Lunenburg County farmer and educator receives first Farm Bureau Lady Leader recognition

Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton of Kenbridge was named the first honoree in the Virginia Farm Bureau Lady Leader recognition program March 21 at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Conference in Roanoke.

The Lady Leader program was introduced last year to provide opportunities to spokeswomen who are passionate about promoting agriculture. Dalton received a $500 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit, and will receive support for travel to speaking appearances on Farm Bureau’s behalf.

The Lunenburg County native grew up on her family’s hog and tobacco farm and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in economics from Duke University. She is a professor of agriculture and program chair at Southside Virginia Community College and previously taught in Virginia Tech’s Agricultural Economics Department and provided Virginia Cooperative Extension programming for farmers.

Dalton has held numerous volunteer leadership roles within Farm Bureau on the local and state levels. She also chairs the State Fair of Virginia’s scholarship committee and has taken on other leadership roles in agricultural, educational and civic organizations. She and her husband, Johnny, have a cow-calf operation in which she is involved with hay production, feeding, marketing and financial management. She also remains involved in her parents’ tobacco operation.

She said she receives numerous speaking, festival participation and career and college fair invitations each year and welcomes each one. “From the youngest child to the most seasoned adult, everyone can learn more about the industry that feeds and clothes them. I take pride in helping them to learn more about where their food comes from and how it is produced.”

With 128,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.

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