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The original item was published from 9/27/2021 1:51:02 PM to 10/23/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: September 27, 2021

[ARCHIVED] 55th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour

55th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour

The 55th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour tradition continues with a hybrid tour this year. The farm tour committee has been busy filming producers this summer and would like to share this with everyone. The video tour will be available on UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa Facebook page and the Santa Rosa County BOCC YouTube channel beginning Mon., Oct. 18. There will also be videos featuring the Farm Family of the Year, Wendt Farm & Nursery, as well as the Friend of Agriculture Award Recipient, Mr. Bill Seelmann.

In addition to videos, the Santa Rosa Farm Tour committee invites citizens to visit three local farms Fri., Oct. 22. Wendt Farm & Nursery will be featured as well as two traditional row crop farms. Attendees must pre-register online through the Farm Tour Eventbrite and be prepared to drive to the farm locations in rural Santa Rosa County. The farms will be open from 1 – 4 p.m. with producers and members of the farm tour committee available to answer questions attendees may have about local agriculture. A map of the farm locations will be sent by email on Thurs., Oct. 21. Attendees will be visiting working farms and should plan to dress accordingly.

Santa Rosa County agriculture generates $75 million per year and provides numerous jobs. The county’s population continues to become more removed from agriculture and the Santa Rosa County Farm Tour aims to help the citizens understand the value of agriculture and natural resources.

For more information, contact the Santa Rosa County Extension office at 850-857-2313.  
Organizing Agencies and Businesses include:
UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County 
Blackwater Soil & Water Conservation District
Farm Bureau Insurance
Farm Credit of Northwest Florida
Resource Management Service, LLC
Three Rivers RC&D
UF/IFAS West Florida Research & Education Center
United Bank
USDA Farm Service Agency

2021 Farm Family of the Year

The 2021 Farm Family of the Year was awarded to Wendt Family Farm and Nusery, which has three generations of hard workers and over three decades of experience. The 2021 Farm Family includes Earl and Janet Wendt, parents to William Wendt and Vickie Shiver. William Wendt is married to Joy and they have five children and four grandchildren. The Wendt’s are joined with other family members who also work on their farm, Wayland Nowling and Angela Nowling. The family enjoys participating in the Farm to City program that provides produce for families at Thanksgiving.

Wendt Farm and Nursery, a Santa Rosa County landmark, has been growing wholesome and delicious vegetables for 35 years. Once located on Chumuckla Highway before urban sprawl encroached upon the farm causing the family to move it 15 miles north into rural Santa Rosa County, on this farm, three generations of the Wendt family work side-by-side to produce the best locally grown sweet corn, peas, butterbeans, tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon, and other fresh produce to area customers both wholesale and retail.

The Wendt’s commitment to provide the best locally products coupled with the desire to better serve their customers resulted in building and opening a seasonal market located on the original farm site, 5191 Chumuckla Highway in Pace.

Growing 50 acres of vegetables in the Florida panhandle is not for the faint of heart and the Wendt Family has demonstrated their commitment to providing nutritious vegetables regardless of what weather conditions are thrown at them.

Beyond the vegetables grown on the farm, the Wendt Family also operates a two-acre greenhouse nursery where they have provided seasonal color for over three decades to the area. Wendt Farm and Nursery is known for growing Christmas poinsettias, Easter lilies, fall garden mums, and spring flowering plants, but few likely know that they also grow wholesale commercial vegetable transplants that are shipped to commercial vegetable farms all over the region. The latest endeavor at the nursery is hydroponic lettuce production where they produce the freshest leafy greens which are available at local retail produce markets.

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