Get up close and personal with the intricacies of cotton and peanut farming at the 49th Annual Farm Tour happening Thursday.
The 49th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour will focus on Jay’s cotton farming community on Thursday, according to Michael Donahue, the SRC extension office director of the University of Florida’s IFAS.
“The focus of this year’s tour is cotton and right now is cotton harvest season,” Donahue said.
This year’s tour will feature the rural farming community of Jay, in which cotton happens to a popular crop of choice, along with peanuts. In addition to receiving insight from some of the top cotton produces in Jay, the tour will also visit the Jay research facility and the Golden Gin Warehouse, one of the two popular gins in the area. Attendees will also receive some peanut farming insight at Holland Farms.
Like the previous farm tours, Donahue said these tours assist in educating those unfamiliar with the county’s farming culture.
“We try to create more awareness and show the importance of farming,” he said.
The event will also be awarding those who have contributed to the county’s farming culture. Rick Hendricks will receive the 2015 Santa Rosa County Outstanding Farm Family on behalf of his family.
Hendricks is a fourth generation farmer who helps oversee nearly 2250 acres of farmland consisting of cotton, peanuts, hay and managing cattle, according to a program from the upcoming farm tour. In addition to taking on the family business, Rick is also serving as the current president of the Jay Peanut Farmer’s Cooperative.
With assistance from his sister, Vicki Laney, Hendricks is very appreciative of the labor and time his parents made in creating a farming operation to benefit the family’s current generation. Hendricks said his parents received the same award in 1983.
“I am so appreciative of the hard work and sacrifices they made to build this type of operation,” he said. “I am so thankful.”
Registration for the tour is limited due to the seating allowed on the transport buses.