President’s Column

By the time this issue of CFAN is published, Polk County Agri-Fest will have been in full swing with more than 4,600 students registered to attend over the eight-day event. Each year, students get to experience interactive sessions that feature citrus, beef, small farms, phosphate, forestry, and horticulture. I would like to say a special thanks to all of the volunteers who make this event a success each year. Educating Polk fourth-grade students about agriculture every spring is one of our most meaningful programs and all partners work hard to make the event impactful for our student attendees. Our thanks to the Polk County School Board, Polk County Extension Office, Polk County Board of County Commissioners, and the City of Bartow. A special thank you to this year’s Agri-Fest sponsors: Alcoma Caretaking, Florida Natural Growers Foundation, The Mosaic Company, and The Story Companies.

Members attended Florida Farm Bureau day in Tallahassee on March 8, meeting with our Polk legislative delegation and other state leaders and elected officials. Our special thanks to Senators Albritton and Burton, and Representatives Bell, Canady, Killebrew, and Tomkow for meeting with members on issues including fire tax exemptions and further greenbelt protections for agricultural land; the creation of the Farm TEAM (Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials) card, which will allow Floridians who have bona fide agriculture operations to apply for a card to show retailers when using Florida’s ag sales tax exemptions; and FDACS and UF/IFAS appropriations funding. 

Our farmer and rancher members in Polk and surrounding counties are invited to attend the Central Florida Ag Deputy Luncheon on March 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the W.H. Stuart Center in Bartow. Seating is limited, and registration is required to attend. For further information or to RSVP, contact Carole McKenzie at 863-533-0561, ext. 111 or You can also use your smartphone to scan the QR code below to register for the event.  A special thanks to event sponsors Agriliance, Kelly Buick-GMC, Lightsey Cattle Company, Magnatronix Corporation, The Mosaic Company, and the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association.

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The Polk Young Farmer and Rancher Committee announces the opening of the application process for the 2023 Will Putnam Young Farmer & Rancher Scholarship(s). This scholarship can range from $250 to $500 per recipient for graduating high school seniors who will be pursuing a career in agriculture. The application and required supporting documents list can be viewed at and on the Polk County Farm Bureau Facebook page. The application and all supporting documents must be submitted to Polk County Farm Bureau by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Please call or email Carole McKenzie at 863-533-0561, ext. 111 or to receive a copy of the application by email.

Wishing our hardworking youth and families a safe and fun Spring Break!



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Leigh Ann Wynn


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