Our Story

In 1995 the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, in cooperation with several other organizations, took part in the Hillsborough County Agriculture Task Force, a county-appointed agricultural advisory board.  The charge given to this group was to first determine the current state of agriculture in Hillsborough County and then make recommendations to improve the industry’s economic sustainability.  To demonstrate the current state of the industry, the Task Force commissioned an economic impact study.  That study revealed that agriculture had an economic impact of $1.5 billion per year on the county, provided a tax surplus to the county and that the opportunity cost of agriculture could compete very well with development.

Based on the revelations that came out of the study, the Task Force recommended that the Hillsborough County initiate an Agriculture Industry Development Program to ensure that a positive business atmosphere exists to promote the continuation and expansion of agriculture in Hillsborough County.  The Task Force also recommended that the county form the Agriculture Economic Development Council, comprised of agribusiness, local chambers of commerce, government, industry and business leaders.  The Agriculture Economic Development Council and the Agriculture Industry Development Program both began in April 1998.  The purpose of the Council is to provide recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on agriculture-related matters and provide guidance to the Agriculture Industry Development Program.

Hillsborough County Farm Bureau has been very active in this organization. The County Farm Bureau President has permanent position on the Council, along with other Farm Bureau Board of Director Members with appointed seats.

The partnership between the Hillsborough County Agriculture Industry Development Program, the Hillsborough County Agriculture Economic Development Council, and the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau is a model for encouraging the long-term continuation of agriculture.  As we sustain agriculture, we will continue to enjoy rural and wide-open spaces, wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge, economic diversity in the community, a net surplus in tax revenues and access to a fresh food supply.  That’s what sustainability is all about.

Board of Directors

Dennis Carlton, Jr.  President

Jake Raburn, V-Pres.

Tony Lopez, Treasurer

Buddy Coleman, Secretary

Carl Bauman, Member at large

Christina Andrlik

Jake Cremer

Tiffany Dale

Carson Futch

 

Jim Frankowiak

Chip Hinton

John Joyner

Rep. Lawrence McClure

Sambahv

Vincent Tort

Michelle Williamson

Gayle Yanes

Judi Whitson, Executive Director

January

HCFB Board meeting


February

Florida State Fair

March

Farm Bureau Legislative Trip to Tallahassee

HCFB board meeting

Florida Strawberry Festival

April

HCFB board meeting

Ag-Venture Field trips

Ag Literacy Day in schools

FFB Women’s Conference

 

May

Youth Speech Contest

Ag-Abilities

HCFB board meeting

Field to Hill trip to Washington

June

HCFB board meeting

AITC Teacher workshop

FFA Conference

National AGITC Conference

August

HCFB board meeting

September

HCFB board meeting

 

Our Year at a Glance

October

HCFB Annual Meeting

Ag-Venture Field Trips

FFB Annual Meeting

November

Farm City Week

HCFB board meeting

December

HCFB board meeting

The majority of our events are executed by our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Judi Whitson @ Judi.Whitson@ffbf.org

Agriculture has a long tradition in Hillsborough County, from cattle introduced by the early Spanish explorers to the strawberry industry in the Plant City area, and the national reputation of Ruskin tomatoes.  Agriculture has historically been Hillsborough County’s largest single industry. Despite the perception that Hillsborough is an urban county, 34 percent of its land area is farmland.