Dean Evans, Polk County Farm Bureau President
Upon graduating from high school, Evans headed north for Gainesville to attend the University of Florida. “My dad said there is no money in cows, if you’re going to study agriculture find something besides cows,” he said.
Today, Evans currently works with Cutrale Citrus. The company produces all of Coca Cola and Minute Maid’s orange juice products. He and his brother still have the property in the Green Swamp where they raise cattle and grow blueberries.
PCFB’s 4,300 members promote agriculture in their community through various youth educational events, agriculture festivals, through consistent communication with elected officials, key stakeholders and citizens including one-on-one meetings, large events, workshops and traditional and social media outlets.
“Each year we hold our Agri-Fest event where we interact with almost 6,000 4th grade students over a 10-day period,” Evans mentioned. “This event teaches students about horticulture, beef cattle, citrus, phosphate, small farms and forestry. In addition, water conservation messages are introduced at each station along with a focus on both traditional and nontraditional agriculture related career opportunities.”
PCFB celebrated its 32nd annual Agri-Fest earlier this spring. The event was unfortunately cut short due to the public health emergency however Evans stated that, “We are looking forward to Agri-Fest 2021 minus the virus!”
PCFB partners with Central Florida Media Group to produce the monthly magazine, Central Florida Ag News, to provide members and the general public with timely overviews of PCFB events, local, state and federal agriculture issues, and to promote Farm Bureau membership benefits. “We also use traditional press releases, our PCFB website and three social media pages to share agricultural community news and information,” Evans said.
“Being involved in many aspects of agriculture in Florida I have had the chance to interact with a lot of farmers and agriculture related business people,” he said. “I have found that farm people are some of the friendliest and most honest people I have dealt with. That is what makes me Farm Raised and Farm Proud.”
When asked about a favorite recipe Evans shared a meal that he holds near and dear to his heart, “My favorite meal is grilled chuck steak, pinto beans, salad and warm flour tortillas because it reminds me of my childhood in a family of seven and knowing what it took to keep five kids fed and happy on a farmers budget.”