Okeechobee County Farm Bureau President Mickey Bandi is proud to represent the farmers and ranchers in his community. “Agriculture is the largest industry in Okeechobee County,” he said.
“It’s very important to us to be part of organizations like Farm Bureau that look out for you.”
The Okeechobee County native grew up with a strong work ethic. His father was from Pennsylvania and tested experimental farm equipment for New Holland and his mother grew up on her family’s cattle farm in nearby Belle Glade.
He spent his summers as a child visiting Pennsylvania, growing hay and raising vegetables.
Today, Bandi lives in Okeechobee with his wife, Lori, and their two daughters, Lillie (11) and Alexis (Lexi) (7). Lori is a high school economics teacher and Mickey is the elected county property appraiser.
Both of their daughters hold an interest in agriculture, Lillie shows cattle and Lexi has a duck, affectionately named, Elvis.
Bandi graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in food and resource economics. He has been active in his county Farm Bureau serving as a board member for the last seven years and is currently serving his first year as president.
Bandi is proud of the annual Farm City-Week event, sponsored by the local Farm Bureau and held at the KOA Campground. “I’ve been involved in this event since I was in high school,” he said.
“FFA and 4-H kids set up booths, a speaker is invited to speak and a meal is served.” A local farmer or farm family is honored at the event and it provides an opportunity for the community to gather support for local farmers and youth agriculture.