Danielle Daum and her family own and operate Happiness Farms, Inc., a caladium and citrus operation in Highlands County. She and her husband, D.W., have two grown children, son Laine and daughter Lydia.

Daum is a third generation farmer and currently serves as the vice chair of the Florida Farm Bureau State Women’s Leadership Committee. “Since my children are grown, my free time is primarily spent advocating for and serving the agricultural community,” she said. “I love volunteering and promoting agriculture.”

In addition to her service on the FFB State Board, Daum serves as secretary of her local Highlands County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, secretary of the Highlands County CattleWomen’s Association, a member of the Highlands/Okeechobee Farm Service Agency County Committee and one of her most beloved commitments, co-founder and co-chair of Highlands County Ag-Venture, a three day event held each November.

“I began the Highlands County Ag-Venture program 19 years ago with my cousin Christie Waller and my mother Darlene Phypers,” Daum said. “Since its inception, the program has been teaching all of Highlands County’s third-grade students about the value of agriculture in their daily lives.”

Daum spends much of her time during the summer to prepare for the annual Caladium Festival held the last weekend in July and Ag-Venture in the fall. More than 1,400 students and 300 community volunteers participate in the annual Ag-Venture event held at the Highlands County Fairgrounds annually.

Busy season for Happiness Farms, Inc. and the Daum family is winter and spring. Daum explains that a typical day during the busy season means it is normal for her to work in the farm office until 10 p.m. “We ship caladiums to wholesale customers around the world as well as retail customers in the United States,” she explained.

“I manage our accounts, both payable and receivable, as well as work directly with customers, taking and processing orders and arranging transportation,” she said. “Living in an agricultural area, being surrounded by other farms and agricultural families and working with other farmers from across the country is such a blessing.”

One of Daum’s greatest passions is volunteering. She encourages other women to get involved in their local county Farm Bureaus and share their story. “As a woman, your voice holds value and meaning,” she said.

“Being a part of your county Farm Bureau Women’s Committee provides you with the opportunity to interact with other women of like mind and values, give back to your community, promote agriculture on the local, state and national levels and it is just plain fun and rewarding!”

Daum is so vibrantly passionate about agriculture and her community but no venture has been more rewarding for her than her children. “My children are my greatest accomplishment,” she said. “I love how dedicated they are to serving their community. I hope that my family remembers me as someone who is helpful, giving, hardworking, loving, selfless and dedicated.”

Danielle Daum’s favorite recipe, Killer Salad, because it’s “killer good!”

Romaine lettuce
1 Granny Smith apple
Feta cheese
Chopped pecans
Good Seasons Italian dressing mix

Prepare the dressing according to package directions and refrigerate until the time to use.

Tear your lettuce, crumble the feta on top and add chopped pecans.  Dice the apple.  If you won’t be serving the salad right away, you can cut the apple and mix it in a little salad dressing to keep it from turning brown. Put the apple on top.

Dress and toss before serving.