Last Update :12/1/2008


Virginia Agribusiness Council
The Unified Voice of Virginia Agribusiness

For Release: December 1, 2008
Contact: Donna Pugh Johnson, (804) 643-3555,


(Left to right: Jim Saunders accepts gavel from outgoing Board Chairman Charlie Wood)
(Richmond) James W. Saunders, a principal of Saunders Brothers, Inc., in Piney River, Nelson County, has been elected Chairman of the Board for the Virginia Agribusiness Council. Saunders was installed at the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s Annual Meeting on November 19, 2008. He succeeds Charles T. Wood of Attributes of Success, Inc., Richmond, who will continue to serve on the Executive Committee.

Saunders graduated from Nelson County High School, and received a Bachelors of Science degree in Animal Science from Virginia Tech. His career in Agriculture began as an Agriculture and 4-H Agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service in Madison County. In 1991, he joined the family business, Saunders Brothers, Inc., as Shipping Manager and serves today as Personnel Manager and Retail Farm Market Manager. Since 1915, Saunders Brothers has carried on a family tradition as a wholesale nursery with sales throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Their 150-acre apple and peach orchard provides delicious fresh fruit for wholesale and local retail markets.

Saunders has been a life-long leader in the agribusiness community in Virginia. He served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Angus Association, the American Boxwood Society, the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association, the Nelson/Amherst Beef Producers Association, the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture Alumni, and the Central Virginia Angus Association. In addition, he was a District Director of the Culpeper Soil and Water conservation District. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Agribusiness Council since 2002.

“Jim Saunders brings valuable experience and first-hand knowledge of the agribusiness industry to the Board Chairmanship which will undoubtedly enrich the Council’s ability to advance the interests of our members,” said Donna Pugh Johnson, President of the Virginia Agribusiness Council.

Others members who were elected to the Council’s Executive Committee include the following: Vice Chairman, Matt Faulconer, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Fredericksburg; Secretary, Ollie W. Kitchen, Jr., MeadWestavco Corporation, Covington; Treasurer, Bob Bahr, Pilgrim’s Pride, Broadway; At-large members, Larry Seamans Jr, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Chase City, Eric Holter, Augusta Coop Farm Bureau, Staunton; and Bill Hayter, First Bank & Trust Company, Abingdon.

The Virginia Agribusiness Council represents agricultural & forestry producers, suppliers, marketers, processors and commodity associations throughout the Commonwealth with a unified voice through its government affairs activities. The Council has a combined membership of over 40,000. For more information on the Virginia Agribusiness Council, visit


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