Rooted in Resilience YF&R Spotlight: Matt and Kayla Gonzales

September FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Matt and Kayla Gonzales are first generation ranchers with a dream to leave a legacy for their children. The two got their first taste of agriculture when they joined FFA in high school, which is also how they met. As their love for agriculture (and each other) grew, they  decided to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. Matt received his bachelor of science in diversified agriculture. After finishing her associates in animal science at ABAC, Kayla received her bachelor of science in animal science with a focus on animal food production from the University of Florida. Kayla plans to finish her masters in agronomy in the spring of 2023.

After graduation, the couple moved back to Florida to pursue agricultural careers. Kayla is the office and data manager at Fenco Farms and Matt is the beef division manager at Sparr. In addition to their full time jobs, the Gonzales’ started an agricultural consulting service in 2021 and beef cattle herd of their own in 2018.

Kayla and Matt first learned about Farm Bureau through their district field representative and were founding members of the Levy and Gilchrist County Young Farmers & Ranchers groups. They enjoy participating in activities like Ag in the Classroom and the peanut and blueberry festivals held in Levy County each year.

“Farm Bureau provides really great opportunities to learn about different commodities and meet new people,” said Matt. “These connections have offered us the opportunity to expand our network and knowledge of agriculture.”

As first generation college graduates and agriculturalists, Matt and Kayla’s dream is to leave a legacy for their ten month old son, John David.

“When they announced the theme I thought that was a really cool theme because it really does resonate with us,” said Kayla. “We have to be resilient because there are a lot of obstacles, trials and tribulations that come our way. Being rooted in resilience gives us the strength to continue to put our efforts to being successful in our farming and ranching operations.”