Accepting the Pinnacle Award for 2018 on behalf of the Washington County Farm Bureau are, left to right, Velma McKee, Tony Marshall, Kevin Broyles, Anthony Shelton, Margaret Saylor, David Saylor, and Jeff Aiken.

By ALLEN RAU

Staff Writer

arau@heraldandtribune.com

While the Washington County Farm Bureau has been in existence for more than 50 years, the local organization devoted to local farmers had never won the industry’s most prestigious award until 2016.

Fast forward to 2019, and the county farm bureau has three of them on their shelf.

The Washington County Farm Bureau was recently awarded the Pinnacle Partnership Award for the third year in a row at the state farm bureau’s annual convention in Nashville.

“The Pinnacle Partnership Award is the highest recognition a county Farm Bureau may receive,” Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken said.

Only 12 county farm bureaus won out of 95 total in the state.

“Over a calendar year, it’s our program of work, which consists of involvement in the community and everything that the Washington County Farm Bureau tries to do to sponsor agriculture-related programs,” Washington County Farm Bureau Agency Manager Kevin Broyles said.

Some of the programs offered by the local bureau are the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ program, which provides an agriculture related book to first graders, the “Farm Bureau Women’s Committee” and the “Young Farmers and Ranchers” program.

While many think of Farm Bureau as an insurance provider, its roots began with agriculture.

“We actually started out as a farm organization. We’ve kept those farm roots. We’re still a farm organization that now offers insurance products and services,” Broyles said.

According to the press release announcing the winners, “Twelve county Farm Bureaus were recognized for reaching the highest standards possible in membership, programs and teamwork.

“The Tennessee Farm Bureau is the largest Farm Bureau in the nation with a membership more than 671,000 and is a farm organization whose goal is to develop, foster, promote and protect programs for the general welfare, including economic, social, educational and political well-being of farm people of the great state of Tennessee.”