Coffee honored at Leadership Conference

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 10, 2024

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When the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation gathered for their annual Women’s Leadership Conference, there was someone missing. And members wanted to make sure that even though Kathy Coffee is no longer with us, she was not forgotten. As part of the conference, group members paid tribute to the former Lunenburg County School Board member. Earlier this spring, they also planted a Dogwood tree in Coffee’s honor at her family’s farm in Kenbridge. 

“Kathy brought so much to the table with her knowledge, her devotion to the farming community and her extensive involvement with Farm Bureau,” said Faye Hundley, VFBF Women’s Leadership Committee chair. “She’d been a fixture in the women’s program for years and exemplified what it means to be a leading woman in agriculture. We will cherish her memory and draw inspiration from her work on agriculture’s behalf.”


Coffee, who served as District 11 chair on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee, died from an illness in August. Prior to her recent appointment to that body, she was a member of the Lunenburg County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for more than 40 years. 

Coffee and her husband, William, founded W.J. Coffee Farms in 1979, and they raised tobacco before transitioning into cattle and grain. They served on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee, and in 1988 they were named the VFBF Young Farmers of the Year.

Farm Bureau leaders remember Kathy Coffee as a dedicated advocate for agriculture and farm families and it was that dedication that earned her the recognition of VFBF Farm Woman of the Year in 1999. The accolade honors farm women whose achievements mark the importance of women to their family farms and agriculture.

Coffee attended American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention several times as a voting delegate, along with her husband. In addition to her work with Farm Bureau, she was appointed by multiple Virginia governors over the last 20 years to serve on the Virginia Agricultural Council.

She had also been posthumously honored as an Outstanding Woman in Agriculture during the organization’s annual convention last November. The Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award recognized Coffee’s legacy of service and advocacy. 

In addition to her work with Farm Bureau on the local and state levels, she was appointed by multiple Virginia governors over the last 20 years to serve on the Virginia Agricultural Council. 


Participants in the Virginia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program support agriculture, the state’s largest industry, through educational efforts in their communities; local outreach projects; and advocacy for Farm Bureau policies.

With almost 135,000 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 supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry.