Washington County holds 51st annual Farm-City Day Banquet

Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 08:26 PM.


Distinguished Service to Agriculture – Diane Webb

Diane Webb is no stranger to 4-H in Washington County.  Diane's deep love of animals and children started early, as she was raised on a farm with seven siblings and participated in 4-H during her childhood.  She first became involved in the Washington County Livestock 4-H Club to involve her children in a family-oriented social organization to help them build life skills and share the family love of animals.  She is a dependable constant at every Youth Fair and many events.  Diane's passion is being a 4-H Club Leader and helping the youth of Washington County to develop into responsible adults. 

Throughout her years volunteering with Washington County 4-H, she has been involved in many aspects of 4-H.  She assisted with judging teams for many years and took numerous teams to state and national competitions. Diane also coordinated the annual Youth Fair Livestock Show to ensure youth would have a place to exhibit their projects when the county was without a 4-H Agent.  She has coordinated with 4-H Alumni to teach showmanship workshops to share their knowledge with 4-H’ers.  One of Diane’s proudest moments was leading the Washington County Youth Fair 30th Anniversary which brought back 4-H veterans to share their 4-H memories with members old and new.  The daughter of Marilyn and the late Rev. Dave Saye, Diane is very grateful to have been raised in a loving Christian home which paved a firm foundation to her own walk with God.  Married to Wendell Webb for 36 years, they have lived 28 of those years in Chipley on a small, 20-acre farm where they raise Angus cows and a menagerie of cats, dogs and chickens.  She has been blessed with three children of whom she is very proud: Rachel, Corey and LynnZee, and is the proud grandmother of Ariel and Colton.  She is employed at One South Bank and is an active member of Blue Lake Baptist Church. 

Farm Family of the Year – Dennis Gainer Family

The members of the Gainer Family are lifelong residents of Washington County and currently reside and have their blueberry operation on the family home place.  Led by Dennis Gainer, Gainer Blueberry Farm is comprised of six acres of blueberry plants.   While working for the railroad in Georgia, Dennis noticed dense plantings of blueberries and thought he could raise extra income by producing blueberries on small acreage.  Originally, he planned to develop a traditional commercial blueberry operation of rabbit eye blueberries, but his work schedule got in the way of coordinating traditional harvesting.  Instead, he developed a U-Pick operation and has become part of the Northwest Florida agro-tourism industry exceeding his own expectations.  Individuals come to the Gainer Blueberry Farm not just for blueberries but for a day-long experience. 

Along with blueberries, he offers his customers watermelon and sweet corn so they can make a visit to his farm a complete agricultural event. 
Mr. Gainer has recently embarked on an expansion project to increase production to 10 acres. He is propagating many plants in his own private nursery but also purchases cultivars he needs.  Gainer Blueberry Farm is home to five different blueberry cultivars.  Ever the innovator, he developed a trimming machine that has increased the efficiency of his operation.  It is made up of flail mower parts attached to a central apparatus placed on a backhoe and is used to trim the plants between rows. All members of the Gainer family actively participate in the operations of the Gainer Blueberry Farm.  While Dennis is in charge of the production, his wife Connie is responsible for all paperwork, business details and advertising.  His son, Mitchell, and daughter, Alicia, help during the picking season especially in transporting customers out to the field from the entrance.

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