Statewide Meeting Was a Diamond Celebration

Nov. 3, 2016

AnnualMeetingOrlando, Fla.—More than 600 grassroots members gathered at the Caribe Royale Orlando Resort, Oct. 26-28 to celebrate Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s 75th anniversary.

Florida Farm Bureau voting delegates discussed and approved policy resolutions submitted by county Farm Bureaus throughout the state. The resolutions were adopted as policy for 2017.

The meeting included award and recognition programs to honor outstanding young farmers and ranchers, state lawmakers and the accomplishments of county Farm Bureaus and individual members for their distinguished service to agriculture.

The following awards were presented at the annual meeting:

Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement in Agriculture Award: Doug and Deanne Carter (Suwannee County)

Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award: Dean Cheshire (Alachua County)

Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet Award: Trevor Murphy (Highlands County)

Youth Speech Contest Winner: Maddie Dvorak (Polk County)

Newsperson of the Year Award: Katrina Elsken (Okeechobee County)

Volunteer Communicator of the Year Award: Susan Hendry (Clay County)

Certified Crop Advisor of the Year Award: Frank Dowdle (Palm Beach County)

Legislator of the Year Award: Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Halsey Beshears and Rep. Matt Caldwell

Team Player Award, Freddy Pitts (Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison and Taylor County)

Distinguished Service Award: Ron Wetherington, (Hillsborough County) and Marilyn Grant (Marion County)

Farmer of the Year: Paul J. DiMare (Miami-Dade County)

Ag-Environmental Leadership Award: Alliance Dairies (Gilchrist County), Cherrylake (Lake County) and Jones Potato Farm (Manatee County)

A history hall displayed historic items donated by county Farm Bureaus in honor of the organization’s 75th anniversary.

Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest general agricultural organization, represents more than 145,000 member-families. We serve to enhance farm enterprise and improve rural communities.