South Florida Fair Ag Zone Newsletter
Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube LinkedIn logo TikTok
Home > Kubota Agriplex > AG ZONE NEWSLETTER



The 2023 South Florida Fair was Dino-Mite!

The annual 17-day event couldn’t have been any better. We had record attendance and the weather was absolutely beautiful!

We had more than 2,000 registered entries with exhibitors showing cattle, swine, poultry, rabbits and goats. The Agriculture Area also featured a new twist on equine entertainment, “Hollywood Horses Tricks & Tales.”

The Mandatory Youth Exhibitor work days proved to be a great success and many exhibitors fulfilled the new requirement. Thanks to all who participated and assisted getting many things in place to prepare for the 17-day event. There were a total of 194 participants who gave more than 853 hours before opening day!


Discover the Outdoors participants in Yesteryear Village included: IFAS/UF, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the Cattlemen’s Association and the Florida Trail Association. These organizations were housed in the village’s historical buildings and exhibits.


The Sundy Feed Store is a staple during the South Florida Fair where the Western Farm Bureau offered locally grown vegetables. Fairgoers experienced educational exhibits and displays and could purchase items from the Rare Fruit Council and Bruce’s Ghost Pepperz offering locally produced jams, jellies, sauces and other delicious items.

The Mooternity was again a BIG hit. There were 9 “heifer” and 12 “bull” calves born with the first calf arriving on Opening Day!

New to the Milking Parlor this year was the Okeechobee County 4-H Association (the “Udder Bunch”). Club members showcased their dairy cattle, presenting and demonstrating to students during the School Explorations and to Fair guests.

School Explorations took place again on six days before the gates opened. Students from four counties visited, bringing 1,697 students, teachers/adults to our grounds.


The Scholarship Program awarded 21 students with funds exceeding $50,000.00 with four being agriculture focused.

Seniors graduating in 2024, don’t forget to apply beginning in August.

Finally, our Ag Team has a new home. The move in date was mid-February and we’ll be totally settled by next year’s Fair!


We will be continuing our endeavors to enhance the agriculture area and add new and exciting things. Please continue to check for IMPORTANT DATES and information on our website

We will soon be updating the information and show rules and regulations in the Premium Book. Watch for updates HERE.




Anna Guettler is a twenty-two-year-old resident of Fort Pierce, and recent 2022 graduate from the University of Florida, with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Sciences. She plans to further her education with a Master's in Agribusiness at Fort Hays University. Anna showed steers for four years at the Saint Lucie County Fair and continued her love for the show ring by becoming a member of the University of Florida Livestock Judging Team. She is very passionate about livestock and agriculture and looks forward to working with the Ag team at the South Florida Fair.


Check the Fair’s website for updates and important dates:
  • October 1, Online entries open for all Livestock and Small Animals
  • October 29, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Youth Market Hog Tag-in, South Florida Fairgrounds
  • November 5, 9 a.m. – 12 noon: Youth Exhibitor Ethics Training, Marketing Clinic & Livestock Health updates/requirements, South Florida Fairgrounds, register here.
  • December 3, 10, 17 and January 7, 2023: Mandatory Youth Exhibitor work days are from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Exhibitors must participate in one workday


from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
5C-4 Admission of Animals for Exhibition State Rule will be going into effect before our 2023 Show for all Exhibitions. ALL livestock regardless of age will need to have Official Identification (usually put in by Breeder) and must be accompanied with an OCVI (Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection – HEALTH PAPER).
For further information, visit


The Fair’s Facebook Livestock Exhibitors Group and other events happening in Agriculture.


Only online camping reservations are being taken for the 2023 Fair here. No day-of reservations will be taken. The reservation payment link will be sent to you once the registration form is completed and approved by the AgriBusiness Team.


All Things Outdoors will once again be featured in Yesteryear Village for the 2023 Fair. Participants include the Boy and Girl Scouts, Airboat & Halftrack Association, FWC, IFAS/UF, Bass Club, Cattlemen’s Association, and Herpetology Association.


Don’t forget to send a photo and bio to the South Florida Fair prior to December 1 to

South Florida Fair Scholarship Applications can be submitted until October 18, 2022, at midnight.

JULY 2022

Meet Paige Poole

A native Floridian and Palm Beach County resident is Paige Poole. You might recognize her from her previous role as manager of Yesteryear Village. As of July 1, Paige has been named the Fair’s Agribusiness and Community Relations Manager. She has been with the Fair since 2013.

Congratulations Paige!


Check this page for continued updates and important dates:

September 24, 10 a.m. – 12 noon: Youth Market Steer Tag-in and Weigh-in, Okeechobee Market Auction

October 29, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Youth Market Hog Tag-in, South Florida Fairgrounds

November 5, 9 a.m. – 12 noon: Youth Exhibitor Ethics Training, Marketing Clinic & Livestock Health updates/requirements, South Florida Fairgrounds

December 3, 10, 17 and January 7, 2023: Mandatory Youth Exhibitor work days


The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspectors office is further enforcing standing regulations for the upcoming Fair season. Ear tag numbers and official identification numbers must match for animals being exhibited. For further information, visit


Social media pages for the Fair’s livestock exhibitors and other events happening in Agriculture. Be on the look-out for them!


All livestock exhibitor camping reservations must be completed and paid in full on-line. No day-of reservations will be taken. The reservation link and payment link will be forthcoming.


The South Florida Fair is again featuring our 2023 graduating seniors in the AG area. Please submit a photo and bio to the South Florida fair prior to December 1 to


New to the enclosed AgriPlex are the installations of …Big Ass Fans! (Yes, this is the manufacturer’s name.) The SFF Team has been busy since the 2022 fair, making improvements throughout the fairgrounds. We hope this adds to the overall comfort while enjoying events in that area.

LegenDAIRY farmers in their own right

The Larson Family on the farm and at the South Florida Fair

Editorial note: The following article is reprinted with permission from the Florida Dairy Farmers publication. Founder and owner of Larson Dairy Inc., Louis “Red” Larson died on July 17, 2020. The family’s roots, support, and involvement with the South Florida Fair run deep with showing dairy cattle, providing cows for the Mooternity exhibit and dairy cows for the milking parlor educational exhibit.

Considered by many as the dean of dairymen in South Florida, Louis “Red” Larson started in the business as a teenager in 1942 looking for a summer job. He made $2 a day milking cows by hand.

After military service in World War II and college, Larson and wife Reda started their first dairy in 1947 west of Fort Lauderdale. A few years later they moved the farm to Palm Beach County and then to Okeechobee County in the 1960s. More than four decades later, the Larson name means dairy throughout the state. Red, his two sons and two grandsons own and operate several dairies, milking a total of more than 10,000 cows. They are Florida’s largest dairy family.

As testament to his leadership, Larson served on the USDA Dairy Advisory Committee during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and was instrumental in developing milk-marketing methods that benefit both the dairy industry and the consumer.

Now in his 90s, Red still checks his cows’ milking production and assures they are comfortable and healthy. He stays current with industry issues and trends.

“My dad is the youngest thinking old man I know,” says son Woody. “And I’ve been saying that for 30 years.”

Woody’s sons, Jacob, and Travis, each operate a Larson farm in Okeechobee. Woody owns farms in North Florida too, as well as beef operations. He is the president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

Red’s other son, John, also owns a dairy in Okeechobee County. In addition, he serves on the Florida Dairy Farmers board of directors and on the Dairy Management Inc. board, a national organization that represents dairy farmers across the country. As a member of those two groups, John has been actively involved with initiatives to increase dairy sales at McDonald’s and Dominos. He also strongly supports the Fuel Up to Play 60 program that combines schools, dairy and the NFL to promote health and fitness.

While successful, Woody and John and their families owe it all to the man who started it.

“There are only two ways you become a legend,” Woody says of his dad. “One is you live a long time or you do something really legendary. In his case, he’s done both.”

The Larson family has long been known for their vision of progression, viability, and sustainability.

It is no surprise that they are joining forces with San Francisco’s Brightmark Energy to develop a biogas project.

This innovative initiative will be featured at the South Florida Fair, January 29-30 to showcase how 230 tons of dairy manure per year from 9900 cows into renewable natural gas.

“Cows are the ultimate recyclers, creating wholesome milk from byproducts of the citrus, ethanol, brewing and textile industries. This technology now also allows us to convert manure to energy and improve the environment,” said Woody Larson in


Florida Guava no-bake cheesecake

Want something quick and easy for dessert tonight? Why not try Fresh from Florida’s Guava no-bake cheese?
Here are the details:

For the crust:
2 cups graham crackers
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons peanut butter, melted

For the topping:
½ cup Florida guava preserves, jam, or paste
1 tablespoons Florida Key lime juice
1 tablespoons water (as needed)

For the filling:
¼ cup Florida guava preserves
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until broken down into crumbs. Add the melted butter and peanut butter and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Press into a pie pan or other dish that can be refrigerated, pack tightly so that it will form a pie crust. Store in refrigerator until ready for filling.

Combine very cold heavy cream and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Whip or beat until stiff peaks form and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Mix topping by combining the guava preserves (or paste) and the lime juice. Melt over low heat until smooth, remove from heat and cool completely. If the mixture is too thin, add a tablespoon of paste until desired consistency. If the mixture is too thick add water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Using a stand or hand mixer combine the cream cheese and sugar. Mix until the cream cheese is completely smooth. If there are lumps at this point it is because the cream cheese was too cold. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for a few minutes and mix until smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, guava preserves and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Fold in whipped cream by hand until combined. Do not overmix. Pour cheesecake mixture into the chilled pie crust. The guava topping can be piped on, spread on using a spoon, or poured over entire cheesecake.

Allow to chill for at least 2 hours to properly set. Serve with more whipped cream if desired.


What style of boots will you strut at the 2021 South Florida Fair?

It is time to be putting the “spit shine” on your boots for the 2021 South Florida Fair!

What style of boots will you be strutting? Square toed? Round toed? Pointed toed? Steel toed? Will they be ankle height? Calf height? Knee height?
Will your boot soles have a message?

And who is your favorite boot maker? Ariat, Justin, Ropers, Tony Lama, Twisted X, Dan Post, Anderson Bean, Tin Haul?
And what are your favorite boots made of. Leather? Sea bass? Ostrich? Alligator? Snake? Singray? Elk?

Not matter the style, no matter the color, no matter the brand name, no matter the material that they are made from, our boots often tell the story about our love for western flare! But first, some background about cowboy boots.

According to Wikipedia, “Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a high heel that is traditionally made of stacked leather, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing.

“There are two basic styles of cowboy boots, western (or classic), and roper. The classic style is distinguished by a tall boot shaft, going to at least mid-calf, with an angled “cowboy” heel, usually over one inch high. A slightly lower, still angled, “walking” heel is also common. The toe of western boots was originally rounded or squared in shape. The narrow-pointed toe design appeared in the early 1940s.”

Wikipedia also tells us that “Many cowboy boots companies have been in operation since the 19th century. Each manufacturer has developed its own proprietary lasts for producing boots, which are considered trade secrets and are highly guarded. Because of this, fitting between companies is not always consistent. Each brand will fit a little differently from their competition. When considering wearing a cowboy boot from a different manufacturer, it is recommended to seek assistance from a knowledgeable merchant who specializes in cowboy boots if a person cannot try them on in person. Some wearers will swear by one manufacturer’s fit, while others will not perceive any difference between brands.”

Morale of the story, it is time to be getting your boots in shape for the Fair, January 15-31. We will look forward to seeing your social media posts with you and your boots. And if you know who made the song “These Boots are Made for Walkin,” famous, you might just be showing your age!

‘New’ Ag Office and location

If at Fairtime you are looking for the cabin that once housed the Fair’s Ag Office, look no more because in December of 2020 the structure was burned in a firefighter’s practice session. The Cracker House was removed due to structural compromises.

The “new” Ag Office, an in-progress renovated office trailer, can be found on the northeast corner of the Sundy Feed Store where the Ag Team will be based. The new location will also serve as the location for all livestock exhibitor check-ins.

The corner where the cabin has been located will be dedicated to educational and special exhibit space at fair time.

“We want to make good use of this space so that it’s a natural transition coming from Yesteryear Village into the ag area, and vice versa,” said Vicki Chouris, South Florida Fair’s President/CEO. “This will really serve as the gateway to enhancing the merging of the two areas and giving us the opportunity to do some things that we couldn’t in the past,” Ms. Chouris continued. “It will surely be a work in progress.”

Meet our sponsor: Farm Credit of Florida

The South Florida Fair is built and stands strong through its deep and valued partners and sponsors.Farm Credit of Florida, sponsor of the AgriPlex Show Arena, has been an integral partner with the Fair for many years, and in this month’s newsletter edition, we celebrate them and say Thank You!

Here is our interview with Farm Credit’s Ashley Layson, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President.

Tell us what you and your company sponsor at the South Florida Fair?

Farm Credit of Florida is proud to be the Livestock arena sponsor at the South Florida Fair. This is an important sponsorship to us because supporting the agricultural community with financing is what we do. We offer financing for farms, land, and homes. As a part of the Farm Credit System we can provide localized financial servicing and decision making on our loans and we are governed by farmers and business professionals in our own communities.

What do you like best about the South Florida Fair?

Our goal at Farm Credit of Florida is to walk alongside our hard-working members and help make their dreams come true. The same is true for the South Florida Fair. The children that participate in the livestock shows have a dream that they have worked very hard all year long to achieve. Seeing how preparation, hard work and a dream all come together to create special moments in the show ring for these children is our favorite thing about the South Florida Fair.

Why do you sponsor with us?

We choose to sponsor the South Florida Fair because we believe in supporting our community and our local agriculture.

Why do you believe that the South Florida Fair is still important and relevant in our community?

The South Florida Fair is very important to our community. Sometimes the fair is the only link to the farm for some families. At the fair they can get up close to chickens, cows, horses, goats, and pigs. They can watch the miracle of a calf being born, witness how farm animals are fed, bathed, and cared for and share in the joy of a job well done rewarded with ribbons and accolade.

What type of equipment sales are the most popular here locally at your business? i.e. farm equipment? Landscaper equipment? Home, lawn, and garden equipment?

We do not sale equipment, we finance the sale of land, homes, farms, and equipment.

How many customers do you service company-wide, and is agriculture a big part of your business clientele?

Farm Credit of Florida has 13 branches across the state of Florida, and we service around 3200 members. Our mission is to support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow. We know ag, we love ag, we are ag!

Where are the locations of your businesses? Is this a family-owned business? How many employees do you have company-wide?

Our branches are in Alachua, Arcadia, Homestead, LaBelle, Lake Placid, Live Oak, Ocala, Okeechobee, Palatka, Trenton, Vero, Wauchula, West Palm Beach. We are a cooperative, which means we are owned by our member/borrowers and they share in our profits each year. This last year we returned $13.5 million in cash to our members in Florida.

How has your business changed over the last 10 years? Where you see yourselves in the next 10 years?

Farm Credit began in 1918 with the sole mission of providing financing for rural communities and agriculture. Today this is still our mission. The only thing that has changed is the technology we use to service these members more efficiently, thankfully the rates have changed (lowered) as well! In 10 years, even in 100 years we will still be serving our rural and agricultural communities. You cannot find another financial group that understands agriculture the way Farm Credit understands agriculture.

Back to