Kent County (Del.) Farm Bureau holds annual meeting

Staff Writer

FELTON, Del. (Oct. 4, 2016) — Jen Cohan, secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, was saluted for Distinguished Service to Agriculture, and the Dulins of Clayton were honored as Farm Family of the Year by the Kent County Farm Bureau at its annual meeting Sept. 26.
Charles Postels outlined Cohan’s career track record of working positively with Delaware farmers.
When she was Delaware motor vehicle director, a post she held from 2007 to 2015, she met with the Delaware Farm Bureau Transportation Committee several times to determine what changes needed to be made to benefit farmers while eliminating fraudulent use of farm vehicle tags.
She spoke directly with her counterpart in Maryland to encourage FV Tag reciprocity and created the Delaware Farm Manual that informs farmers of the various provisions of state motor vehicle laws that affect them.
Cohan donated the first 10 FV Tags to the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation. Auctions of the first eight have raised $32,900 to support the Ag Education Lab Program.
Appointed as DelDOT Secretary, Cohan launched a Farm Safety sign campaign and joined the Department of Agriculture in a public service announcement alerting drivers to slow down during harvest season.
Several digital signs were placed throughout the state last year and she has committed to do the same this year.
She has agreed to meet to discuss problems obtaining farm entrance permits. She has truly demonstrated her support and understanding of the farm industry.
Cohan spoke only a few words, including: “It’s ironic to get an award for doing the right thing.”
Mike Everett described the farm operation of the Dulin Brothers.
Elwood and Gladys Dulin started the farm operation in Clayton, Del., in the early 1920s. In 1960, the couple turned the operation over to their three sons, Samuel, Norman and Donald, who formed Dulin Brothers. Twenty years later, Samuel Lee Dulin Jr., David Dulin and Donald Dulin Jr. joined as partners.
In 2013, the farm changed from a partnership to Dulin Brothers LLC. It is a family-oriented farm that includes wives, children and grandchildren all working together for the success of the farm. The operation is comprised of 325 head of dairy cattle, a capacity of 150,000 poultry and 2,200 tillable acres where grain and lima beans are grown.
Presenting a resolution from Levy Court, Commissioner Jody Sweeney said, “This is not just one of the best farm families but one of the best farms.”
In her president’s remarks, Delaware Farm Bureau President Kitty Holtz said, “We are trying to re-define Farm Bureau, to figure out how to fight ever on-going challenges.” As the number of farms decreases, the need for personal involvement must increase, she stressed. “We need your examples and stories when faced with new regulations.”
For the third time in recent years, Michael Wilkinson’s agency in Smyrna won the Top Nationwide Recruitment Award, having signed up 34 new members since Nov. 1, 2015.
Sandy Virdin, representing the Kent County Farm Bureau Foundation, presented a check for $3,579, proceeds from the Kent County’s Bounty Farm to Fork Dinner, to Chad Robinson, director of the Milford branch of Delaware Food Bank. Delaware Farm Bureau won an award of excellence and a sizable grant from the American Farm Bureau Federation for its efforts in putting on the dinner, which was held at Gregg and Stephanie Knutson’s G&S Dairy in Harrington.
Virdin also announced recipients of Farm Bureau scholarships. Maura West, daughter of Steve and Alison West, received a $1,000 Women’s Committee Scholarship. A graduate of Milford Senior High, West is attending Washington College.
Hannah Gardner, daughter of Tim and Amy Gardner, received a $1,000 Roland Garrison Memorial Scholarship. She is studying agriculture business at Del-Tech.
Winner of the $2,500 state scholarship was Allison Wheatley, a Kent County resident.
Gabrielle Virdin of Dover, daughter of Robert and Donna Virdin, is the outgoing Youth Ambassador. She attends Delaware State University.
The new Youth Ambassador is Ashley Hurd, daughter of EJ Hurd and Debbie Ide. A senior at Smyrna High School, she plans to study agriculture communications and education.
In the Rate of Gain competition which culminated with the Delaware State Fair, Joshua Menard’s 4-H lamb gained 0.92 pounds per day. Joshua’s parents are Joe and Jennifer Menard. Oliver Menard, his brother, won the FFA competition. His lamb gained 0.72 pounds per day.
Other winners were: Swine 4-H, Lena Berry, daughter of Sam and Lisa Perry. Her hog gained 2.1 pounds per day. Swine FFA, Drew Harris, son of Ron and Jennifer Harris. Drew’s hog, which gained 1.81 pounds per day, was also Champion Market Hog.
Goats, 4-H Riley Buchman, son of Monica Buchman. His goat gained 0.54 pounds per day.
In a brief business meeting, members voted to change the by-laws so that financial records are “reviewed at least annually by at least two board members” rather than audited by a Certified Public Accountant. The vote was unanimous except for one loud “no!” It was quickly declared, much to the amusement of those present, that the dissenting vote was cast by a precocious 2-year-old.