Buck and NoraBeth Carpenter
Proudly representing on the Florida Farm Bureau State Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Committee are Buck and NoraBeth Carpenter of Madison County. The Carpenters have three children and live in the small farming town of Lee just 30 miles south of the Florida-Georgia border.
NoraBeth is a 6th generation farmer and grew up on her family’s farm where they raised beef cattle and small grains and continue to do so today. Buck, a Greenville, Fla., native, is a first generation farmer and together, he and his wife grow 500 acres of perennial peanut Hay.
“Buck found his niche in perennial peanut and it has become a way of life for our family,” NoraBeth said. When she’s not at the farm, NoraBeth works at the Lee Public Library and Buck is a soil and water conservation technician.
In addition to serving on the State YF&R Committee, Buck and NoraBeth serve on the Madison County Farm Bureau (MCFB) YF&R Leadership Group where Buck is the Chairman. “We like to share our Ag story everywhere we go,” she said. “We enjoy working with local farmers and with our local newspaper to promote agricultural events in our community.”
Each fall, MCFB holds a Farm-City Week celebration. “Farm-City Week is my favorite event!” NoraBeth stated. The week-long celebration is filled with activities for the whole family. NoraBeth explains that local farmers will visit elementary school students in the community–even bringing with them their equipment. “It’s really neat to see the farmers interact with the students who ask questions about their operations and where their food comes from,” she said.
Ag Youth Day is another popular event put on by MCFB and is held each spring at the Madison County Central School where local kids are able to watch demonstrations by local farmers and participate in agricultural activities.
The Carpenters are advocates of youth agriculture education and dedicate most of their time promoting agriculture in their community. “What makes me most proud is being able to raise my kids in an agricultural area,” NoraBeth said. “Our way of life is supporting local farmers and ranchers.”
The Carpenters describe their time spent on the State YF&R Committee as fulfilling and heartfelt. “We all come from different walks of life but we all share a love for agriculture,” they said. “We have become like a family.”
Million Dollar Spaghetti
16 oz. package of spaghetti noodles
1 lb. ground beef
16 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
½ cup butter, sliced and divided
1 cup cottage cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti aprox. 12 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook beef until browned, 5-7 minutes, then drain and discard grease.
Combine the beef and spaghetti sauce in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese until blended. Place half of butter In a 9×13 baking dish, and add spaghetti on top. Spread the creamy mixture on top of spaghetti and repeat layers.
Pour the beef mixture on top to cover the casserole and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Spread mozzarella over the dish and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.