Debby Laramee is the President of Pinellas County Farm Bureau (PCFB) and the heart of the county’s Farm Bureau family. Originally from Grand Island, New York, Laramee moved to Florida when she was 18 years old.
After earning her degree in marine science from the Florida Keys Community College in Key West, she relocated to Pinellas County and started her career with the Pinellas County Parks Department.
Laramee is an advocate for youth ag education and is highly involved in many ways throughout her community to promote agriculture. “I’m all about educating children,” she said. “Educating and legislating.”
One of the largest youth-focused agricultural events in Pinellas County is Farm-City Day. For the last six years, PCFB, in conjunction with the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, sponsor the event each November at Heritage Village in Largo.
“All of our ag groups are involved in Farm-City Day– 4-H, FFA and Florida Ag in the Classroom,” Laramee explained. “There are so many fun activities to participate in and the event is multigenerational. This year we had about 350 kids and 300 adults.”
Farm-City Day activities include a variety of agriculturally-inspired arts and crafts, giveaways and make-and-takes including ice cream and orange juice making and fish rubbing.
“Our main source of agriculture in Pinellas County is aquaculture so a lot of our activities revolve around that,” she said.
Once a week, Laramee meets with 15 elementary students for a session of the Garden Club at the Madeira Beach Recreational Center.
“We built raised bed gardens this year and planted corn, tomatoes, radishes and green beans,” she said. “We like to try everything.”
Debby’s favorite family recipe is an apple crisp that has been passed down to her by her mother-in-law, Polly. Debby and her family affectionately re-named it, “Polly Crisp.”
– 9 inch pie crust
– 4 apples, unpeeled, diced small
– ½ cup flour
– ½ cup butter
– ¾ cup brown sugar
– ¾ cup oatmeal
– 1 tbs. cinnamon
Place apples in the bottom of pie crust. Mix remaining ingredients and place on top of apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Pinellas County Ag Facts
82,885 jobs provided
$3.96 million in revenue
1,455 acres in farmland