Decades of Dedication: After 56 years, this East Tennessee woman still loves her job!

Velma McKee, 78, of Johnson City, Tennessee, has earned a great deal of respect for her remarkable career with the Washington County Farm Bureau, which spans 56 years — and counting!

For many, career changes are the norm. Not for Johnson City, Tennessee resident Velma McKee. Her professional journey is defined by her loyalty and dedication. In fact, McKee boasts an impressive 56-year tenure as secretary for the Washington County Farm Bureau with no plan to retire anytime soon.

Today, at 78 years old, she says her love for the work and the people she interacts with daily keep her going.

A Lifetime of Service

McKee’s remarkable career at the Washington County Farm Bureau (WCFB) is a testament to her unwavering commitment. Her journey began at a young age when she was hired as the county secretary in her early twenties.

“I kind of felt loyalty there because they did give me an opportunity to work,” she said, reflecting on her early days with the WCFB.

She says it was a dream come true for her because she had always aspired to work in an office. At the time, she had limited experience, but the Farm Bureau gave her a chance, and she has never looked back.

A Family of Colleagues

Over the years, Velma has formed lasting bonds with the people she works with and serves through her work. The WCFB is like one big happy family to her. And through it, she has witnessed generations grow and create new ones—she recalls helping teenagers acquire insurance, and then, many years, later, doing the same for their children. For her, it is all about the people and the connections she has made along the way.

“It’s just a family,” she said. “And they respect what Farm Bureau is.”

Cherished Moments

One of the highlights of McKee’s career has been her participation in American Farm Bureau conventions, where she traveled to exciting destinations like Hawaii. These trips were a dream come true for her, who said she had limited travel experience prior to her role at the Farm Bureau. She is also grateful for the impact the people she met and served through her travels, too.

A Proud Legacy

The Farm Bureau is more than just a job for Velma McKee—it is an important part of her life. And as important as it is to her, so too is her importance to the Farm Bureau.

A few years ago, on McKee’s 50th anniversary of working with the organization, the Washington County Board of Directors presented Velma with a special Farm Bureau pen encrusted with 50 small diamonds, a symbol of their appreciation for her dedication and service.

“They’ve treated me good over the years,” she said with pride. “It’s been an enjoyable journey.”

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