Joe Raley honored for Distinguished Service to Farm BureauPosted on Dec 6, 2013
Raley, 92, has been farming on a small scale for 68 years and has been active with Bullitt County Farm Bureau for 62 years. He served as the county president for 28 years and was vice president for another three years. He’s been a delegate to KFB’s annual meeting for 54 consecutive years. During the same period he has represented Bullitt County Farm Bureau at KFB’s district level, including 10 years as president.
Since Raley joined Bullitt County Farm Bureau as a young farmer, the membership has grown from 401 to around 6,000. As president in 1980, he was instrumental in the purchase of the current office building in Shepherdsville. He also played a role in the building’s renovation in 1997 and currently serves on a planning committee for a new building.
Raley had a successful carpentry business while also producing tobacco, cattle, corn and hay on a small farm. He and wife Peggy raised eight children and six remain in the county. The Raleys have 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
George Henderman, a veteran colleague on the Bullitt County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, described Raley as “a very reliable person who is dedicated to everything he does.”
“When Joe tells you something you can take it to the bank,” added Henderman, who is a close friend. “I’ve known him for nearly 30 years and respect him to the highest level. He represents everything that’s great about Farm Bureau.”
Friends say Raley is known for a strong commitment to the county’s farm families. He has been very active in the public policy arena, serving as chairman of the county’s resolutions committee. Politically, he’s an unofficial liaison between the organization and elected officials.
Throughout his career Raley has been service-oriented; devoted to church, community and agricultural groups. He served as a supervisor for the Bullitt County Conservation District for 36 years. He has been active with Kentucky FFA, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus and St. Aloysius Catholic Church. He’s also on the county’s agricultural development council, the group that decides how the county will utilize tobacco settlement funds earmarked for agriculture.
Raley’s tie to VFW stems from his military service during World War II. He is a veteran of the D-Day Landing in 1944 at Utah Beach.
Raley’s service to the county Farm Bureau also has involved promoting member services and agricultural education. He has championed the county’s college scholarship program. He continues to work toward expanding services to Bullitt County Farm Bureau members.
“He’s one of the pillars of our community,” said Bullitt County Extension Agent Darold Akridge. “He has very high values relating to his faith, his family, his community, Farm Bureau and agriculture. Within Farm Bureau, he stays informed about what’s going on.”
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