59th Annual Farm City BBQ

farm-city-bbq-logoBusiness and agricultural leaders prepare to celebrate what has become known as a favorite Thanksgiving tradition in Collier County.

Fifty-nine years ago, the national Farm City Council was formed in an effort to help bring together business and agricultural communities. Their goal was to help show the interdependence of a vibrant network of farmers helping support the economy and provide the basic essentials that every business owner needs. From the truck driver, to the rancher, to the grocery store clerk, to the futures broker and the biotechnologies, we all play an important role in making sure that Americans have access to a healthy and abundant supply of food, fiber, and natural resources.

BBQIn Collier County, the Farm City BBQ was formed in a similar way. The old timers remember when Collier County’s farmers had a bad year of crops. The business leaders reached out to the farmers, inviting them for a BBQ and sharing in the little produce that was available so that their families wouldn’t go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. A year later, the farming community wanted to reciprocate the hospitality so they invited the business leaders for a BBQ in the “country”.

Mayor John Sorey, Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards and State Attorney Stephen Russell

Mayor John Sorey, Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards and State Attorney Stephen Russell

As the years have passed, the farming practices have evolved to meet the growing demands of our nation. They have become more high-tech and interdependent with the
business community, that also continues to grow in Naples. But, the relationships still run deep at the Farm City BBQ where there are no suits or formal titles, just good friends that you greet with a hug.

“With technology, we are more plugged in than ever and yet more separated. The Farm City BBQ helps connect us in the most important way – through a handshake and
a hug with an old friend,” said Stephanie Kissinger, 2014 Farm City BBQ Chair.

Over the past decade, the Farm City BBQ has grown from 600 guests to over 2,100 guests who share in the traditional steak and Immokalee Salad. And while the roots of the Farm City BBQ are about developing those relationships, the organization has grown to support future leaders in our community through four non-profit organizations.

School Board Members Pat Carroll, Roy Terry and Barbara Berry

School Board Members Pat Carroll, Roy Terry and Barbara  Berry

In recent years, more than $200,000 has been donated back into our community through the Collier County 4H Foundation, Youth Leadership Collier, Collier County Junior Deputy League, as well as the Collier chapters of Key Club International. Funds have helped support the progress of these organizations in providing hands-on classroom education from elementary through high school students. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds have helped kick-start the development of the Junior Deputy’s Camp Discovery and well as providing scholarships for sending emerging leaders to the Key Club District Leadership and Education Conference.

When you go, you can look forward to a sizzling hot steak, corn, and baked beans served by our local elected officials. Bring some extra money to participate in the raffle of
prizes donated from area businesses including a grand prize – the Big Green Egg Grill!

Date: Wednesday, November 26th
Time: 11:30am-2:00pm
Location: Collier County Fairgrounds
Cost: Tickets are $20.00 and include a steak
dinner, Immokalee Salad, corn, baked beans and
complimentary beer, wine and sodas
Tickets are available on www.FarmCityBBQ.com

Proceeds benefit the:
• Collier County 4H Foundation
• Youth Leadership Collier
• The Collier County Junior Deputy League
• Key Club International
If you go, look like a regular.
• Proper attire are Cowboy Boots, blue jeans and
your best Cowboy Hat.
• Buy your Veggie Bag early – as they often sell out.
• Bring a friend to share in the best Thanksgiving
Tradition in Collier County!

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