NORFOLK — Staff members at the Daily News-Record were honored Tuesday for their work in covering agricultural issues in Rockingham County.

At the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Norfolk, the DN-R received the Virginia Farm Bureau 2019 journalism award for a daily newspaper and the Ishee-Quann Award for Media Excellence, which honors the “best of the best” among each year’s participants.

The Ishee-Quann Award is named after Jeff Ishee, co-host of Virginia Farming, and the late Homer Quann, who was WSVA radio’s farm news director for several decades and was known as the most dedicated agricultural reporter in Virginia, according to Pam Wiley, director of communications for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Entries were judged on their analysis of agricultural issues, demonstration of ongoing coverage of those issues, blends of researched information and interpretation to provoke thought and foster understanding, fairly conveying a farmer’s side of a story and if the story met universally acceptable technical standards associated with each medium, according to the farm bureau.

Wiley said the DN-R joined 125 news professionals recognized throughout the 32 years the journalism awards have been around.

“Virginia has no shortage of talented news professionals doing right by agriculture,” Wiley said.

Throughout 2019, the DN-R covered agricultural issues pertaining to best management practices and water quality, the use of robotics on dairy farms, the economic impact of Rockingham County agriculture on Virginia, educational programs in schools and trade issues.

Wiley said due to a balance of coverage, quality photography and a commitment for covering farm news, practices and concerns, the DN-R was named the recipient of the daily newspaper honor and Ishee-Quann Award of Media Excellence.

Jim Sacco, managing editor of the DN-R, said the awards showcase the paper’s dedication to being local and knowing “what local is.”

“Rockingham County was built on the back of agriculture, which to this day remains vital to its economy,” Sacco said. “I’m proud of this staff for realizing that and for telling these stories.”

Daily News-Record Publisher Craig Bartoldson said the awards are a reflection of what local newspapers mean to the community.

“So many of the great areas of our community should be recognized and I am glad the DN-R is able to do this for these great businesses and individuals,” Bartoldson said.

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