he had to rebuild the equipment inventory. Relying on
the advice of other farmers,
he bought a farm from one
of his father’s lifelong friends.
Rogers has sold timber
three times during his career,
the first to help settle his
father’s estate with his sister
who also inherited the farm,
and the other two sales were
timed to invest in capital, such
as purchasing additional farmland. Much of the lumber from
his most recent pine timber
sale was shipped to Italy and
made into burial coffins.
He grows Virginia-type
‘ballpark’ peanuts, and
receives premiums for jumbo and fancy
peanut kernels. The loss of the peanut quota
program was a blessing, Rogers says, because
it allowed him to use longer rotations to
increase yields. “I’m making more peanuts
on less land.” Some peanuts are on six-year
rotations, and most are planted after four or
five years out of peanuts.
Having coached baseball for more than
50 years, it’s appropriate that he grows ballpark peanuts. A baseball coach at Tidewater
Academy since 2005, his team won a state
championship in 2013. He has long been
active as a coach and director of youth baseball at Wakefield.
Recently, the town named its youth league
baseball fields after Rogers, and in 2004, his
former players placed a plaque in his honor
at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,
N. Y. “If you have a passion for something like
coaching baseball, and if you have family
support, you find time to do it,” he says. “I’ve
been fortunate to have good help on the
farm, which has allowed me to spend time
away from the farm in coaching.”
He also spends time serving the agricul-
tural community. He has chaired an advisory
board for the Tidewater Agricultural Research
and Extension Center, is on an advisory board
for Virginia Agricultural Leaders Obtaining
Results (VALOR), and served
on an advisory board for
in eastern Virginia, and served
on the Virginia Tech Board of
Visitors while president of the
Virginia Board of Agriculture
and Consumer Services.
Rogers has been a director
of the Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association,
Virginia Crop Improvement
Association, Virginia Cotton
Board, Virginia Corn Board,
Virginia Corn Growers Association, Colonial Agricultural
Education Foundation, and
Virginia Agribusiness Council.
He also took part in leadership programs offered by the University of
Virginia’s Sorensen Institute. He is a member
of the USDA Peanut Standards Board, a board
member and past chairman of Colonial Farm
Credit, and for ten years chaired the AgFirst
Farm Credit District Advisory Committee.
Rogers says he has matured as a farmer
and business owner by serving on the many
boards and organization, and appreciates his
family for keeping the farm running during
his absences. “My professional goals are more
than the bottom line,” he says. He keeps the
farm profitable, but says, “I am guided by my
Paul Rogers and nominator Michael Parrish
See ROGERS, Page 80
Would like to congratulate…
PAUL ROGERS, JR.
For being named the
2018 Virginia Farmer of the Year!
We are thankful for your hard work,
long hours, and all that you provide
for our community!
Paul Rogers Jr.
on Winning the
Virginia Farmer of the Year!
From Surry County Farm
Bureau and Agent,