(Orlando, Fla.) â€“ The Florida Farm Bureau Federation recognized Sens. Carey Baker and Larcenia Bullard and Reps. Mary Brandenburg and Will Kendrick as Legislators of the Year for 2008 for their leadership, vision and support of Floridaâ€™s agriculture industry. The awards were presented at the Federationâ€™s 2008 annual meeting Oct. 8-10 at the Peabody in Orlando.
â€œAs the stateâ€™s general agricultural organization, we are pleased to recognize these legislators for their efforts to support the stateâ€™s second-largest industry,â€ said Ben Parks, Florida Farm Bureauâ€™s director of state legislative affairs.
Sen. Baker represents District 20, which includes Lake, Marion, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties. He has a solid history of working for agribusiness in the legislature, according to Parks. This year, Baker sponsored two important pieces of legislation for the Farm Bureau: one dealing with the transportation of overwidth ag equipment, another concerning surveyors who damage private property. In addition to being a member of the General Government Appropriations Committee, where he was considered a protector of the ag budget, Baker chaired the Transportation Committee and served on the Judiciary Committee and others.
Sen. Bullard represents District 39, which includes Broward, Collier, Hendry, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Throughout her years in the legislature, Larcenia has remained a dedicated supporter of the agricultural industry. She is completing her second term as Vice Chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee.
â€œHer door is always open to Farm Bureau members and staff, and she is always quick to offer help on any of our issues,â€ Parks said.
Rep. Brandenburg represents House District 89 in Palm Beach County, where she chairs the county legislative delegation. With a family history in dairy farming, she is a friend of the agricultural community. In the past two years, her positions on the Environmental and Natural Resources Council and the Policy and Budget Council as well as the Conservation and State Lands Committee have given her excellent platforms for her no-nonsense approach to government, Parks said. She has risen in the Democratic Party ranks in the House and has been named their point person for agricultural and natural resources issues for the coming term.
Rep. Kendrick represents House District 10, which stretches across ten North Florida counties. He was named as vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee his freshman term in office.
â€œFrom his early days he showed himself to be a great friend and a strong supporter of our industry,â€ Parks said, â€œas well as an outspoken guardian for his rural constituency.â€
In his last two years, Kendrick served as Chair of the Committee on Conservation and State Lands and as a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Council and Policy and Budget Council.
Over the years, Kendrick has worked with Farm Bureau on numerous issues. He has proven to be a leader and a fighter. He consistently stands his ground on issues affecting any aspect of agriculture, from property rights to the budget and all points in between. He is well known for his passion for protecting rural communities.
The Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the stateâ€™s largest general-interest agricultural association with about 140,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the Federation is an independent, nonprofit agricultural organization. More information about is available on the organizationâ€™s Web site, http://FloridaFarmBureau.org.