Caption: Joe Tisbert, President of Vermont Farm Bureau receives the John C. Finley Award from Kate Finley Woodruff at the Vermont Dairy Industry Association’s Annual Dairy Banquet at the Vermont Farm show on February 1, 2018.
By Beth O’Keefe
The Vermont Dairy Industry Association awarded its prestigious John C. Finley Memorial Award to Joe Tisbert, President of Vermont Farm Bureau at their annual dairy banquet at the Vermont Farm Show on February 1, 2018. The John C. Finley award is bestowed annually to that person whose character, dedication to Vermont agriculture and education, and accomplishments most closely resemble those goals, ideals, and achievements that were so important to John Finley, former Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture.
Finley’s daughter, Kate Finley Woodruff, presented the award to a very stunned Tisbert prefacing it with quotes from the popular American radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.” The well-known speech was first recorded in 1978 and aired as A Super Bowl advertisement for Ram Trucks five years ago.
Finley said, “This farmer is bigger than his acres at Valley Dream Farm. He represents and has the respect of a larger community of agricultural stewards, some organic, some conventional, some producing milk or maple, beef or berries, apples or alpacas. He represents them all. He is a caretaker of VT agriculture, supporting our current farmers and protecting our future ones.”
Tisbert is just beginning his third year as President of Vermont Farm Bureau, a role he has embraced with enthusiasm and continues to make great strides in. He is a regular presence at the Vermont State House and makes frequent trips to American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington D.C. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, he held a Unity Meeting at the Vermont Farm Show. Agricultural leaders, agri-business representatives, Representative of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation, and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Anson Tebbetts attended and discussed challenges and common issues. A network of communication was formed to work together to strengthen Vermont agriculture.
In early January, Tisbert was appointed by U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to serve on the Vermont USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state committee. The state committee is responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving appeals from the agriculture community, and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs.
Tisbert and his wife, Anne, own Valley Dream Farm, a certified organic vegetable and produce farm in Cambridge, Vermont where they also host Farm to Table dinners and tours throughout the summer months.