The West Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farm organization in the state, was created in 1918. Predecessor associations, known by various names including farm bureau, farm club, agricultural club, and farm cooperative, had been organized about 10 years earlier. The American Farm Bureau was organized in 1919, with West Virginia one of the states urging organization of the national group.
The West Virginia Farm Bureau directed its first efforts toward supporting agricultural programs and lobbying the legislature for better roads and favorable taxation of farm land. It helped to get a cooperative marketing law passed in 1923 and organized the West Virginia Farm Bureau Service Company under this law in 1925. The service company, which operated co-op farm supply stores, flourished until it was sold to Southern States Cooperative in 1941.
The Farm Bureau lobbies the legislature on issues of land use, property rights, and regulatory actions affecting agriculture. The West Virginia Farm Bureau has approximately 24,000 members.
This Article was written by Charles Sperow
Last Revised on February 13, 2013