Rod Land has held the office of the presidency in Lafayette County Farm Bureau (LCFB) for more than thirty years. In addition to being one of the longest serving county presidents, Land has held a seat on the Florida Farm Bureau State Board of Directors since 2005, holding the position of Treasurer since 2012.
Brenda Gayle, Land’s wife, is also very involved in Farm Bureau. She has served on the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for many years and is currently the District 2 Chairperson.
A native to Lafayette County, Land was born and raised on the farm. “Flu cured tobacco was our main cash crop as well as beef cattle and hogs,” Land stated. After completing school, Land started a career with Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant in Live Oak. His love for farming steered him from Pilgrim’s Pride and in 1974, he planted his first field of tobacco.
“I always knew I wanted to farm,” Land said. “I wouldn’t be completely happy until I did.” Four years later in 1978, Land and his brother built a dairy which Land and his son, Jason, currently own and operate. Along with the dairy, Land and family grow peanuts, cotton, cattle and timber in Lafayette County.
Every February, the local Farm Bureau holds a Legislative Dinner and includes neighboring counties. “The dinner is a great way for members and people in the community to speak to our state legislators one-on-one,” Land said. “Our members and volunteers typically prepare the meal with the help from our agency manager.” Over 100 people attend this event.
Once a year, LCFB holds an annual Youth Ag Day for local elementary school students. Volunteers present information on dairy, forestry, corn, poultry, peanut and cotton production. A poultry station offers hands-on learning experiences with live chickens and attendees enjoy fresh popped popcorn, cookies and milk in between sessions.
“Luckily for me, I married someone who knows how to cook and cooks very well,” Land explained when asked for his favorite recipe. “I can’t give you a recipe for food but I can give you one for life–have an abiding trust in our Lord and Savior, develop a personal relationship with Him and talk to him every day.”
Lafayette Ag Facts:
91, 283 acres in farms
$84.1 million in revenue