More than 150 members of Yadkin County Farm Bureau gathered during the recent annual meeting of the organization. Members heard a legislative update from NC House Rep. Lee Zachary.
Zachary informed members of some of the positive impacts the General Assembly has had on North Carolina Agriculture during its 2017 long session. A highlight included the passage of the 2017 NC Farm Act, which has become an annual act put forth by Sen. Brent Jackson (Sampson, Johnston). Zachary also spoke about NC Education Lottery, and informed members on how lottery funds are spent.
Farm Bureau also presented awards to members and employees. The winner of the 2017 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award was Brenna Pence. The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an individual who has had a positive impact on Yadkin County agriculture, and to local farmers.
Pence is an employee of Crop Production Services in Yadkinville, “she has demonstrated that she is willing to go above and beyond in her service to Yadkin County farmers, not because it is her job, but because she has a true passion for agriculture and helping farmers succeed,” said Yadkin County Farm Bureau Vice President Brent Hunter.
Pence was recognized by Hunter and was presented her award by Yadkin County Farm Bureau President Justin Somers. She was joined by her husband, Matthew.
Brenda Shore of the Yadkinville Farm Bureau office was recognized with the Service Award. This award is presented to an employee who continually provides excellent customer service to Farm Bureau members, and understands all aspects of Farm Bureau. Hunter said, “Our members see it and seek her help often.”
Shore was also recognized by Hunter and presented her award by Somers. She was joined by her husband, Clark.
During the May tornado, many organizations reached out to the community. Somers spoke about Farm Bureau’s involvement in getting needed supplies to Courtney Elementary School for the planned cleanup day, and the members of the board’s desire to do more. During the meeting, Somers presented a $2,000 check to the Courtney Elementary School Booster Club to aid in rebuilding a playground on the school grounds that was destroyed during the storm.
Somers said, “One of the things that really struck me during all this was the determination of Dr. Martin, Mr. Cockrell and really the whole Yadkin County Schools staff to make sure that the kids of the Courtney community got to finish off their school year in their school, Courtney Elementary … I am pleased that Farm Bureau can assist in this small way.”
Members also elected Somers to serve a ninth term as president, Brent Hunter to serve as vice president and Jeff Smith to serve as secretary/treasurer. Boards of Directors elected to serve were Jesse Brown, Marty Casstevens, Chubby Cave, Peter Fleming, Van Hemric, Bud Matthews, Kevin Matthews, Adam Pilcher, Louis Shore, Shelby Shore, Wayne Smitherman and Joann White.
NC Farmer of the Year, and Hamptonville farmer, Van Hemric shared his experiences of competing in the Farmer of the Year competition and the time he spent in Moultrie, Georgia, at the Swisher Sweets Southeast Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year competition. Hemric explained his farmer mindset of staying in survival mode and moving from one task to the next, he said his experience from the Farmer of the Year competition made him feel as though “… I had finally made it.”