Dade County Farm Bureau Hosts Impromptu Candidates Forum at 75th Annual Meeting - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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Dade County Farm Bureau Hosts Impromptu Candidates Forum at 75th Annual Meeting

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Posted: Thursday, October 5, 2017 9:56 pm

his week, Dade County Farm Bureau installed their 2017-2018 Board of Directors at the Women's Club of Homestead during their 75th Annual Meeting. Three of the candidates vying for the Commissioner of Agriculture were in attendance and spoke with the group.

     Representative Baxter Troutman was first to speak. Baxter is a fourth generation Florida farmer with a lifetime of experience working in the citrus and cattle industry. He has been the CEO for Labor Solutions, a personnel services company in Central Florida, for over two decades. From 2002-2010, he served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives serving House District 66. While in the Florida House of Representatives, Baxter was the Vice Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Environment & Natural Resources Council and Chaired the General Government Council. When speaking to the group at the Dade County Farm Bureau 75th Annual Meeting, Baxter said “Florida Agriculture is a major economic driver of our States economy and the Miami-Dade contribution is enormous.     Agriculture creates jobs, ensures a safe food supply and maintains greenspace for a healthy environmental balance. As a candidate for Ag Commissioner we must continue to protect, defend and promote Florida Agriculture and its impact on everyday life.”

     Senator Denise Grimsley was next to speak. Denise is a fifth generation Floridian and is involved in the citrus and cattle ranching industries. She is also a registered nurse and currently works as a Hospital Administrator for the Florida Hospital Wauchula and Lake Placid. She has served as the Vice President and COO of her family business, Grimsley Oil Company. Denise was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004 and served through 2012 and has served on the Florida Senate from 2012 to the present day. She is recognized in the Legislature as a key leader in sensible health care and agricultural policy development. She Chaired on the House Appropriations Committee and is currently Chairing the Senate Agriculture Committee. When speaking to the group, Denise stated, “I was encouraged to be in a room today with farmers today doing what they do best – adapting and overcoming. There is a resurgent spirit at work in Miami-Dade agriculture and across the state. Better days are coming.”

     Last to speak was Representative Matt Caldwell. Matt is a 7th generation Floridian whose family of farmers, small business owners, ministers and doctors have a history dating back to 1826. Currently, Matt is a real estate appraiser and has served his community through volunteered appointments to various governmental committees regarding financial oversight, audits, Everglades restoration, land use and transportation. Matt was first elected to the Florida House of Representative in 2010 and continues to serve to this day. He has served on several committees and has chaired both subcommittees and committees related to agriculture and natural resources. He currently chairs the Government Accountability Committee. While addressing the group, Matt said “This race boils down to three things: jobs, guns and water. We are the third biggest state in the nation, the most agriculturally diverse in the nation and we should be setting the terms on labor and trade.”

     Dade County Farm Bureau represents over 3,000 members. Dade County farmers provide an economic impact of over $2.57 billion to the local and state economy. Visit us at             

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