Nov. 14-21 is Farm-City Week

OKEECHOBEE — County proclaims Farm City Week.

The Okeechobee County Commissioners have proclaimed Nov. 14-21 as Farm-City Week in Okeechobee County.

At the Nov. 8 county commission meeting, Okeechobee County Property Appraiser Mickey Bandi said the Farm-City lunch will be at the KOA on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will feature presentations by local 4-H Clubs. Guest speaker will be Future Farmers of America State President Artha Jonassaint.

Mickey Bandi (left) presented Okeechobee County Commission with a gift basket in honor of Farm-City Week, as Okeechobee County Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs (right) presented the proclamation for 2018 Farm-City Week. Photo by Katrina Elsken.

In many parts of the country the places where the food is produced and the places where the food is consumed are vastly different, he said. Farm-City weeks help educate the “city” residents about where their food comes from.

According to researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, agriculture and related sectors generate an economic impact for Florida of $127 billion annually. This sector also employs more than 1.35 million jobs in our state in 2010.

Florida produces nearly 300 different commodities, making it one of the most diverse production agriculture states in the nation. Without question agriculture is a cornerstone of our material security.

The Okeechobee County proclamation states:

“Florida farmers and ranchers help feed the “world by producing a bounty of nutritious foods. To do this, they rely upon essential partnerships with urban and suburban communities to supply, sell and deliver finished products to consumers across the U.S. and around the globe;

“Rural and urban communities working together have built our nation’s rich agricultural resources so that they contribute to the health and well‐being of our country and to the strength of our economy.

“During National Farm‐City Week, we recognize the importance of this cooperative network. Agriculture employs more than 2 million workers, including farmers and ranchers, shippers, processors, marketers, retailers, inspectors and others who contribute an annual impact of $133 billion to Florida’s economy.

“They perform their daily work, farmers and ranchers preserve freshwater recharge areas, wildlife habitat and green space. The consumers help farm families maintain their natural resource conservation practices by purchasing Florida agricultural products. We commend the many Floridians whose hard work and ingenuity provide us with food abundance and reflect the true spirit of our state and nation.”

Mr. Bandi also challenged the commissioners to participate in the Farm Bureau’s 10-Gallon Challenge.

He said the challenge is to purchase 10 gallons of milk and provide it to a local food bank.

For those who do not wish to buy and deliver the milk themselves, Okeechobee Farm Bureau is accepting donations for the challenge. Farm Bureau will take care of getting the milk to the food banks, at a cost of $38 for 10 gallons of milk.

He challenged Okeechobee County Commission to donate 10 gallons. The commissioners accepted the challenge and agreed to donate at least 10 gallons each.

Mr. Bandi said there is always a great need at the food banks for perishable items such as milk.

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