Highlights of the 2013 Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Nov. 14, 2013

Delegates at Florida Farm Bureau’s 2013 Annual Meeting unanimously re-elected John Hoblick as the organization’s president. Hoblick, a Volusia County fern producer, has served as Florida Farm Bureau’s chief executive since 2006.

In other business action at the meeting Orange County nurseryman Mark Byrd was re-elected as the state Farm Bureau board secretary. Rod Land, a Lafayette County dairyman, was re-elected as the board treasurer.

Dan West of Manatee County was welcomed to a seat on the state board of directors. He will represent District 15. West is the manager of the Manatee County Fair.

Ginny Paarlberg of Madison County was re-elected as chair of the FFB State Women’s Leadership Committee.
Reed Hartman of Martin County was elected as president of the Florida Farm Bureau State Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Group.

Young Farmers and Ranchers Competitions

Okeechobee County dairy and beef cattle producers Jacob and Danielle Larson won the Achievement in Agriculture Award. This award is based upon their outstanding success as agriculturists as well as service on behalf of Farm Bureau and their larger home community.

Nick and Kiley Larsen of Palm Beach County took home the Excellence in Agriculture Award. They earned the title through their farm operation management, understanding of issues that involve agriculture and their community service. The award is for YF&Rs who do not receive a majority of their income from their own farm or ranch.

Amanda James of Union County won the State Discussion Meet with her ability to examine public issues, work with peers and formulate effective solutions to problems or challenges.

Distinguished Service Award

Florida Farm Bureau’s highest honor was presented to Jesse Godbold of Clay County. The long-term educator and county Farm Bureau leaders received the Distinguished Service Award for his exceptional work in support of agriculture and training for young people.

Youth Speech Contest Winner

Bridget Sullivan of Orange County delivered a sparkling address and captured the State Youth Speech Contest.

Legislator of the Year Awards

Florida Farm Bureau presented Legislator of the Year awards to state Sen. Wilton Simpson and state Rep. Holly Raschein. Both were instrumental in leading a most successful effort at implementing policies supportive of agriculture and other private enterprise during the 2013 legislative session.

Farm Owners Recognized for Superior Natural Resource Management

Three agricultural operations received the Florida Agriculture Commissioner’s Agriculture-Environmental Leadership Awards for their conservation of natural resources: Farmton Tree Farm, based in Volusia and Brevard counties, Ferris
Farms Inc. of Floral City, and Kissimmee Park Properties, LLC of St. Cloud.

Pat Cockrell Lifetime Achievement Award

Former Florida Farm Bureau General Counsel Scottie Butler received the Pat Cockrell Award, bestowed upon a FFB employee who has devoted a lifetime of good service to the organization.

Team Player Award

Ray Timmons, agency manager at the Dade County Farm Bureau, was named FFB Team Player because of his superior leadership in working with both the Federation and insurance company.

County Farm Bureau Membership Recruitment

Success at recruiting new members won awards to both the Volusia County Farm Bureau (for the largest number of new members) and Santa Rosa County Farm Bureau (for the highest percentage of growth).

Newsperson of the Year

Mike Dill, editor of the South Dade News-Leader, was selected as FFB’s Newsperson of the Year for his excellent practice as a journalist and his reliable coverage of contemporary agriculture and the people who make it a success.

Crop Advisor Award

James Shine of Belle Glade, well regarded for his advice and expert plant production knowledge, claimed the Excellence in Crop Advising Award.

For more details about each category of awards, click here.