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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County Farm Bureau Federation appreciates elected officials


The Columbia County Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, a federation of farmers, hit a grand slam home run last night with its 6th annual Elected Official Appreciation Night Dinner. To see some of those the officials who attended, scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Board member Richard Jones, left, and Bureau Executive Director Kevin Morgan.

The Columbia County Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, a federation of farmers, hit a grand slam home run last night with its 6th annual Elected Official Appreciation Night Dinner. Almost every elected politician along with a few high placed appointed officials from Columbia County were there to bump shoulders with their brethren and be seen and pay homage to the Columbia County Executive Farm Board. When the Florida Farm Bureau Fed. Executive Director, Kevin Morgan told the assemblage that 2% (the farmers) feed the other 98% of the population, he very well could have been speaking about the evening's turn out.


Judge Leandra Johnson puts on her name tag as her husband looks for his and County Attorney Marlin Feagle signs in.

Mr. Morgan thanked the officials for turning out. He told the gathering, "We need people of high standards running for office."

He said that agriculture is still very important to the economy and mentioned that as he drove around the state there are people looking at organic, all-natural farming and direct marketing. He said that the Farm Bureau is looking for ways to support this.


Chief Judge Fina (left) talks with Sheriff Hunter. Judge Coleman standing and Mrs. Hunter, seated.

 

Mr. Morgan said the farmers make it possible for other folks not to have to spend all their time growing food, as the farmers do it for them.

Mr. Morgan pointed out that in Columbia County 4790 jobs, 17.7% of the total, were in agricultural and related industries. This translates into 13% of the gross regional product.

 

 


Former Rep., the popular Debbie Boyd, a farmer herself, received an award in recognition of her work for farmers. Her husband (left) and Com. Frasina (back toward camera).

Based on a 2007 USDA study, it is estimated that for every one dollar invested in agricultural research there is a return of $10 to the community.

Local Board member Richard Jones told the group, "Farmers have something to do with every aspect of your life."

For the sixth year in a row Wendell Bailey, the uncle of Columbia County Commissioner Stephen Bailey, did the cooking. Mr. Bailey told your reporter that he is at least a third generation of Bailey's farming in Columbia County.


Wendell Bailey (right) with his nephew Com. Bailey and a tray of Billy Nettles' sausage cooked to perfection. Wendell Bailey said, "Billy's sausages are the only sausages I cook, because they are the best."

Everyone was speaking about Wendell Bailey's food, which featured local sausage producer Billy Nettles' famous sausage and Florida grown corn.

Epilogue

As the local politicos wandered back to their cars with full bellies and having rubbed shoulders with their brethren, time will tell if they only came looking for a free meal and some votes, or if they left committed to the 2% of Americans, many of them family farmers in Columbia County, who fed them.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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