North Santa Rosa

49th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour

 On Thursday, Oct. 29, around 200 local officials and area citizens participated in the 49th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour. During the day-long bus tour they learned first-hand about agriculture and its importance to the local economy. This year’s tour highlighted our county’s cotton industry where participants saw how cotton is grown, harvested and processed at the gin. Stops on the tour included the UF/IFAS WFREC Jay Research Farm, Smith Farms, the Jay Community Center for lunch and presentations, Golden Gin and Warehouse, and Holland Farms.


An annual highlight of the tour was recognition of the “Outstanding Farm Family of the Year”. Rick Hendricks and his wife Nina, along with sons Brant and Rush, and daughter Tessa, accepted the award from County Commissioner Don Salter. Tiffany Bates, District Representative for Congressman Jeff Miller, also presented the family with a Congressional Record proclamation honoring them for their accomplishments. The Hendricks are fourth generation farmers. Their farm has grown over the years and is now comprised of three operations totaling nearly 2,250 acres of farm land, which includes cotton, peanuts, hay, and a 200 brood cow herd.


A special “Friend of Agriculture” award was presented to the family of the late Tim Russell of Jay. After 12 years of service to his county in the Army, Tim returned home in 1979 and began a lifelong service to agriculture and his community. He worked 31 years managing the buying of peanuts for local farmers and for many years ran the only Golden Peanut buying point in Florida. Mr. Russell also provided services to many small farmers and landowners by buying local pecans and providing custom harvesting of wheat and soybeans.


The Farm Tour is organized each year by the Santa Rosa Farm Tour Committee, comprised of representatives from various agricultural support agencies in the county. The tour would not be possible without the help of numerous supporters and corporate sponsors.


The Farm Tour Committee would like to thank the following area businesses for helping sponsor the tour this year and making it a huge success: Birdsong Peanuts, Burkhead Gin Company, Coastal Machinery, Crop Production Services, Escambia County Bank, Escambia River Electric Coop, Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, Floyd Crop Insurance, Golden Gin & Warehouse, Griswold Peanut Company, Gulf Power Company, Jay Peanut Farmers Coop, John L. Burkhead Inc., Lowry Farms, Publix, Resource Management Services, Santa Rosa County Farm Bureau, Smith Tractor Company, Three Rivers RC&D Council, T.R. Miller Mill Company, and United Bank.


For more information, please contact Extension agent Mike Donahoe at (850) 623-3868 or

Posted by on Nov 25 2015. 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

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *