Growing Forward: Erin Jones, Gilchrist County

June 2023 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Erin Jones
Gilchrist County Farm Bureau President

Erin Jones is a fifth generation Gilchrist County resident. Growing up, her family had cattle, hay and peanuts on their family farm in Bell. Her family has approximately 60 commercial beef cows and a Simmental Angus bull. Jones was actively involved in 4-H and FFA during her youth.

Jones attended Florida Gateway College for her associate’s degree and transferred to the University of Florida where she received a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. She is currently working on her master’s in agronomy from UF and works for UF/IFAS Extension as the Suwannee County Livestock Agent.

Although her parents have been Farm Bureau members for decades, Jones began her own journey with the organization when she started school at UF. She was a founding member of the Levy/Gilchrist County Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R). Jones has served as the chair of the Gilchrist County YF&R committee since 2017 and attained a position on the Gilchrist County Farm Bureau board in 2018. She currently serves as president of board.

Jones is a proud advocate for agriculture in her county and loves educating others about the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member. She enjoys participating in numerous outreach opportunities throughout the year, but particularly enjoys the Christmas parade in Bell every December and the Quilt Festival held in Trenton in March.

“We table at the Quilt Festival because there’s such a variety of people that come to the event,” said Jones.  “I feel like we get the most exposure for agriculture at that event.”

The Gilchrist County Farm Bureau board is heavily focused on youth education and development. Jones believes in the future of the young people in her community and is continuously looking for ways to engage them in agriculture.

“Growing forward for us is being able to invest in the younger generation. They are the future of our organization,” said Jones. “If we can continue to educate young people we can continue to grow agriculture in our county.”