North Santa Rosa

Bruce Holland honored as an Agriculture Innovator by UF/IFAS Extension and Farm Credit

Bruce Holland honored as an Agriculture Innovator by UF/IFAS Extension and Farm Credit

On Friday August 17th, 13 Innovative Farmers and Ranchers were recognized by University of Florida IFAS Extension and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida at the Jay Community Center in Santa Rosa County.  This is the second year these two organizations have teamed up to honor a selection of the top innovative farmers in the Florida Panhandle.

Bruce Holland was recognized as the Santa Rosa County Agriculture Innovator of the Year by Santa Rosa County Extension Director Mike Donahoe and Agriculture Agent John Doyle Atkins.  Bruce Holland operates Holland Farms located near the Allentown Community.  Holland Farms is a diversified business that produces fresh produce, green peanuts, and is involved in agro-tourism with their pumpkin patch and other fall events.  The farm is a family affair with all the members of the family involved in different activities.  BJ Holland, Bruce’s son and the farms manager, is responsible for starting the hay ride and the haunted hay ride last year.  Bruce’s daughter Julie, a high school business teacher, helps out with the farm’s bookkeeping and maintains their website and Facebook page.  Bruce’s brothers Charles and Melvin also assist in the daily operation of the farm.  Whether it be in producing, marketing, adding value to existing crops, developing agro-tourism venues, or promoting agriculture they have led the way. Bruce says the key to their success is simply “we like people, I like visiting with folks.  When they come to our farm we go out of our way to make sure they feel welcomed and have a good time. It’s a long way out here to the farm and we want to make it worthwhile to the people who come.”

From this distinguished pool of 13 farmers, an “Innovator of the Year” was selected to represent Northwest Florida.  This year Larry Ford, of Malone, who represented Jackson County was selected as the Farm Credit of Northwest Florida Agriculture Innovator of the Year.  Ford is well known as an excellent cotton, peanut, corn and cattle farmer.

The purpose of the Agriculture Innovator Recognition Program is to annually recognize innovative farmers and ranchers from 16 Florida Panhandle counties, from Jefferson west to Escambia County.  UF/IFAS County Agriculture Extension Agents nominate one honoree from each county that are recognized at the annual awards luncheon.   Bringing these top-notch farmers together for the event, will further innovation.  Highlighting these creative and successful farmers will also help increase awareness of the diversity and innovation of today’s modern agriculture.  By sharing the story of the highlighted farmers and ranchers with local and regional media, the general public will gain a new appreciation for the business of agriculture in their area.

For more information contact:  Blake Thaxton at 850-623-3868 between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm weekdays.  Hearing impaired individuals may call Santa Rosa County Emergency Management Service at 983-5373 (TDD).  Or you may email him at .

Posted by on Oct 2 2012. Filed under Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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