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Addison County Farm Bureau Administrator & Director of Governmental Relations Tim Buskey Turns a Page
photo by Photo ProvidedSeen here on the cover of the Vermont Fences magazine that he helped create, Tim Buskey steps down from long time leadership in the Vermont Farm Bureau and happily embraces his continuing role as member. During his long association with Vermont agriculture, Tim has served in key roles for planning, legislation and organization of the field he is still passionate about, agriculture and the farming community.
Tuesday January 7, 2014
By Cookie Steponaitis
While most farmers and agriculture enthusiasts discover their passion for the land from birth and early life experiences, for Tim Buskey it was through broadcasting. Tim, while working as a newscaster and hosting a radio show at WFAD AM 1490 in Middlebury quickly discovered that the core of his listeners were farmers and the combination of agriculture and public speaking led him to begin working with the American Farm Bureau and known as “the voice” at annual meetings.
While college would lure Tim away from the Champlain Valley to attend Dusquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, it also provided the backdrop for meeting his future partner in life. After arriving on campus he and his roommate met several freshman women who needed an immediate ride to a freshman picnic. Emptying his car of his college items Tim gave the young women a ride. One of those young women was named Barbara and just shy of a year later Tim and Barbara were married. When asked how providence brought the two together Tim to this day simply grins and replies, “Barb missed the bus.”
The couple lived on a farm in Middlebury beginning in 1969 and had not only horses, pigs and sheep but also raised Hereford’s for beef. Over the next decade the couple built a home and sold some acreage. Tim, within a year of joining the Vermont Farm Bureau as a field coordinator became the Executive Director and continued in that role until 1985 after joining the American Farm Bureau. Over the years his roles have included field person for the Northeast and he has been involved in association management, public speaking and strategic planning. Tim Buskey became the administrator of the New York Farm Bureau Companies in 1995 and increased the organization staff as well as membership and helped improve safety programs, keeping down insurance premiums and passing savings to the members.
Buskey has been tirelessly serving as the Administrator of the Vermont Farm Bureau for the past fifteen years and has worked in Montpelier on several important legislative initiatives including the Use Tax Equity Program, which has saved farmer’s more than $50 million dollars a year. He is also passionate about water quality and serves as the Vermont Farm Bureau’s registered lobbyist. Tim believes in giving members access to the people who can help them.
During his tenure at the Vermont Farm Bureau one of his most fond accomplishments includes the creation of the Vermont Fences Magazine with Beth O’Keefe. The magazine has grown from featuring fantastic recipes and articles about produce into an agricultural journal with stories of struggles, accomplishments and a celebration of all that is involved in the farming life style. As editor of Vermont Fences Magazine Buskey not only shares his insights but his experiences with the readers, linking generations of farm families and fostering the role of conversations vital to all Vermont farmers.
Buskey retired from the Vermont Farm Bureau leadership which takes effect in the New Year and is quick to point out that he is not stepping down from being a member. His commitment to the organization, decades of friendships and partnerships with farmers, organizations and the legislature is as intertwined with the agricultural community as his other roles with the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Addison County Home Health & Hospice and events with his grandchildren Jude, Tiegan, James, Hailey, Tesssa and Torrey. So, truth be told, retirement enables him to serve in other capacities which is a blessing to Addison County and a warning to the Franklin County Farm Bureau that an Addison Country Farm Bureau membership campaign is on the horizon, hoping to surpass the Franklin County membership numbers. The Valley Voice salutes Tim Buskey and all who have a passion and a commitment to keep the changing face of Vermont agriculture working, vital and a way of life that is not only treasured but one that endures.
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