Ag Finalists Achieve Sustainability and Leadership

June 9, 2015

Three finalists have been selected for Florida Farm Bureau’s 2015 Achievement in Agriculture Award and will compete in October for the top statewide honor.

This year’s finalists are Trevor Bass of Alachua County, Brittany Lee of Alachua County and Doug and Deanne Carter of Suwannee County.

Bass has been a successful row crop farmer for more than 10 years. A 4th generation farmer, Bass owns and operates Bass Farms, Inc., in Newberry, a diversified operation of crops including watermelon, peanuts, tobacco and timber. Bass is an innovator in natural resource conservation. He uses wastewater from the fish ponds to fertilize tobacco fields and reuses seed mill waste as cattle feed.

Brittany Lee is the vice president and farm manager of Florida Blue Farms, which blankets 270 acres and includes a Southern Highbush blueberry plantation in Orange Heights.  The family- owned farm is committed to sustainability and implements various practices to improve water quality.

Doug and Deanne Carter own and operate Carter Farms, a 500-acre environmentally-friendly poultry and beef cattle farm in McAlpin. The farm produces 1.2 million chickens annually. The couple utilizes the most up-to-date technology to conserve energy and water resources. A computerized system monitors the temperature of the poultry houses, water usage and consumption, feed and electrical usage of the farm.

The Achievement in Agriculture award recognizes members of Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program who excel in their involvement in agriculture, leadership abilities, Farm Bureau activities and other civic and service organizations. Applicants are between the ages of 18 and 35 and apply as individuals or as couples.

“We are proud to recognize the young farmers and ranchers who have proved themselves as leaders and are making a positive impact on Florida agriculture,” said Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick.

The Achievement in Agriculture award finalists will prepare a 120 minute presentation to showcase their operation during Florida Farm Bureau’s 2015 Annual Meeting at Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Oct. 28-30.

The winner will be announced at the annual meeting and will receive a brand new 2016 Chevrolet Silverado courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. The recipient will also receive an all-expense paid trip to the 2016 American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, held Jan. 10-13 in Orlando, to represent Florida in the national competition.