Polk County Farm Bureau delegates recently attended the Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting to represent our members at the “Growing Forward” themed event. In addition to resolutions adopted as policy for 2024, the meeting included award and recognition programs to honor outstanding young farmers and ranchers, state lawmakers, county Farm Bureaus and individual members for their service to agriculture. Congratulations to Polk member Jason Watts of Florida’s Best Farms for being selected as Florida Farm Bureau’s Farmer of the Year! In addition, Polk County Farm Bureau was recognized with the following awards:
- Excellence in Legislative/Policy Implementation
- Excellence in Public Relations
- Excellence in Organization & Management
- Excellence in Education/Agriculture Promotion
- Excellence in Leadership Development
Heading into the holiday season, Thanksgiving is a time when many Americans gather with their families and reflect upon many blessings. One of those blessings is a nutritious and diverse food supply produced by our farmers and ranchers. We also benefit from other agricultural products that provide clothing, housing, medicines, fuel and other products we use on a daily basis. These basic necessities are available to us because of a broad partnership of farmers, ranchers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, scientists, wholesalers and retailers. Our collaborative partnerships help maintain our standard of living. In appreciation of our farm-city partnerships, the President of the United States annually proclaims the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day as National Farm-City Week. Florida agriculture, natural resource and food industries employ more than two million individuals and annually contribute $149 billion to Florida’s economy. We encourage our fellow citizens to pause for a moment this holiday season and consider the many diverse and healthy foods available to us. Neither the farm nor the city can exist in isolation. Our interdependence creates jobs, markets and relationships that build our economy and support our collective security. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the farm-city relationships that have allowed us to create an outstanding quality of life for all Floridians. Please join us in celebrating Farm-City Week, Nov. 15-22, as we give thanks for all that we enjoy.
In celebration of Farm-City Week, the Polk Young Farmer and Rancher Committee is once again sponsoring a Farm-City Week Essay contest for 4-H and FFA students in ninth – 12th grades. This year’s essay topic is “How are modern agricultural practices and new technologies increasing efficiency and lessening negative environmental impacts?” The winner will receive recognition in our publications and a $100 Visa gift card! Applications are due by December 15 at 5 p.m. to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the application on the Polk County Farm Bureau or Polk Young Farmer and Rancher Facebook pages, or contact Sarah True at 863-533-0561, ext. 112.
I have enjoyed being your President these last two years. Thank you for working with me as we all promote agriculture in our beautiful county! Best of luck to our next President Michael Matteson – I know you will serve us well.
Leigh Ann Wynn