The 1995 Winner: Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt
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.