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Agriculture Press Release

January 10, 2001

Helen Houck named "Woman of the Year in Agriculture"

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that Helen Houck has been selected to receive the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award for 2000.

Houck, of Perry, is the 17th recipient of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

"For more than 40 years, Helen Houck has displayed the true spirit of a volunteer," Crawford said. "A lifelong advocate of agriculture, she has worked energetically to educate young people about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. She is an inspiration to all those with whom she has worked over the years."

A native of Florida, Houck grew up on her familyís cattle ranch in Taylor County. She and her husband, Ernest, own and operate a 1,200-acre farm and ranch, with 100 acres of hay, 300 acres of pasture and approximately 500 cows.

Houck has been active in numerous activities representing agriculture on the county, district, state and national levels. Through the years, she and her husband have hosted many school groups on their farm for tours. In addition, she has visited numerous classrooms over the years to discuss topics relating to agriculture and works with 4-H clubs.

Houck is a charter member of the Taylor County Farm Bureau, which was organized in 1957. She has been a member of the board of directors since 1970, served two terms as the organizationís president, and has been womenís chairman since 1974.

She has served on the Florida Farm Bureauís board of directors, served as district womenís chairman for 10 counties since 1970, and served on the State Womenís Committee since 1975.

Houck has also served on the board of directors of the Taylor County Adult Meals Program for more than 10 years.

The "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority. Crawford is scheduled to present the award to Houck on February 8 during the opening-day luncheon at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Tickets for the event are available by calling the fairgrounds at 1-800-345-3247.

Previous winners of the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award are:

  • 1999 Vina Jean Banks, of Balm
  • 1998 Nancy Gurnett Hardy, of Winter Haven
  • 1997 Gertrude "Trudy" Carey, of Hillsborough County
  • 1996 Norma Stokes, of Highlands County
  • 1995 Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt, of Clewiston, and Patricia Robbins, of Miami
  • 1994 Anne Wardlaw Dickinson, of Frostproof
  • 1993 Sarah W. Bailey, of St. Johns County
  • 1992 Carol C. Murphy, of Volusia County
  • 1991 Ruth M. Tucker, of Brevard County
  • 1990 Jeanette Barthle, of Pasco County
  • 1989 Belle Jeffords, of Alachua County
  • 1988 Carolyn Reed Kempfer, of Osceola-Brevard counties
  • 1987 Dorothy Conner Shipes, of Lake County
  • 1986 Ruth Wedgworth, of Belle Glade
  • 1985 Jo Ann Smith, of Marion County

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