The Florida Farm Bureau hosted its annual meeting Oct. 30–Nov. 1 in Ponte Vedra Beach. Many industry leaders were recognized, and policies that affect the industry and Florida’s county Farm Bureaus were discussed. Florida Farm Bureau released the following press releases on the event:
Escambia County Man Earns Florida Farm Bureau’s 2017 Team Player Award
Gainesville, Fla. – Florida Farm Bureau achieved another year of growth this past year. Ronnie Day was one of the people instrumental in helping the organization reach its membership objective.
For his excellent work, Day received Florida Farm Bureau’s 2017 Team Player Award. This award is presented to a Florida Farm Bureau agency manager who has effectively promoted cooperation between the Florida Farm Bureau Federation and the insurance company. He received the award on Oct. 31 during Florida Farm Bureau’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach.
As the Escambia Farm Bureau agency manager, Day has helped train talented agents while participating in a range of activities that support farmers and ranchers in his community.
He is also active in local 4-H and school programs and has been a long-term advocate for improvements in youth education.
“Ronnie Day has been an asset for the Escambia County Farm Bureau for more than 20 years,” said Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick. “His ability to manage a successful insurance operation and support our farm families with equal success makes him an example for our entire organization. I congratulate him for his good service.”
Statewide Meeting Honors Volunteers
More than 500 grassroots members gathered at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, in Ponte Vedra Beach, on Oct. 30–Nov. 1. Florida Farm Bureau voting delegates discussed and approved policy resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureaus throughout the state. The resolutions were adopted as policy for 2018.
The meeting included award and recognition programs to honor outstanding young farmers and ranchers, state lawmakers and the accomplishments of county Farm Bureaus and individual members for their distinguished service to agriculture.
Florida Farm Bureau presented an impressive list of awards at the annual meeting, including:
- Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement in Agriculture Award: Brittany Lee (Alachua County)
- Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award: Courtney Davis (Okeechobee County)
- Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet Award: Michael Rogalsky (Polk County)
- Youth Speech Contest Winner: Lauren Roberts (Gilchrist County)
- Newsperson of the Year Award: Cindy Jo Ayers (Gilchrist County)
- Volunteer Communicator of the Year Award: Callon “Buddy” Keen (Manatee County)
- Extension Professional of the Year: Robert Hochmuth (Suwannee County)
- Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award: Rob Millings (Columbia County)
- Legislator of the Year Award: Sen. Denise Grimsley and Rep. Jim Boyd
- Team Player Award: Ronnie Day (Escambia County)
- Distinguished Service Award: James Dickinson (Polk County) and Henry Pittman Davis (Taylor County)
- 2017 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Florida Farmer of the Year: Mark Wilson (Miami-Dade County)
- Ag-Environmental Leadership Award: Cindale Farms (Jackson County), Florida Blue Farms, Inc. (Alachua County) and Speedling Inc. (Hillsborough County)
Multiple county Farm Bureaus received awards of excellence for achieving top membership and/or sale of fresh products offered by Florida Agricultural Marketing Association, a subsidiary of Florida Farm Bureau.
Veteran State Senator Honored as Legislator of the Year by Florida Farm Bureau
Gainesville, Fla. – Sen. Denise Grimsley was recognized as a Florida Farm Bureau 2017 Legislator of the Year, a distinction earned for her outstanding leadership during the 2017 legislative session.
Representing a district that includes eight counties extending from Lee County north to Polk County, Sen. Grimsley helped to pass key policy measures that support farm enterprise. She also spearheaded action to secure vital funding for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
During the 2017 legislative session, Sen. Grimsley helped pass SB 1018, a Farm Bureau-backed bill relating to pollution notification requirements. She also sponsored SB 600, an initiative aimed at strengthening economic development opportunities in rural Florida.
Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick said, “We appreciate Sen. Grimsley’s tireless efforts to develop public policies that allow agricultural enterprise to thrive in our state. She has also been a loyal advocate of Florida Farm Bureau positions on a variety of issues. I congratulate Sen. Grimsley for her service to her constituents and her recognition that agriculture holds a positon of permanent importance for Florida’s people and its economy.”