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Roy Wilson stepping down as County Farm Bureau President after 48 years

By Cindy Jo Ayers
Mr. Roy Wilson turned over the gavel during the 59th Annual Meeting. After 48 years as the Gilchrist County Farm Bureau President, Mr. Wilson has decided to retire. Some 168 people were on hand to hear Mr. Wilson make the announcement at the Annual Gilchrist County Farm Bureau Meeting held Thursday, September 27, in Trenton.
Mr. Wilson recalled that Gilchrist County Farm Bureau was chartered in October of 1959. Mr. J.W. Miller was the first president, J. J. Brialmont was the vice-president, Atha Wooley was secretary-treasurer, Emmie O May and L.B. Nicholson were both Directors.
Executive Director for Florida Farm Bureau, Bob Richardson, presented Mr. Wilson with a plaque and thanked him for his years of service to Florida Farm Bureau. Mr. Wilson joined the Board of Directors of Gilchrist County Farm Bureau in 1963. He became the Vice President in 1968 and became County President in 1970.
Then Mr. Wilson was surprised by a video including well wishes from many who had worked with Mr. Wilson though the years. Included in the video was the State Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick. While describing Mr. Wilson’s attributes Hoblick said, “He is a stern and quiet leader, when he spoke everybody listened.”
Longtime former local Farm Bureau agent Larry Merritt said “Mr. Wilson had been my mentor for many years and he meant the world to me.” He went on to say that Mr. Wilson was always there for advice and he was always a very giving man. Merritt recalled a time when the county office was struggling and Mr. Roy Wilson put up his own money to keep the office open for several months many years ago.
Bob Richardson, longtime friend and Executive Director for Florida Farm Bureau, said, “Mr. Roy has impacted agriculture a great deal in the state.”
The new Gilchrist County Farm Bureau President and longtime friend, Gray Smith, talked about his service to his church and community. He described Mr. Wilson as a perfect example of an unselfish generation who put others before themselves.
After the video Mr. Wilson said, “I didn’t think y’all could slip this by me but you did.” Mr. Wilson said, “Thank you so much, as you look back it has always been a team effort, it took us all to get it done.”
Not only did Mr. Wilson retire but also several longtime board members retired. William and Helen Roberts, and David and Marjorie Mikell resigned from the board.
The new President is Gray Smith, Earl Jones Jr. is the Vice President, and Bill Martin is the Secretary-Treasurer. Other new board members are Kim Martin and Kathy Jo Smith.
Heather Beach of Trenton was presented a $50 check for winning third place in the state Farm Bureau Photo Contest. Other highlights of this year were the scholarship winners Taylor Harrington of Trenton High and Halie White of Bell High School. Florida Farm Bureau also presented three tobacco scholarships to Rebecca Douglas, James Woods and Aubry Welton, all received $1000 scholarships.
As always, a lot of good Farm Bureau products were given out as door prizes to those attending the event. The $100 door prize winners were Karen Peterson and Lynn Ditullio.

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