Tied to Ag: Jorin Ouwinga

April 2024 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Jorin Ouwinga
YF&R Leadership Group, Western Palm Beach County, District 9

Jorin Ouwinga grew up in northern Michigan’s Missaukee county, where he was surrounded by farms and rural life. His grandparents on both sides were farmers, which influenced his interest and involvement in farming. He started working on the farm when he was thirteen and has stayed connected to it ever since. 

He got his Bachelor of Science in agribusiness management from Michigan State University, then moved to Florida to pursue his MBA at the University of Florida. 

After spending two years in Gainesville, Ouwinga relocated to Loxahatchee, a small community in western Palm Beach County. He works as a supply chain manager for Florida Crystals in the procurement department, using his skills to handle the challenges of the agricultural industry. 

Besides his professional work, Ouwinga has also enjoyed the fellowship of Farm Bureau. 

“I like interacting with others who have a common goal; to educate the community about agriculture,” said Ouwinga. 

His involvement with Farm Bureau goes back to his childhood; his parents were active members, creating an early connection to the organization. 

During his college years at Michigan State University, Ouwinga kept his involvement going by joining the collegiate Farm Bureau. When he moved to Florida, he was introduced to the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program when he met Kevin Lussier, an active member of the Alachua County YF&R Leadership Group, during a sales call. 

As members of the Alachua County YF&R group, Ouwinga and his wife, Gabi, helped with the establishment of the Alachua County Food & Agriculture Festival, held in downtown Gainesville at the Cade Museum in the fall. 

“We were part of the first group that organized it,” said Ouwinga. “Gabi and I were pretty involved in that.” 

Despite the demands of his professional life, Ouwinga remains close to agriculture in different ways. From having a backyard farm with chickens and bees to selling products at the office, he actively raises awareness about agriculture’s essential role in our daily lives. Even within an agricultural company, he understands the need to educate others about where their food comes from.