Cultivating Tomorrow: David Hafner, Martin County Farm Bureau

September 2021 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Martin County Farm Bureau President, David Hafner, and his wife, Alicia, are rooted in South Florida agriculture. The couple met in college and are proud to call Martin County home where they raise their four sons, Tucker (10), Sawyer (8), Easton (5) and Clayton (4).

“To make sure agriculture has a seat at the table, I am very involved in our community and local government,” Hafner said.  Along with being the Martin County Farm Bureau President, Hafner also serves as a member of the Martin County Fair’s Board of Directors as chair of the Agriculture Education Committee, Treasurer of the Indiantown Chamber of Commerce and serves on two advisory committees with the Martin County Cooperative Extension.

Hafner grew up heavily involved in the South Florida equine world; he later branched out into raising livestock such as cattle, goats and poultry.  “2020 saw big changes for my family and our farm,” he mentioned. “At the start of 2020, we lost 70% of our land as our lease was not renewed. This loss of land forced us to sell off our small herd of beef cattle.

Further property line adjustments led to more agricultural losses. Looking at what we had left to work with, and a long drive to take our children to school each day, my wife and I decided to sell the farm and pursue a new property with better opportunities for our family and farm.” The Hafners are currently raising pigs and sheep on a small scale.

Hafner was a member of the Florida Farm Bureau State Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Group from 2016-2018 and also part of the American Farm Bureau Federation Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PALS) Program. “I have really enjoyed taking part in leadership training opportunities,” he said. Hafner will be the first Floridian to complete the PALS Program.

As a dad of four, Hafner is passionate about youth agricultural outreach within his community and supports involvement in youth agriculture organizations. “It is this dedication that brought me to Farm Bureau,” he stated. “I love the networking and comradery. Farm Bureau is a family and I love that I have friends in agriculture not only in Florida, but across the country thanks to Farm Bureau.”

There are several Martin County Farm Bureau sponsored events each year that Hafner is particularly proud of.  “Our Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee holds a fishing tournament, “The Buck Wild Fish Roundup,” each Labor Day Weekend to raise funds for agricultural education endeavors,” he stated.

The county’s local Women’s Committee holds the “Winter Vendor and Craft Fair” where funds are collected for food and toys for Martin County families in need and coming into it’s 11th year, the Martin County Farm Bureau 3D Archery Tournament held at the beginning of the year raises money to support local agriculture organizations such as 4-H and FFA.

Hafner cultivates tomorrow by learning and sharing the story of agriculture, and by teaching agriculture to the next generation through 4-H. “I cultivate tomorrow by building a strong and consistent relationship with my elected officials. I cultivate tomorrow by being the voice of agriculture. I am Farm Bureau and together with the 136,000 members of Florida Farm Bureau we are stronger together.”