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Farm Bureau holds Annual Meeting

By Cindy Jo Ayers
The 2019 Annual Gilchrist Farm Bureau meeting began with Gray Smith, the local Farm Bureau Board President welcoming the membership to the packed cafeteria. The meeting was held at Trenton Elementary School on Thursday evening, September 26.
Smith went over some of the accomplishments of the past year. He introduced the staff which included Danny Wirick and Ben Colson Insurance Agents. Smith singled out Ben Colson for a special recognition. As of the end of September Colson is in the top 5 out of 200 agents. He also introduced Melissa Green and Lenore Pevey, who are the CSR and County Secretary at the Trenton office.
Smith also recognized Earl Jones as Vice President, and Bill Martin as Secretary and Treasurer of the Board. Other Board Members are Kathy Jo Smith, Kim Martin, Ashley Jones as our Women’s Chair and Erin Jones as the Young Farmers and Ranchers Chair. Smith thanked the staff and board for all they do for the Gilchrist Farm Bureau.
Haley White, Tyler Harrington, and Peyton Smith were recognized for receiving this year’s scholarships. Harrington, a Trenton High School graduate spoke about his speech class and how his Farm Bureau Scholarship is helping him further his education.
Some of the highlights for the year were reported including Mr. Don Bennink of North Florida Holstein being inducted in the Florida Ag Hall of Fame back in February. Adam and Ashley Cook were congratulated for being the 2018 Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement in Agriculture winners for the state. Local cattleman Mark Bishop and Family were honored at the 2019 CARES banquet.
Bill Martin reported that the Gilchrist County Farm Bureau was in good financial shape.
Erin Jones reported that the next Young Farmers and Ranchers meeting will be held at Cook Farm on October 9, at 7 p.m. Jones encouraged all those involved with agriculture to join the group if they are between 18-35.
Ashley Jones spoke on behalf of the Farm Bureau Women’s Program, encouraged women to join the program and reporting that their next meeting is October 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Elle Cocina in Trenton. Ashley reported that the vision of the Farm Bureau Women’s Program is to have a group of women to meet and enjoy the company of others with a passion for agriculture while making a difference in their community. She talked about a program about agriculture that was presented in both Bell and Trenton Elementary schools last year. Anyone interested in the Women’s Program or the Young Farmers and Ranchers Program can contact Lenore 463-2298 for more information or to join.
Earl and Ashley Jones drew door prize tickets and handed out many nice Farm Bureau food items such as honey and nuts to those attending. Chris Ruggles headed up the Cake Raffle and several lucky winners took home wonderful locally baked cakes.
The Farm Bureau Membership learned that the yearly dues would be increasing from $35 to $45 this coming year. Smith said it looks like the last time dues were raised was back in the 1970s.
The evening closed with the drawing of the two $100 door prizes. Gilchrist County Tax Collector Michael McElroy and Ms. Lynn were the winners.

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