AS THE CLOCK WINDS DOWN toward Election Day, I cannot stress often enough the importance of each of our votes on November 6. As with any election, our very livelihoods and quality of life are at stake. Our current economic and regulatory climate will not support the businesses, employers, and employees who are striving for efficiency and increased productivity through the innovative technological measures you will read about in this issue.
Polk County Farm Bureau recently held its 70th Annual Meeting and Political Forum. Candidates from local, state, and national campaigns were on hand to speak with members both one-on-one and through addresses to the audience. We were pleased at this meeting to announce a 3.86 percent increase in our membership. Now at over 4,600 members, the Voice of Polk County Agriculture is stronger than ever. Your membership in PCFB is truly an investment in your business as we continue to keep the best interests of our industry and its positive economic impact top of mind with elected and regulatory officials. We were also proud to present a significant contribution to Warner University’s developing Agriculture Degree Program scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013. We believe strongly that agriculture education and development of future industry leadership must be an industry-wide priority. We appreciate those of you who were able to attend this year’s meeting and, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions, concerns, and input. I also would like to say a special thanks to our 2012 Annual Meeting sponsors, Mosaic and the law firm of Peterson & Myers. With their support, we are able to have a great program and wonderful meal.
We also recently held our bi-annual Polk County Ag Tour in partnership with the Polk County Extension Office. Over 50 local candidates, their representatives, and local regulatory staff enjoyed visits to the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Fruits and Vegetables, the UF/IFAS Citrus and Education Center and experimental grove, and the Urban Tropicals Aquaculture Farm. While several tour locations had to be cancelled due to inclement weather, attendees reported an enjoyable and informative experience. Our special thanks to attendees, our presenters, and sponsors of the event — Mosaic, Regions Bank, and the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association.
As we move fully into the new season, Young Farmer and Rancher members are making preparations for Farm City Week (November 16-22), and the annual PCFB Holiday Hayride (December 14 and 15). Be sure to mark your calendar for these events.
column by LESLIE W. DUNSON, III
Leslie W. Dunson, III, is president of the Polk County Farm Bureau.