St. Lucie County Farm Bureau (SLCFB) President Mark Berggren is a south Florida native who has grown up in agriculture. The son of a John Deere dealership owner, Berggren learned a lot about farming and farm equipment over the years.
“My father owned a John Deere dealership for 43 years and I worked in it for 10 of those years. I also managed the location for Everglades Farm Equipment for 11 years after they purchased the dealership from my father,” Berggren said. He is currently an independent tractor and farm equipment broker in Fort Pierce.
Every spring for the last 11 years, SLCFB and its roughly 1,116 members put on the Bryan Schirard Memorial Sporting Clay Shoot. The tournament raises money for the county’s youth programs. Proceeds from the event go towards scholarships, mini grants for teachers, and most recently to purchase FFA jackets for those who are unable to do so. “This event has the most impact on our local Farm Bureau,” Berggren said.
SLCFB Board of Directors addresses all aspects of agriculture at regular meetings to get the best sense of what improvements and achievements are being done throughout the county. “As issues come up, we talk about them in the meetings and decide what and how we move forward on the issue,” Berggren stated.
St. Lucie County produces an abundant and diverse amount of produce which can be found at different farmers market stands around Fort Pierce. The Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers’ Market has been a Saturday morning tradition in St. Lucie County since 1997. “What most people don’t know is that there is a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and available if you know where to look for them,” Berggren said. “I love food, and I really love working with the different vegetables that are grown right here in St. Lucie County.”
195,155 Acreage in Farms
$1.17 Billion in Revenue Generated by Agriculture and Related Industries
22,140 Jobs Provided