedules have been extremely manipulated by COVID-19.
The local Farm Bureau chose to continue with their annual producer meeting at the picnic shelter of Grace Baptist. Though the weather was a bit chilly, people still attended, and winter attire was needed. A gracious welcome was given as well as free calendars and tickets to possibly win one of ten door prizes.
The meeting was called to order with the Pledge of Allegiance honored first.
Jeannie Dudding, President of the Board of Directors led the meeting, with introductions of officers and the business meeting agenda.
Dudding thanked everyone for being members of the Farm Bureau.
“Not only do you get the benefit of insurance, but the commitment to being a member on the Federation side is very important as Farm Bureau Federation does much on behalf of agriculture and farmers here in Virginia,” Dudding added. “It has an impact at the state level and trickles down to farmers in our counties in Virginia and for our producers.”
She also announced that there were only a “hand-full of counties that made quota and Craig County Farm Bureau made quota for the first time in several years.”
Dudding also noted:
- Robin Garst was a winner of the Membership Retention contest, making the early deadline and received a bonus
- Farm Bureau was recognized as a top 50 insurance company
- They awarded a $500 scholarship to Jenna Bostic who will be attending Virginia Western Community College as a commercial pilot. “Jenna has always been very involved in agriculture,” she said.
- They donated to Hooked on Fishing, Operation After Prom, AG in the Classroom and the Craig County Public Library
“George Foster has served as our insurance agent for two years and he has been spending time going out to farms for visits,” Dudding said.
As the resolutions were reviewed, Dudding added, “If you have ideas for resolutions, please reach out to the board and let us know about your concerns, because that is how the grass root efforts work. It’s got to come from producers and your issues on your farms, as your issues may be the same for others as well.”
She added that one time someone brought up an issue of “Wal-Mart bags” and she came to understand that where this person lived was closer to Route 311 and people would throw their various bags out of their vehicles and his cows would accidentally eat them.
Mary Hunter reported for the Women’s Committee and their many accomplishments throughout the last year, even though the coronavirus stalled some of their plans, they still had an exceptional year.
She shared that since last October they hosted the Mid-west District Women’s Committee meeting at Camp Easter Seals, where 25 attended.
“We made a challenge to all the members who came to bring four patch quilt blocks to us and we would turn them into small quilts to donate to the Ronald McDonald House,” Hunter said.
As part of that challenge, whichever county brought the most blocks, Craig would donate $25 to the AG in the classroom in their name. They had Floyd and Carol counties that donated over 60 blocks each, therefore they donated $25 for each.
Other things they did were:
- Silent auction for AG in the classroom
- January – started the quilt class to be a fundraiser for AG (however, COVID-19 hit so they continued by virtual connection) they are meeting again which is on schedule
- February – participated in the One School – One Book program, which was Charlotte’s Web this year. They set up a booth, using pink paper plates and they assisted the kids in making pig faces, along with the feed the pig game and gave out over 100 goody bags with Ag information and pig facts. During Ag Literacy week, we read an Ag related PBJ Horray to about 150 students and funded a full scholarship to 4-H camp (which will be carried over to 2021)
- March – started on the annual quilt they used as a fundraiser, which has been put on hold
- April through July – did not meet but small groups did some things.
- Made 75 masks for local First Responders
- Awarded $500 to Maddie Oliver attending Va. Tech in accounting program
- Finished 24 Ronald McDonald quilts with labels, (label reads: donated by the Virginia Farm Bureau District Women’s Leadership Committee. Our mission is to educate and promote increased awareness of agriculture. Agriculture is a part of our daily lives. Nearly everything we eat, wear and use came from a plant or animal raised on a farm
- Will deliver about 700 pounds of drinks tabs to Ronald McDonald House
- August through September – made 110 masks in small, medium and large to give to the schools for the students. The Craig County DAR members assisted with the project
- Donated 72 boxes of tissues and 500 disposable masks to the schools
“Even though the majority of our events were cancelled, we still stayed busy and got a lot of things accomplished,” Hunter shared. “We are always looking for new members if you would like to join.”
“Our women’s committee is small but mighty,” Dudding added. “We appreciate all that they do.”
Gordon Metz gave the State Board report, adding an appreciation to Foster and Garst for having outstanding sales and record memberships. “Craig County has always been the few, but the mighty,” he said.
Guest speaker Dr. John Currin, DVM, clinical professor at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine spoke on herd health.
Currin spoke on many avenues of herd health including marketing (tractor-trailer lot loads, weaned, vaccinated and reputation, feeding (the goals of a feeding program and how to accomplish it) and on the market itself (the important of evaluating success or failure of one’s program).
He noted: “Remember, we are selling reputation.”
He reviewed the history of calf sales and the cost of raising them and current prices, along with specific examples.
The door prizes were given out and everyone went back to “farming” in Craig.