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Local officials honored at state meeting

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

From Wednesday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Oct. 26, Madison County's very own Farm Bureau representatives and leaders attended Florida Farm Bureau Federation's 77th state annual meeting, which took place at Renaissance World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.

For 77 years, the annual convention has highlighted its organizations' efforts over the years. This year, a lineup of fantastic break-out sessions, ceremonies and a showcase of member benefits proved to be an interesting opportunity to see how Florida Farm Bureau makes a difference for Florida agriculture. With over 146,000 member-families, Florida Farm Bureau is the state's largest general agricultural organization. This year's theme was "honoring tradition, leading change."

On the first day of the convention, on Wednesday, Oct. 24, Jeffrey Hamrick, Madison County Farm Bureau president, was awarded the 2018 President's Award during the President's celebration and awards banquet, given by none other than John L. Hoblick, Florida Farm Bureau State President. It was noted that Hamrick and the Madison County Farm Bureau achieved their membership quota and the award was given for excellence in legislative/policy implementation, public relations/information, organization and management, education/agriculture promotion and leadership development.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, during a member breakfast, Lindsey Lawson accepted the Farm Bureau Buyer's Club Award of Excellence, in membership, on behalf of the Madison County Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau Buyer's Club is a membership benefit. Lance Braswell, Farm Bureau Agency Manager for Madison County, as well as Lafayette, Jefferson and Taylor Counties, was awarded the District 2 Team Player Award. The award, presented by President John L. Hoblick, was given in honor of Braswell's work to enhance the Florida Farm Bureau Federation services and programs for the benefit of Farm Bureau members.

Additionally, Ginny Paarlberg, Chair of the Madison County Women's Leadership Committee, was awarded the Women's Fund Award, presented by Women's Leadership Committee State Chair, Sarah Carte and State Vice-Chair Danielle Daum. According to the Florida Farm Bureau, the Women's Fund Award was first established in 1974 to collect and distribute funds to non-profit hospitals to care for kidney patients. Since that time, the fund has expanded its support to include other health issues, particularly those that affect women and children. More than $200,000 has been raised and donated to various causes since it's inception. The Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee was established to aid the organization in its efforts to effectively use women's talents to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Farm Bureau organization.

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation has offices in 60 Florida Counties, including Madison County, working with the mission to increase the net income of farmers and ranchers, and to improve the quality of rural life. For more information, contact the Madison County Farm Bureau office by calling (850) 973-4071. The Madison County Farm Bureau is located at 233 W Base St., in Madison.

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