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Loran Brookins receives Outstanding Agriculturalist Award from UF/IFAS

By Cindy Jo Ayers
Loran Brookins, Chiefland native and longtime President of the Suwannee River Fair was named 2020 Outstanding Agriculturalist by the University of Florida/IFAS.
Brookins has been involved with Agriculture for the past 50 years. He is the third generation to be involved with his family farm located just outside Chiefland. Following in his grandfather, Foster Brookins, and his father, Thomas Brookins farming footsteps.
Brookins has hosted IFAS field research at Lotoma Ranch. He is an advocate for Extension efforts, 4-H, and FFA. He is always working to implement new strategies to optimize production, stewardship and conservation.
Back in 2006 Brookins was elected to the Suwannee River Fair Board. He has served as Swine Superintendent, founding member of the horse show committee, and facilities manager. This is the same fair that Brookins participated in as a youth. In a spirit of giving back to the community and supporting all the youth of the Tri-County Area Loran Brookins has served as Suwannee River Fair President since 2008, a volunteer position. In 2012 Brookins helped with the building of the new fair barn facility. Helping the Joe Anderson family who donated the building with the planning and building project.
Brookins works at Billy Smith Watermelon packing shed during the season, where he monitors food safety certifications and implementation. He has also played a key roll in shipping there.
For many years he has served as a local spokesman for agriculture in the Tri-County Area. As well as hosting 4-H and FFA events at Lotoma Ranch.
He has been a longtime supporter of Extension programs. He currently serves on the agriculture advisory committee for Levy County and has previously served on the overall advisory committee.
Brookins and his wife Paige own and operate the Gathering Table Restaurant in Chiefland and the Treasure Camp Restaurant in Fowlers Bluff.
Brookins was nominated for this important award by Extension Agents from Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie Counties.