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Several Virginia cooperators gathered March 3 at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton for the Virginia Cooperative Council’s 60th annual meeting. VCC Executive Secretary Mary Howell announced that 30 students are scheduled to attend this year’s Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education at Graves Mountain Lodge later in March. Eight students will have the opportunity to also attend the Cooperative Leadership Camp at Camp Monroe in Laurel Hill, N.C.

Also providing updates were VCC President Brad Brown, Vice President Adam Shiflett and Secretary Jessica Harris. After 25 years of service, Jimmy Graves will retire from the VCC Board of Directors.

Keynote speaker Whitney Perkins, assistant director at the Virginia Farm Bureau, covered a variety of topics, including an update from the VA Fairs Foundation. Perkins also introduced a new program in response to natural disasters. The Virginia Farm Relief Fund will be activated following the formal declaration of a disaster by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The emergency fund will accept monetary donations.

On March 23, the Farm Bureau is excited to host its first Cooperators’ Conference, which will provide a forum for a variety of co-ops to network.

Representing Virginia’s electric cooperatives were Justin Cruise, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative; Kirby Jordan, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative; and Jim Robertson, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

—Report by Jim Robertson, Director of Special Projects, VMD Association

Above photo: The Virginia Cooperative Council Board of Directors poses for a group photo in front of the dairy barn silos. (Photo By: Jim Robertson)