HOT SPRINGS — The first two copies of a new book on Virginia's cattle history brought in more than $20,000 for a cattle industry scholarship fund Monday.
"Virginia's Cattle Story," produced by the Virginia Cattleman's Foundation and the Dairy Foundation of Virginia, was written by Staunton-area historians Katharine Brown and Nancy Sorrells. They are owners of Lot's Wife Publishing. They were commissioned by the foundation to publish the 368-page, full-color book.
The two books were auctioned as the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation annual convention kicked off here Monday night. The first book, signed by Gov. Mark Warner, went for $10,000. The second, signed by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, went for $10,100.
The authors spent three years and traveled many miles researching the book.
"We traveled to Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Richmond, even to far southwest Virginia," Brown said.
Of the 16 books Brown and Sorrells have written for clients, this has by far been the most extensive. The relief at completing the project is bittersweet.
"We've met the nicest people," Brown said. "They think, 'whoever heard of anyone who wanted to sit down and write a book about cattle?' They're glad you care enough to talk to them about what their grandfathers and great-grandfathers did."
Ike Eller of the Virginia Cattleman's Foundation said the scholarship money is divided between his group and the dairy foundation.
"Both are in the business of education, fact finding, research and leadership," he said.
Greg Hicks, spokesman for the Farm Bureau Federation, said 800 people were attending the annual convention through Wednesday at The Homestead.