1995 Winners:
Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt, of Clewiston, and Patricia Robbins, of Miami

Two women -- Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt of Clewiston and Patricia Robbins of Miami -- were selected to receive the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award for 1995. They are the 11th and 12th recipients of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. This is the first time in the 11-year history of the award that two women were selected. These women exemplify the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work that have contributed so much to sustain promote Florida’s $6 billion agricultural industry. Their selfness efforts are helping preserve agriculture in the Glades area and feed the hungry throughout Florida.

Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt, of Clewiston

Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt has lived in farming area around Lake Okeechobee for more than 50 years. She owned and operated a restaurant in Clewiston prior to marrying Edward Frierson in 1963 and moving to the family farm in Glades County.

After Mr. Frierson died in 1973, she took over daily management of the family’s 700-acre sugar cane farm in conjunction with her nephew and brother. She was also vice president of a four-family cooperative, Sugarcane Harvesting Inc., which was a leader in the area in converting from hand-harvesting to total mechanical harvesting of sugar cane.

In recent years, Platt had dedicated her efforts to preservation of the Everglades and Glades farming through organization of Ladies of the Lake U.S.A (United to Save Agriculture). She organized the group of farm and area women in 1992, when she saw the future of agriculture in the Glades area was threatened by proposals to restore the Everglades. The organization now has more than 500 members.

Generally working quietly behind the scenes, Platt had organized and participated in countless meetings and trips to Tallahassee and Washington to present the views of farming and the local community about Everglades issues to legislators and others.

Her initiative in organizing the Ladies of the Lake has created an effective voice for the thousands of farmers and families in the Glades area. Her absolute conviction that farming is vital to our communities, to our state and to our country has made a strong and lasting impression on many throughout Florida and across this country.

Platt was a charter member of the Everglades chapter of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE), a national, non-profit organization dedicated to helping farmers obtain profitability in agriculture. She has been a effective leader in efforts to preserve an economically viable agricultural industry and the communities it supports in the Glades area. She has also provided substantial personal and financial support and leadership to her church and numerous civic organizations.

Patricia Robbins, of Miami

Patricia Robbins is a lifelong resident of Florida who grew up on a farm in Dade City and is now contributing her talents to Farm Share Inc., a non-profit food recovery and distributing organization based in Dade County.

As a teenager, Robbins used a part-time job in a bank, working after school and on weekends, to save $500 to plant an orange grove. She also parlayed that experience into an eight-year career in banking.

Later married and living in Dade City, Robbins worked in public relations and management positions with a chain of seafood restaurants until the family bought a wholesale seafood company in Miami.

After retiring from that business, Robbins volunteered in 1992 to help Farm Share get organized after she read a newspaper article about the fledgling effort to distribute blemished but wholesome produce to the hungry. The idea for Farm Share originated with Dave Friedrichs, general manager of a Homestead produce packing house, and Kristin McGregor, former Dade County Farm Bureau director. They gladly accepted Robbins’ offer to help and since then, she has devoted her efforts, time and talents to serving without pay as vice president and executive director of Farm Share, which operates out of the Florida City State Farmers’ Market.

Robbins coordinates the collection of fresh produce donated by farmers and packing houses and it’s distribution to organizations that feed the hungry throughout Florida and some other states. Since its inception, Farm Share has distributed millions of pounds of wholesome produce that otherwise would have gone to waste. She has contributed tremendous energy and dedication to mare sure Farm Share is a success. And even more remarkable, she has done all this on volunteer basis.

Robbins, herself, got a new perspective on the plight of the homeless and hungry when her house was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. But throughout the rebuilding process, she continued to devote her time to the Farm Share program. "I intended to volunteer one day a week, but my heart got into it." Robbins said of her motivation for dedicating so much effort to Farm Share. "There are so many hungry people and so much food available, all that is needed is to get the two together."

Robbins is also active in other charitable, civic and religious organizations in South Florida. She received the "Florida’s Finest" award from Gov. Lawton Chiles, which honors Floridians "who make their communities significantly better through dedication, hard work and good ideas."


About the Award This Year's Winner Previous Winners Nomination Criteria
Nomination Form
The "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award is sponsored by the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Charles H. Bronson, Commissioner
and the Florida State Fair Authority