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HomeBusiness & CommunitySuccessful 8th Florida Agriculture & Wildlife Expo

Successful 8th Florida Agriculture & Wildlife Expo

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The 8th Florida Agriculture & Wildlife Expo (FAWE) was held March 23 through March 30, 2024, at the Florida Forest Service’s Rock Lake Cattle Demonstration Area at 8132 Croom Rital Rd. The FAWE features youth livestock shows and sales as well as a Professional Cowboy Association (PCA) Rodeo Friday and Saturday.

Speaking about working with the Florida Forest Service FAWE president Deanna Naugler stated “that this has been a great partnership.” She remarked that Forestry has been very supportive of the organization and the youth livestock exhibitors. They assisted with building a show barn, retrofitting an additional well, seeding the area that is used by the organization, putting in additional water lines, fencing, etc.

The Florida Agriculture & Wildlife Expo (FAWE) was formed in 2015. They have picked up partners along the way. Naugler explained, “In 2022, the Hernando County 4-H and Brooksville Sr. FFA organizations parted ways with the Hernando County Fair and joined forces with the FAWE. This was the third year that the youth livestock shows and sales were hosted by FAWE.”

She recognized that since joining forces with FAWE, the youth have experienced an increase in the sale prices for their livestock projects. This year, 33 steer, 49 swine, and 25 pullet projects were auctioned off. Not one swine went for under $5.00 a pound, Steer for under $4.00 a pound and a pen of pullets for under $225.00 a pen. The buyback price of swine was set at $.42 a pound and steer was set at a record-breaking $1.66 a pound and pen of pullet buyback was set at $75.00 cage.

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The FAWE also hosted a PCA nine-event rodeo held on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. The proceeds raised from the rodeo are used to support the Youth Livestock Shows to assist in building infrastructure.

Youth livestock ambassadors Hunter Fraccica, Raven Perkins, Daniel Staub, Annabelle Simmons, Leigha Haney and Marissa Fincher rode at the beginning of the rodeo to present the American, 4-H and FFA flags as well as our Diamond sponsor flag for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram of Brooksville and our Gold Sponsor flags for, Lowman Law Firm and Ranch Hand Feed Depot. Ag Ambassadors who did not ride but whom Naugler would like to recognize are Kylee Joyner, Robert Albee III, and Caden Smith.

Many other businesses and community members also contributed to the event from donating shaving for the youth livestock to purchasing the animals. Livestock shows are often an introduction to agriculture for the next generation of farmers.

Overhead view of FAWE event. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Overhead view of FAWE event. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Youth working their swine during the show. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Youth working their swine during the show. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Getting ready for the pullet sale. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Getting ready for the pullet sale.
[Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Youth exhibitors kick off the show. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Youth exhibitors kick off the show. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Saddle Sisters Equestrian Drill Team of Brooksville, FL perform. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]
Saddle Sisters Equestrian Drill Team of Brooksville, FL perform. [Courtesy photo, FAWE]

Rocco Maglio
Rocco Magliohttps://www.roccomaglio.com
Rocco Maglio is a co-founder of the Hernando Sun. He grew up in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High. He then worked in technology for starting in the early 1990s. He was fascinated by the potential of the Internet even though at the time there were not graphical browsers. He recently earned a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Cybersecurity.
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