Be the Voice. Live the Legacy

October FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Rex Clonts, Seminole County Farm Bureau President

Fifth generation Floridian, Rex Clonts, comes from a long line of vegetable farmers in Central Florida. He and his wife, Denise, own and operate “BigDaddy’s Farm,” named after Rex’s grandfather, in Seminole County.

BigDaddy’s Farm raises over 80 different vegetables and flowers for their 300-member Community Organized Agriculture (CSA) as well as restaurant sales and other outlets in Central Florida. In addition, Rex and Denise are very excited about the success of their newest venture of growing diversified vegetables for the locally-grown organic market.

“The look on our neighbors’ faces each week when they get their vegetable boxes is priceless,” he exclaimed. “It was raised in that field right over there.”

He  spent his hot Florida summers working on his family’s farm and couldn’t wait to leave for college to begin a non-agriculture career.

“It didn’t take long for me to realize that my brightest opportunity was taking the farm to the next level, and the older I get, the more passionate I become about the future of Florida agriculture,” he said.

Clonts was elected as the Seminole County Farm Bureau (SCFB) President at the county’s annual meeting last fall and is proud to represent the local organization with more than 2,000 members.

“For over 20 years, Seminole County Farm Bureau has helped sponsor the annual Spring Ranch & Pasture Forum at the Yarborough Ranch in Geneva along with co-sponsors Florida Cattlemen’s Association, UF/IFAS and many others,” Clonts said. “It is held annually on the third Thursday of March, the event is open to the public and is the largest on-ranch educational forum in the state.”

Members of the Yarborough family, along with Central Florida Livestock Agents from UF/IFAS present a program of hands-on training and education in all aspects of cattle ranching including sessions tailored for youth interested in animal care and feeding.

Clonts explained that before COVID-19 derailed the SCFB plans for their county annual meeting, they had planned to hold a showcase of Seminole County agriculture with booths for local farms, nurseries, county Extension, the local forestry division as well as other allied businesses. The event has been rescheduled for the fall of 2021.

President Clonts shared with us that his favorite recipe is collard greens with Italian sausage. “It’s savory, hearty and simple,” he said. Yum!