Ken Barton Family honored as Holmes County Agriculture Innovator

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 03:58 PM.

MARIANNA — Thirteen Innovative Farmers and Ranchers were recognized by University of Florida IFAS Extension and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida at the Jackson County Agriculture Conference Center in Marianna on Friday, Aug. 9.

This is the third year these two organizations have teamed up to honor an elite group of innovative farmers and ranchers in the Florida Panhandle. 

The Ken Barton family was recognized as the Holmes County Agriculture Innovator of the Year by Shep Eubanks, Holmes County Extension. 

The Barton family operates Barton Farms located near the Bethlehem Community. Barton Farms is a family business that produces cotton, peanuts, oats, cattle, and hay on approximately 1,200 acres.  The Barton farm is an excellent example of utilizing best management practices including crop rotation and integrated pest management in an agricultural operation.

In 2003, in addition to his farming activities, Barton became the Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association where he represents the peanut farmers of the state of Florida in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.  He has provided strong leadership to the organization and is heavily involved in research, promotion, and education as it relates to Florida peanut production, leading to innovation in varieties, cropping systems, and youth education.  Ken and Rhonda Barton are members of the Florida Peanut Producers Association, the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and Florida Farm Bureau Federation.

Barton has a distinguished history of working with Extension to promote timely research in peanut production, provide and facilitate funding for research, and participate in planning, promoting, and conducting producer field days and short courses.  Barton is a long-time member of the Panhandle Peanut Short Course planning committee and the Panhandle Row Crop Short Course planning committee and has served in an advisory capacity for Extension Agents in most of the counties across the Panhandle who are involved in crop production Extension activities. 

Locally in Holmes County, Barton has participated in Cotton Variety Trials over the years, and has been a strong supporter of local Holmes County Extension educational programs.  Barton has also supported and participated in youth educational activities in Holmes County including the annual Ag in the Classroom for Holmes and Washington County 5thstudents. 

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