Cultivating Tomorrow: Madison County Farm Bureau President Richard Terry

June 2021 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Madison County Farm Bureau President Richard Terry, left, presented the “George Townsend Good Neighbor Award” to Mrs. Deloris Jones at the Madison County Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting in 2018.

Richard Terry is a Madison County, FL native who has spent his life devoted to agriculture. Terry grew up just outside of Madison, the county seat of Madison County, where he still lives today. He was the middle child of five siblings who were all raised on their family’s farm.

Terry’s parents grew staple crops in the region like tobacco and corn, feed for cattle, raised hogs and cattle for livestock and had a self-sustaining garden that provided the family’s vegetables.

Terry took over his father’s operation in the 1960s and through the years, diversified. He continued to grow tobacco until 2004. In 1967, Terry built two poultry houses and raised boilers for 30 years. Terry explained that in the 1970s, he diversified again and began farming soy beans.

Richard and his wife of nearly 60 years, Edith, are the proud owners of Terry Farms. The couple married on Edith’s birthday when Richard was 18 and Edith was 19 and they have two grown sons, Ernest and Henry.

Today, Terry is slowing down his daily farm operations and says, “I am about two-thirds quit but I am not going to retire until I die.” Terry’s lifetime dedication to agriculture and carrying on the legacy of his family’s farm is a quality to be admired.

The Terrys have been active within Madison County Farm Bureau for nearly 40 years. “Farm Bureau has always been in the front lines of promoting agriculture,” he said. “Meeting people involved in different facets of agriculture has always been one of my favorite things about Farm Bureau.”

Along with serving as a board of directors’ member, Terry has also served on multiple Florida Farm Bureau Advisory Committees since the 1960s. Currently, Terry is a member of the Water/Natural Resources Advisory Committee.

Each year, Madison County Farm Bureau sponsors a first-grade poster contest and a fifth-grade essay contest. Elementary students in the Madison School District are eligible to participate. The top winners are selected by the Florida Farm Bureau State Office Public Relations Department in Gainesville.

The winners receive a cash prize, certificate and are honored at their school’s award banquet.