Photo above: Jamie Whitacre, Keith Phillips, William Hayter and Gene Copenhaver accept the Agribusiness of the Year Award Oct. 17.
First Bank & Trust Company was recently awarded the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s 2016 Agribusiness of the Year Award. Council Chair Lynn Graves presented the award during the Council’s Annual Membership Meeting in Winchester.
The recognition is presented annually to a Council member organization for outstanding service to the agribusiness industry. The Abingdon-based bank opened its doors in Lebanon in 1979 and has grown organically, from $1 million in assets in 1979 to $1.5 billion in assets today.
First Bank & Trust Company’s leadership, including CEO Bill Hayter, and many members of the bank’s board, all boast roots in agriculture and still actively farm. In 2002, the bank established an Agricultural Lending Division as a partner to continuing economic development and growth of agribusinesses. In 2015, the American Bankers Association ranked First Bank & Trust Company 8th among high-performing agriculture-oriented banks.
During the presentation, Graves said, “First Bank & Trust Company has continued to show their commitment to the agribusiness industry over the past decade. Through active involvement and support of the Governor’s School for Agriculture, Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, county farm bureaus, county fairs and agricultural expos, the State Fair of Virginia, and Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, First Bank & Trust Company is investing in our agribusiness industry in more ways than one.”
First Bank & Trust Company is a long-time member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, through leadership involvement in the Council’s Board of Directors, sponsorships, and active participation at industry events and activities.
Council President Katie Frazier added, “First Bank & Trust Company has consistently demonstrated their commitment to the growth and success of Virginia’s agribusiness industry and has risen to become a leader in the Commonwealth’s number one industry of agriculture and forestry. We are pleased to recognize them for their long-standing contributions to both the Council and Virginia agribusinesses, and look forward to a bright future for the company and their industry partners.”