Florida Public Utilities Help Sponsor Farm-City Week Events
Working together with the Central Palm Beach County Chamber, Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau and the Hispanic Chamber of Palm Beach County, Florida, Florida Public Utilities helped celebrate Farm-City Week by sponsoring a Zoom luncheon that hosted a round table discussion with local growers, farmers and producers as well as the distribution of gift boxes of Palm Beach County grown vegetables, rice and sugar products.
Palm Beach County leads the nation in the production of sugarcane, fresh sweet corn, and sweet bell peppers and leads the State in the production of rice, lettuce, radishes, Chinese vegetables, specialty leaf, and celery. According to the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service, Palm Beach County’s estimated $1.38 billion in total agricultural sales, leads the State of Florida and all counties east of the Mississippi River, and is one of the ten largest county agricultural industries in the United States.
Farm-City Week was born in 1955 when Charles Dana Bennett, a businessman from Vermont and Merle H. Tucker, Chairman of the Kiwanis International Agriculture and Conservation Committee, were seated together on a train headed from Chicago to Washington, D.C. The two men discussed how net farm income was declining due to increasing farm costs, debts and property taxes and what a poor public image agriculture had with the general public. Other challenges talked about in their conversation included the unbeneficial strong urban influence on agricultural policies and a growing population with no direct ties to agriculture. To Charles and Merle, it seemed that farmers and city people were drifting farther apart and to improve the situation, they felt that positive public relations between farmers, growers and ranchers and city dwellers must be encouraged. Mr. Bennett made these issues public and soon after, the National Farm-City Committee was created and coordinated by Kiwanis International. The Kiwanis coordinated Farm City events until 1988 when the American Farm Bureau Federation assumed the responsibility.
Today, Farm-City Week is celebrated nation-wide the week before Thanksgiving and is used to celebrate, support and recognize the beneficial partnerships between rural and urban communities that help ensure we have a safe, nutritious and plentiful food supply.
Tom Snellgrove, FPU Commercial Sales Acct Manager assists Mary Lou Bedford, Executive Director of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce with gift box distribution for Farm City week.
Lyn Cacella, FPU’s Growth & Retention Planning & Development Manager, Tom Snellgrove, FPU’s Commercial Sales Account Manager and Ann Holt, President of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, help distribute live vegetable plants to attendees of Farm City week.
Tom Snellgrove, FPU Commercial Sales Account Manager and Lyn Cacella, FPU Growth & Retention Planning & Development Manager help distribute produce gift boxes to attendees of Farm City week.