Florida Farm Bureau's NEWSLEADS

October 16, 2006

Newsleads is distributed electronically to media and other interested parties
By the Florida Farm Bureau Public Relations Division, phone (352) 374-1535.

Hoblick elected president of Florida Farm Bureau Federation
John Hoblick, a Volusia county fern producer,was elected President of the
Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the state's largest agricultural organization based in Gainesville, Fla. He was elected at the Federation's 65th Annual Meeting which concluded Friday, Oct. 13 at the Hilton Oceanside, Daytona Beach. Hoblick, who will serve a two-year term, succeeds Carl B. Loop, Jr. of Jacksonville, who retired after 23 years as president.
Rick Roth, who farms in the Belle Glade area, was re-elected Vice President. Michael Dooner of Gadsden County was elected Treasurer and Mark Byrd of Orange County was elected Secretary.
New members elected to the state board include Daniel Peterson, Esq. of Volusia County, Steve Johnson of Hardee County, and Brantley Schirard of St. Lucie County. Michelle Williamson of Hillsborough County joined the board following her election as vice chair of the state Women's
Leadership Committee.

Steve and Andrea Johnson named Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher
Steve and Andrea Johnson of Bowling Green drove away in a new Dodge Ram quad cab truck, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, as winners in the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s 2006 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) competition.
The Johnsons manage 3,232 acres in Hardee and Manatee counties. Johnson Groves and Farm, Inc. includes cattle and citrus with all aspects of the business being handled internally. They also own and operate Johnson Harvesting, Inc., which is not only a fruit brokering firm but also manages harvesting crews for their farms and others. The Outstanding YF&R competition rewards those involved in production agriculture who exhibit including leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community).

Michelle Williamson is new vice chair of Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee
Three women were elected and a new vice chair was named to the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Women’s Leadership Committee at the Federation’s annual meeting Oct. 11-13 at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort in Daytona Beach.
Michelle Williamson of Sydney was named new the vice chair. Elected to the committee were Ila Crocker of Plant City (District 5), Laurie Schuller of Scootsmoor (District 7), and Cindy Griffin of Davie (District 8). Virginia Paarlberg of Lee is the chair of the State Leadership Committee. Paarlberg and Williamson will serve on the Florida Farm Bureau board of directors. The Women’s Leadership Committee also includes Mildred Taylor of Lyn Haven (District 1); Betty Poucher of Live Oak (District 2); Kelli Hofer of Ocala (District 3); Norma Jean Parrish of Jacksonville (District 4); Brittany Phypers of Lake Placid (District 6); and Andrea Johnson of Bowling Green (Young Farmer and Rancher Representative).
The womens meeting was sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities.

Florida Farm Bureau honors L.E. McMullian and Howell Waring with the Distinguished Service Award
Florida Farm Bureau Federation honored L. E. “Junior” McMullian of Sneads and Howell Waring of Madison for their life-long service to agriculture at the Federation’s 65th annual meeting Oct. 11-13 at Daytona Beach. President Carl B. Loop, Jr. presented the Distinguished Service Award to McMullian’s wife, Sara, and Waring’s wife, Ann, and other members of their respective families.

David and Donna Harris win Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer & Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award

David and Donna Harris of Raiford will represent Florida in the national Young Farmer & Rancher Excellence in Agriculture competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting at Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2007. The Excellence in Agriculture Award is an opportunity to recognize farmers and ranchers under the age of 35 who do not derive the majority of their income from an owned agricultural operation. The Harris’ received the state award Oct. 13 at the Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting at the Daytona Beach Ocean Walk Hilton. The couple collected $1,200 as winners of the Florida competition. Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Kenneth Parker named Certified Crop Advisor of the Year
Kenneth Parker, a Certified Crop Advisor for Chemical Dynamics of Plant City, is the 2006 winner of the Florida Excellence in Crop Advising Award sponsored by the Florida Certified Crop Adviser Program and the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. He was nominated by Michelle Williamson of G&F farms in Hillsborough County. The farm produces more than 600 acres of strawberries and over 600 acres of vegetables.
Certified Crop Advisers assist producers in making decisions that are agronomically, economically and environmentally sound. To be certified, advisers must pass two comprehensive written examinations, meet professional and educational standards set by the American Society of Agronomy and maintain their certification through continuing education. They must also sign a code of ethics pledging to work in the best interest of their client. Together, a farmer and a CCA make a team that works to put good management practices to work on the farm.

Farm Bureaus share innovative programs through County Idea Exchange at annual meeting
Three counties presented their inventive and successful ideas and activities this week at the Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach. The winners of the 2006 Florida Farm Bureau County Idea Exchange were Escambia County Farm Bureau, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau and Okeechobee County Farm Bureau. The programs were recognized for their unique and resourceful ways county Farm Bureaus reach out to the public, their communities and their members.
Escambia County Farm Bureau’s activity was their inaugural Farm Tour held in October of last year. The purpose of the tour was to showcase the county’s farming operations for community, government and business leaders as well as increase the public’s knowledge of agriculture in the area.
Hillsborough County Farm Bureau shared their idea of “Working with your local government” via a “How to” video. The video is a documentary of techniques that can be used to train agricultural leaders, develop problem solving programs and influence policy.
Okeechobee County Farm Bureau’s program is a Young Farmer and Rancher Scholarship Barbecue. The barbecue, held on the county fair’s sale day each March, offers an opportunity to raise money for scholarships through the sale of dinners.