All posts by Rachael Smith

Land Grant Partner

December FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

dr angleBy J. Scott Angle
jangle@ufl.edu
@IFAS_VP

The October annual meeting fostered the continuing development of Maddie Dvorak and Bernie LeFils as Florida agriculture leaders. They brought talent to Orlando. The Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF) gave them opportunity.

Maddie, a senior in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), won the collegiate division of discussion meet at the FFBF convention. She stood out in a mock committee meeting with her passion for policy to address challenges like how best to connect with part-time farmers.

That is, people like Bernie, who has a small cow-calf operation with his father but earns most of his income as a CPA.

Bernie grew up hearing about Farm Bureau from his grandmother, a longtime state board member. He developed his public speaking skills at FFA competitions as he aspired to attend CALS.

When he got to Gainesville, he served as president of the UF chapter of the Collegiate Farm Bureau. He represented Florida as a national collegiate discussion meet finalist. He served in another FFBF-supported group, CALS ambassadors, and was executive vice president of Alpha Gamma Rho.

For years, Bernie has served the Farm Bureau on its Budget and Economic Advisory Council. He’s a regular at  Florida Farm Bureau Day in Tallahassee.

So he brought to Orlando years of experiences in CALS and FFBF that developed skills he’d deploy in the Young Farmers & Ranchers discussion meet, and we expect he’ll be very competitive in the national competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting in Puerto Rico next month.

Like Bernie’s, Maddie’s journey has been influenced by FFBF and CALS. As a high schooler she participated in the CALS Florida Youth Institute. A highlight of her week was meeting FFBF COO Staci Sims, whom Maddie calls one of her role models. Another was the dawning realization that she wanted a career in public policy.

As Maddie said at the time, “Their (farmers’) job is to produce food. My job is to protect their jobs.” Based on her standout participation at FYI, we sent her to Iowa for the Global Youth Institute held in conjunction with the World Food Prize. In March, FFBF will send her to Jacksonville to compete in the American Farm Bureau’s national collegiate discussion meet.

Like Bernie did when he graduated in 2011, Maddie will earn a degree from our Food and Resource Economics Department. Maddie chose the major because she was told economics is the world’s common language for business and policy, and if she wanted a seat at the table she needed to have something to say and a way to say it.

Bernie speaks that language in advisory council to help FFBF define its positions on estate taxes, changes to the IRS code and tangible property taxes.

Bernie’s been on both our stages, yours in October to collect his winner’s plaque and ours in 2018 with his wife Avery as the CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon Award winners for their outstanding contributions and potential as leaders in the agricultural, natural resource, life science and related industries and professions.

UF/IFAS values FFBF as a partner in providing the places, competitions and mentors for Bernie and Maddie to develop into leaders.

The years our organizations have spent providing Maddie and Bernie with opportunity can yield decades of advocacy for Florida agriculture. Their work in committee rooms can’t help but make the future brighter for those working on farms, in groves and on ranches.

Scott Angle is the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

 

 

 

Land Grant Partner

November 2022 eNewsletter

By J. Scott Angle
jangle@ufl.edu
@IFAS_VP

In the near future, a new UF/IFAS hub dedicated to revolutionizing agriculture will help you make a leap forward in farming.

A center for applied artificial intelligence in agriculture will be that hub. Last month we announced our plan for a 19,000-square-foot facility anchored by a workshop for developing precision ag machine prototypes.

GCREC Director Jack Rechcigl and Associate Director Nathan Boyd have been talking this up for some time. They invited me to GCREC about a year ago to present their vision to me and to a council of stakeholders. The council unanimously supported the project, and several members individually urged us to move on this immediately.

Plans call for research and office space as well and areas designed to encourage conversations to build teams for AI research and Extension. That’s important, because while the center will be based at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, it will develop technologies for the entire state, from the Everglades Agricultural Area to the Panhandle to the Tri-County Agricultural Area.

Hillsborough County has already made a $1.5 million commitment to the center. Our advancement team is seeking private support. We’re requesting funding from the legislature in 2023.

The center will be our most important facilities investment in a generation. We’ll need support from Tallahassee and possibly Washington. You can help by supporting our legislative budget request. I hope it will be top of mind for those of you who participate in Florida Farm Bureau Day and the Taste of Florida Agriculture Reception at the Capitol on March 8.

A center will add momentum to a movement. It will be a declaration that Florida’s farmers and agricultural scientists are the vanguard of feeding the world in a more sustainable way. It will be the epicenter of accelerated evolution of agriculture from human-labor-intensive to technology-driven.

We need to do this now. Global spending on smart technologies such as AI and machine learning directed toward agriculture is projected to triple in the next three years. There is enormous interest in scientific advance, giving us the opportunity to employ the land-grant university-industry-government partnership model to make major global impacts.

Help us imagine a future for agriculture that the center will help create, one where technology again keeps Florida globally competitive, producing our own food, employing Floridians, contributing to the local economy, and making Florida the leader in feeding the world.

There have been few moments in the history of UF/IFAS when the way to create the future is so visible and reachable. We have the experts to do it. The center will help unleash their talent and imagination.

Scott Angle is the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Land Grant Partner

October 2022 eNewsletter

By J. Scott Angle
jangle@ufl.edu
@IFAS_VP

President Jeb Smith came to carry out a professional duty, but make no mistake, for him UF/IFAS is personal.

As the head of the organization that we honored as our UF/IFAS Champion, Smith spoke from both the lectern and the big screen at our recent Dinner of Distinction to honor our supporters. And he reflected on and off stage about the many ways UF/IFAS had touched his family.

Smith reminisced about an entomology professor named Freddie Johnson giving him one of his first jobs. He credited the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department with educating both his father and his grandfather. He visited with his daughter at the event when she was not busy serving as an ambassador for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where she’s a senior.

jeb smith florida farm bureau award uf ifas
IFAS Advancement’s Dinner of Distinction event on Friday, September 16th, 2022.

And he shared that as a senior in high school he attended what was then called 4-H Congress on campus in Gainesville where he met his future wife Wendy.

There are UF/IFAS echoes as he makes his way around his home community of Hastings. When a job applicant listed the Greenman Scholarship on her resume, Smith told her how the man for which the scholarship is named used to smoke cigars while delivering economics lectures. And when he ran into a city commissioner named French, Smith told him his father. Byron French had been a UF/IFAS professor, and he was a good friend who loaned power tools to Smith and his wife Wendy as they remodeled their home.

Smith is off to a great start as chief steward of one of the best Farm Bureau-land-grant university relationships in the nation. “Producers need objective information to be able to make good decisions, and IFAS provides that,” Smith said in the video.

The Farm Bureau, in turn, supports us in Tallahassee and elsewhere. They champion our students, our research initiatives and our Extension service.

And you’ve been doing it a lot longer than I’ve been in Florida. In fact, your parents and grandparents have been doing it since before I was born.

I’m proud that after all these years we’ve found a new way to thank Smith and all of you for the decades of support.

We won’t stop thanking you in so many other ways—recognizing members as agriculturalists of the year, hosting a Farm Bureau appreciation dinner, day-to-day notes via email and text, or old-fashioned handshakes and face-to-face expressions of gratitude.

The Dinner of Distinction brought together hundreds of students, staff, donors, alumni, and partners together for an evening to celebrate the professional partnership that keeps Florida agriculture so strong.

Smith’s history reminds us, though, that a professional alliance between two organizations is built on personal friendships among the people doing the work.

Scott Angle is the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Your Land Grand Partner

September FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

By J. Scott Angle
jangle@ufl.edu
@IFAS_VP

 

 

 

 

 

It was a big day in August 2021 at the Hawthorne Creek Creamery. For the first time, Kevin Lussier loaded a truck with Gouda and shipped it off to a major supermarket chain.

The people who mattered most were there. They included his wife and business partner, Shelby. There was his dad Matt, who had Kevin working cows from the time he was 9. And there was the friend, mentor, scientist and problem solver to whom he’s so often turned to help keep Alachua County’s last private commercial dairy afloat: UF/IFAS Extension agent Cindy Sanders.

Lussier has asked Sanders for help navigating the complex food safety rules he needs to follow to be a cheese maker. He asked her to help him demonstrate for county regulators that he was taking proper steps to protect the creek from which his business draws its name. He asked her about how to kill weeds and how long after spraying he should wait to harvest hay.

Usually, he just called her. Other times, she’d ride shotgun in Lussier’s 22-year-old Chevy Silverado, cruising a pasture and answering his questions about what forages to plant and when, where and how to seed the fields.

So it was meaningful to both of them that Sanders could be there for such an important moment. But it was a moment. As soon as the truck pulled away, Sanders returned to the primary purpose of her visit—to help Lussier become a better farmer and better leader.

This time she asked the questions: How do you market the cheeses? Will you expand into ice cream? How has your involvement in Farm Bureau helped you get started as dairy farmer?

The questions were designed not only to elicit his competency as a farmer, but to hone his ability as a leader to articulate what he does, and what Florida agriculture is all about, to a visitor. Sanders was there as a mock judge for the Florida Farm Bureau’s Achievement in Agriculture competition, which recognizes the state’s top young farmer for excelling as producer and leader.

Sanders and Lussier also have a record of working together as agriculture ambassadors. Lussier is the state and the Alachua County Young Farmers & Ranchers president. Sanders chairs the Alachua County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

They serve together on the county Farm Bureau board. Three years ago, dissatisfied with Farm-City Week programming, they helped organize an agriculture day at the Cade Museum in downtown Gainesville. Their plan was to show off local food to 200 non-farmers. More than 1,500 people showed up.

Lussier credits his father with helping him get started by sharing his land, barn and herd.

Lussier inherited from his dad another key element of the operation—the expertise of Sanders. From the time she became a county agent 21 years ago—when Lussier was 6 years old—Lussier’s father was calling her about forages and asking her to drive the pastures with him.

When it came time for Lussier to go into business, he had so much more information, thanks to the Internet, than his father ever did. That was a curse as much as a blessing, though. He needed information he could trust. Sanders had already established that trust through what at the time was 15 years of calls, emails, referrals and farm visits.

Sanders and Lussier got to visit with each other at the Florida Farm Bureau annual meeting in Orlando last October. She was in Orlando to see Lussier honored for winning the Achievement in Agriculture competition she had prepped him for.

Just like that day at the dairy when they celebrated the cheese shipment, Sanders had another reason to be there. On the strength of a nomination from the Alachua County Farm Bureau board, Sanders was honored as the Florida Farm Bureau Extension Professional of the Year.

They sat together at their respective ceremonies. Lussier’s parents were there, as was Shelby, who shared the honor with him. As the state winners, Kevin and Shelby got $500 and the keys to a new Ford F150.

Sanders hasn’t been a passenger in the new truck yet. It’s Lussier’s going-into-town-vehicle, and Sanders always comes to him. She’s just fine with riding shotgun in the Silverado.

Scott Angle is the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Rooted in Resilience YF&R Spotlight: Matt and Kayla Gonzales

September FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Matt and Kayla Gonzales are first generation ranchers with a dream to leave a legacy for their children. The two got their first taste of agriculture when they joined FFA in high school, which is also how they met. As their love for agriculture (and each other) grew, they  decided to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. Matt received his bachelor of science in diversified agriculture. After finishing her associates in animal science at ABAC, Kayla received her bachelor of science in animal science with a focus on animal food production from the University of Florida. Kayla plans to finish her masters in agronomy in the spring of 2023.

After graduation, the couple moved back to Florida to pursue agricultural careers. Kayla is the office and data manager at Fenco Farms and Matt is the beef division manager at Sparr. In addition to their full time jobs, the Gonzales’ started an agricultural consulting service in 2021 and beef cattle herd of their own in 2018.

Kayla and Matt first learned about Farm Bureau through their district field representative and were founding members of the Levy and Gilchrist County Young Farmers & Ranchers groups. They enjoy participating in activities like Ag in the Classroom and the peanut and blueberry festivals held in Levy County each year.

“Farm Bureau provides really great opportunities to learn about different commodities and meet new people,” said Matt. “These connections have offered us the opportunity to expand our network and knowledge of agriculture.”

As first generation college graduates and agriculturalists, Matt and Kayla’s dream is to leave a legacy for their ten month old son, John David.

“When they announced the theme I thought that was a really cool theme because it really does resonate with us,” said Kayla. “We have to be resilient because there are a lot of obstacles, trials and tribulations that come our way. Being rooted in resilience gives us the strength to continue to put our efforts to being successful in our farming and ranching operations.”

Land Grant Partner: UF/IFAS Extension

August FloridAgriculture eNewseltter

By J. Scott Angle
jangle@ufl.edu
@IFAS_VP

It was a big day in August 2021 at the Hawthorne Creek Creamery. For the first time, Kevin Lussier loaded a truck with Gouda and shipped it off to a major supermarket chain.

The people who mattered most were there. They included his wife and business partner, Shelby. There was his dad Matt, who had Kevin working cows from the time he was 9. And there was the friend, mentor, scientist and problem solver to whom he’s so often turned to help keep Alachua County’s last private commercial dairy afloat: UF/IFAS Extension agent Cindy Sanders.

Lussier has asked Sanders for help navigating the complex food safety rules he needs to follow to be a cheese maker. He asked her to help him demonstrate for county regulators that he was taking proper steps to protect the creek from which his business draws its name. He asked her about how to kill weeds and how long after spraying he should wait to harvest hay.

Usually, he just called her. Other times, she’d ride shotgun in Lussier’s 22-year-old Chevy Silverado, cruising a pasture and answering his questions about what forages to plant and when, where and how to seed the fields.

So it was meaningful to both of them that Sanders could be there for such an important moment. But it was a moment. As soon as the truck pulled away, Sanders returned to the primary purpose of her visit—to help Lussier become a better farmer and better leader.

This time she asked the questions: How do you market the cheeses? Will you expand into ice cream? How has your involvement in Farm Bureau helped you get started as dairy farmer?

The questions were designed not only to elicit his competency as a farmer, but to hone his ability as a leader to articulate what he does, and what Florida agriculture is all about, to a visitor. Sanders was there as a mock judge for the Florida Farm Bureau’s Achievement in Agriculture competition, which recognizes the state’s top young farmer for excelling as producer and leader.

Sanders and Lussier also have a record of working together as agriculture ambassadors. Lussier is the state and the Alachua County Young Farmers & Ranchers president. Sanders chairs the Alachua County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

They serve together on the county Farm Bureau board. Three years ago, dissatisfied with Farm-City Week programming, they helped organize an agriculture day at the Cade Museum in downtown Gainesville. Their plan was to show off local food to 200 non-farmers. More than 1,500 people showed up.

Lussier credits his father with helping him get started by sharing his land, barn and herd.

Lussier inherited from his dad another key element of the operation—the expertise of Sanders. From the time she became a county agent 21 years ago—when Lussier was 6 years old—Lussier’s father was calling her about forages and asking her to drive the pastures with him.

When it came time for Lussier to go into business, he had so much more information, thanks to the Internet, than his father ever did. That was a curse as much as a blessing, though. He needed information he could trust. Sanders had already established that trust through what at the time was 15 years of calls, emails, referrals and farm visits.

Sanders and Lussier got to visit with each other at the Florida Farm Bureau annual meeting in Orlando last October. She was in Orlando to see Lussier honored for winning the Achievement in Agriculture competition she had prepped him for.

Just like that day at the dairy when they celebrated the cheese shipment, Sanders had another reason to be there. On the strength of a nomination from the Alachua County Farm Bureau board, Sanders was honored as the Florida Farm Bureau Extension Professional of the Year.

They sat together at their respective ceremonies. Lussier’s parents were there, as was Shelby, who shared the honor with him. As the state winners, Kevin and Shelby got $500 and the keys to a new Ford F150.

Sanders hasn’t been a passenger in the new truck yet. It’s Lussier’s going-into-town-vehicle, and Sanders always comes to him. She’s just fine with riding shotgun in the Silverado.

J. Scott Angle is the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and leader of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

 

Florida Farm Bureau Federation Staff Directory

EXECUTIVE OFFICE | 352.374.1504
Jeb Smith, President
Staci Sims, Chief Operating Officer
Amanda Overstreet, Executive Secretary

ACCOUNTING | 352.378.8100
Liza Bradford, Interim Chief Financial Officer
Debbie Westbrook, Controller
Wendy Bryant, Accountant, County Services
Shelley Keppel, Accounting Clerk III
Emily Parrish, Accounting Clerk II

AGRICULTURE EDUCATION SERVICES AND TECHNOLOGY (AEST) | 855.315.8745
Keitha Bennett, Director
VACANT, Assistant Director
Blair Buchanon, AEST Coordinator

AG POLICY | 352.374.1543
Jaime Jerrels, Director
Jason Mathis, Assistant Director
Geoffrey Patterson, Assistant Director
VACANT, National Affairs Coordinator
Donyelle St. Pierre, Administrative Assistant

FIELD SERVICES | 352.384.2630
Jason Davison, Director
Halee Winder, Membership Acquisition Manager
Michele Curts, Leadership Programs Coordinator
Lauren Philipps, Member Benefits Marketing Representative
Caraline Coombs, Membership Assistant
Taylor Swoyer, Administrative Assistant
VACANT, District 1 Field Representative
Hannah Love, District 2 Field Representative
Greg Harden, District 3 Field Representative
Jared Lanier, District 4 Field Representative
Ellen Cruz, District 5 Field Representative
Andy Neuhofer, District 6 Field Representative
Kyndall Bauer, District 7 Field Representative
Sam Phares, District 8 Field Representative

FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ASSOCIATION (FAMA) | 352.728.1561
Chad Roberts, Director
Nathan Stewart, Assistant Director
Cody Clark, Manager of Direct Marketing
Suzanne Makin, Operations Manager
Jill Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant

GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS | 352.374.1543
Charles Shinn, Director
Curt Williams, Assistant Director
Jake Fojtik, Assistant Director
Donyelle St. Pierre, Administrative Assistant

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS | 352.374.1535

Rachael Smith, Director
VACANT, Assistant Director
Shelby Martin, Communications Coordinator
Jessica Wells, Digital Media Coordinator
Nathalie Yoder, Social Media Coordinator

STATE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS | 850.222.2557
Courtney Larkin, Director
Madeline Wright, Assistant Director
Christine Scovotto, Facilities, Office and Events Coordinator

Rooted in Resilience

Welcome to our “Rooted in Resilience” member story page. We celebrate 80 years of grassroots membership by highlighting how our county Farm Bureaus and members are passionate advocates, rooted in their community.

We look forward to sharing different stories of resiliency from our members statewide.

Jennifer Swain, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Highlands County

“I’m a first-generation rancher, and my passion for this industry has always been rooted in my heart. When you’re proud of what you do, you’ll be better equipped to overcome any obstacles that come your way.” Read article.

Clay Cooper, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Hernando/Citrus County

“Farming and ranching is more than a job. It truly is a lifestyle and something that you have to be passionate about. It honestly does take resiliency to push through some of the hard times, but at the end of the day, I don’t know of many careers that are any more rewarding.” Read article.

Cady Smith, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, St. Johns County

“Farm Bureau runs based on faith, family, and farm. These are our roots. When we stand strong in what we believe and who we believe in, we will always come out on top. Rooted in Resilience then blooms in success.” Read article.

Jim Strickland, Strickland Ranch, Manatee County

“We have to be able to accommodate the growing number of people who move to our great state. But we also have to recognize that they move here because there are so many things that make Florida special, like the quality of life and opportunities for recreation, which means green space, good water and a healthy environment. We need to consider those things in making development decisions, and we need to share the story of how the ranching industry promotes stewardship and conservation.” Read article.

Cody and Courtney Darling, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Suwannee County

“There are only a certain amount of people who love to farm and we happen to be one of the few. I think that is what keeps us going and how we’re rooted in resilience. There’s not many people out there who can nor want to do what it takes to farm.” Read article.

Matt and Kayla Gonzales, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Levy County

“We have to be resilient because there are a lot of obstacles, trials and tribulations that come our way. Being rooted in resilience gives us the strength to continue to put our efforts to being successful in our farming and ranching operations.” Read article.

Greg Gude, Kumquat Growers, Pasco County

“I still believe in the industry. I see the opportunity and know the value of the land. That’s the resilience.” Read article.

Kateland Raney, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Polk County

“Everyone in our industry is resilient in overcoming hardships because we know farming and ranching is a necessity to provide. Farmers and ranchers are resilient by nature because their passion is greater than the struggles they may be facing at the time.” Read article.

Alto Straughn, Straughn Farms, Alachua County

“Resilience? I’ve done pretty good at that. It means hanging in there, that’s what it means to me. Both at watermelons and blueberries, I’ve been pretty resilient and successful at both. We never made much money on any one crop in any one year, but there were two or three years we would make a little extra and that would help us accumulate money to get started in blueberries.” Read Article 

Jim Farley, Farley Cattle Company, Clay County

“You have to be tough enough and love ranching enough to overcome all adversity.  Remain rooted in appreciation for when times are good and plentiful.  Most importantly, love what you do and love your family.”Read Article

John Dooner, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Gadsden County

“Farmers and ranchers have proven to be resilient throughout the course of time. There is an enormous amount of pressure on our state’s resources as we continue to see thousands of people move to Florida every day. The only way to deal with the unprecedented growth in our state is to recognize the benefits of our Ag land and put a value on them. The population boom is concerning, but I think we can put a positive spin on it and looks at it as an opportunity in agriculture to create value that has not historically existed. As the original stewards of the land, what is more compelling than that?” Read Article 

Danielle Daum, Women’s Leadership Chair, Highlands County

“This year’s theme “Rooted in Resilience” aptly describes Farm Bureau Women. We are resilient in our personal lives as mothers, daughters and sisters as well as in our business and professional lives. Agriculture is lucky to have so many women championing for it.”

Lynn Mills, VCH Ranch, DeSoto County

“From start to finish, the process is a challenge, but it’s so rewarding to see it all come together and know that this work is helping feed people across the country.” Read Article 

Brenda Gayle Land, District 2 Women’s Leadership Chair, Lafayette County

“Farmers give their lives to the land and my faith in God is what has sustained me through adversity over the years. As farmers we have to be adaptable and flexible in this ever-changing and unpredictable lifestyle. Faith is how we do it.” Read Article 

Brandt and Samantha Hendricks, Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group, Santa Rosa County

“Being involved in production agriculture has a lot of unknowns. We plant the seed and pray every day for it to put roots down and grow.” Read Article 

Anna Jameson, Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, Sumter County

“You can’t always take without giving back and expect the land to stay healthy and fertile, so for us, it’s very important that we produce our crops in the most sustainable ways possible. We are constantly evolving our efforts to protect natural resources and honor my family’s legacy of farming in Florida.” Read Article

Imogene Yarborough, Yarborough Ranches, Seminole County

“Agriculture and passion go together as far as I’m concerned because you have to think strongly about what makes your living. And agriculture is our living.” Watch Video

Bill Waller, Hurricane Michael Recovery, Bay County

“Sometimes you just have to play the cards that are dealt to you and get through adversity. Once a catastrophe hits, you can’t go back and undo it, you just make the best you can out of it and move forward.” Read Article

Mickey Diamond, JM Diamond Farms, Santa Rosa County

“We all learn from each other and come harvest time, three of us neighbors pool labor and equipment. We can pretty well time it to know whose peanut crop to pick and we get it out in a hurry.” Read Article

State Representative Josie Tomkow

“I am committed to supporting farmers and ranchers to make sure their voices are heard. I grew up working cows with my dad. I am proud of my Ag background and how it has shaped me into who I am today.” Read Article

Paul Orsenigo,  Orsenigo Farms, Western Palm Beach County

“There were tribulations, highs and lows, and good and bad times, but by the mid-1990s, we’d established a thriving sugarcane operation. Through the year’s we’ve come to appreciate the importance of diversification because it’s just so unpredictable.” Read Article

Steve Singleton, Singleton & Sons Farms, St. Johns County

“My dad was driven in a way that most people aren’t–he just didn’t know how to give up-and thanks to that drive and his positive outlook, he beat the odds and was successful. It’s an honor to continue building upon his legacy.” Read Article

Jacob Wangle, Young Farmers & Ranchers State Leadership Group, District 1

“For me, rooted in resilience means that no matter what situations or circumstances arise, agriculture in the state of Florida will always be standing strong at the end of the day.” Read Article


 

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As Florida’s population continues to grow and more and more legislators reside in urban areas, it’s more important than ever, that Florida Farm Bureau have a strong impact on legislative elections. A well-funded FarmPAC helps us to elect candidates who support agriculture and will influence policy.

As a member of our PAC Roots Team you are able to help elect candidates who care about keeping Florida agriculture strong.

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