Tied to Ag: Jake Pendergrass, Hardee County

June 2024 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Jake Pendergrass is no stranger to Farm Bureau. He grew up on his family’s cow/calf operation in North Alabama and moved to Florida when he was 12 years old. 

After relocating to Florida, Pendergrass spent his teenage years helping on the family’s citrus grove in Zolfo Springs. He was involved in FFA and showed cattle, participated in citrus and livestock judging and held leadership roles such as chapter reporter and vice president. 

Pendergrass received his degree in citrus and horticultural sciences from Florida Southern College and currently works as a loan officer for Farm Credit. He continues to help on the family farm and manages a small herd of his own commercial cattle, including South Poll, Brangus and Red Angus breeds. 

His father served as the state Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Group (YF&R) chair for the Alabama Farmers Federation (Alfa) and later served on its county board before moving to Florida. Observing his father’s involvement in the organization made it an easy decision for Pendergrass to join himself. He serves as the Highlands County YF&R treasurer and representative for District 9 on the state leadership team. 

“I love getting to hear the stories of other farmers across the state of Florida and advocating for them,” said Pendergrass. “Agriculture in Florida is under attack and being able to help grow the industry is what I like about the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. It’s just a great organization and everybody involved deeply cares about farmers and ranchers in our state.” 

Pendergrass enjoys being involved in his county and educating the community about the importance of agriculture. He is proud of the annual Ag Fest hosted by Hardee County Farm Bureau during Farm-City Week in November. This outreach event educates community members about agriculture in the area.  

“I’m tied to agriculture because of my love and passion for the agricultural industry in Florida,” said Pendergrass. “Being able to carry on the heritage of being an agriculturalist is what keeps me tied to ag.”