BONIFAY, Fla. - The Florida Farm Bureau is the largest non-profit agricultural organization in the state. Thursday night Holmes County members gathered for their annual meeting but there were some very special guests in attendance.
"Agriculture is a major impact, a major economic impact on the people of Holmes County," said President of Holmes County Farm Bureau Jeremy Rolling.
Hundreds of Holmes County farmers gathered for their annual meeting to review and celebrate the year. Business went as usual with the exception of two very important guests showing up.
"We've got two state wide candidates here running for commissioner of agriculture. That's a big deal for a small county in the panhandle to have two state wide candidates stop by," said Rolling.
State Representative Matt Caldwell and Senator Denise Grimsley stopped in to meet with local farmers and promote their candidacy.
"I am a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in the central part of the state. I am a nurse, a hospital administrator, a business owner, a citrus grower and a current state senator," said Senator Grimsely (R)
"My passion has always been for agriculture and natural resources, it's what I've worked on for the last seven years in the Florida house. I've championed every major issue that we've dealt with in that time," said Representative Caldwell (R)
Both candidates brought different issues and experiences to the table.
"As I travel the state I ask farmers what are the things they are dealing with, what are their concerns, and they really are these federal issues that never seem to get addressed, immigration labor, dealing with free trade and NAFTA, environmental regulations," said Representative Caldwell (R)
"Well one of the things I've done as a state senator is to work for businesses and small businesses particularly and farmers to try to reduce the bureaucracy of state agencies, and that's actually the reason I ran because I was running our company and realized how government impacted our day to day life," said Senator Grimsley (R)
They will continue to promote their candidacy around the state in the coming months. Currently there are four republican candidates and one democrat. The primary election will be next august.
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