Lee Wardlaw, [email protected]
GREEN COVE SPRINGS — In a grand event in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Clay County Farm Bureau and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences held their 50th Annual Farm City Luncheon.
More than 100 community residents were in attendance who enjoyed a hearty gourmet lunch served by Cowboys Barbecue of Archer, Fla. The menu featured pulled chicken with three different barbecue sauces, macaroni and cheese, a garden salad and bun, and sweet and unsweetened tea.
And while cowboys’ pulled chicken may well have been “lip-smacking,” the real reason Clay County residents were there was to hear speeches from prominent businessmen and elected county officials on important issues such as agritourism as a potential form of second income , taking advantage of the economic impact of kayaking, fishing and other world-class outdoor activities bestowed upon Clay County and the entire state of Florida.
Born and raised in Clay County, Middleburg resident Kelly Mosley is the owner of Amazing Grace Crop Maze and Director of the Florida Agritourism Association.
“I was thrilled to hear that agritourism was one of this year’s themes as it’s something that’s very close to my heart,” she said.
Mosley then spoke to residents about her career journey and the beautiful story of when she and her husband together decided to dive “headfirst” into the industry after one of the several leadership development conferences they attended during the process.
“We’ve been praying about this decision for a month,” Mosley said.
Another keynote speaker at the event was County Commissioner Mike Cella, who noted several facts and figures about how the tourism industry has helped rural Clay coffers.
“You may not be familiar with our tourism efforts, but it is a catalyst for economic development that is already having a major impact on our economy here in Clay County, and that fact is growing by the day,” he said.
The entertaining event also included an opening presentation with colors and singing of the United States National Anthem and a special farewell performance of “God Bless America” by (name).
More than 100 people attended the luncheon at the Cattleman’s Arena at the Clay County Fairgrounds.
Additionally, food donations were raised for those in need in the spirit of Thanksgiving, fundraising and the Clay County community.