July 18, 2019
The finalists have been selected for Florida Farm Bureau’s 2019 Achievement in Agriculture, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet awards. The awards honor young farmers and ranchers between the ages of 18-35 for their hard work, innovation and ability to solve top agricultural challenges. The finalists will compete for the top statewide honor at the Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Orlando, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2019.
The 2019 Achievement in Agriculture Award finalists are:
- Chance Clay (Putnam County): Clay is a cattle, timber and blueberry farmer in San Mateo.
- Michael and Brooke Hill (Lake County): The Hills manage Southern Hill Farms, a U-Pick and commercial blueberry farm in Clermont. They also own H&A farms, Oak Hammock Farms, Florida Ag Care and H&A Logistics.
- Jake and Tiffany Sache (Levy County): The Saches are a fourth generation farm family from Chiefland. They own and operate JS Custom Harvesting where they cut grass seed, raise cattle and grow peanuts, watermelon and hay.
The Achievement in Agriculture Award winner will receive a new Ford® F-150 pick-up truck, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Companies, a $500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 17-22.
The Achievement in Agriculture Award recognizes members of Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program who excel in their involvement in agriculture, leadership abilities and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations. Each Achievement in Agriculture award finalist will undergo an on-site farm visit by a team of qualified judges as part of the final selection process.
The 2019 Excellence in Agriculture Award finalists are:
- Kyle and Alisha Patterson (St. Lucie County): the Pattersons own a family ranch that produces commercial cattle and purebred Simmentals. Kyle is a conservation law enforcement officer and serves on the St. Lucie County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
- Matt Griffin (Lake County): Griffin is an experienced farm manager with a B.S. degree in Food & Resource Economics.
The Excellence Award winner will receive a John Deere XUV 560E, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, $500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 17-22.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award is based on an applicant’s involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic organizations.
The 2019 Discussion Meet finalists are:
- Tyler Pittman (Alachua): Pittman is an upland gamebird research biologist at Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and serves on the Alachua County Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
- Kevin Korus (Alachua): Korus is an Alachua County Extension and Natural Resources Agent for UF/IFAS. He also serves as chair for the Alachua County Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
- Pete Dola (Levy County): Dola is chair of the Levy County Young Farmers & Ranchers and is a beef sales consultant with Cargill.
- Sydney Armstrong (Highlands County): Armstrong serves on the Florida Farm Bureau YF&R State Leadership Group. She has been involved in agriculture since she was a young girl, serving as a Florida FFA State Officer and secretary for the Collegiate Farm Bureau.
The Discussion Meet winner will receive a John Deere XUV 560E, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Company, $500 in cash and an expense paid trip to the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 17-22.
The Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting during which discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic.