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Gwen Graham announces “North Florida Farm Tour” next month

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham announced what a spokesman called a “huge district event” Tuesday: The freshman congresswoman will tour more than a dozen farms in her Panhandle district to highlight agricultural issues.

Graham’s “North Florida Farm Tour” will make stops in all 14 counties in her 2nd Congressional District, which runs from Madison to Bay counties in North and Northwest Florida

The Democrat plans to kick off the event with a panel discussion with special guest Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on Jan. 19 at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

The topic of the panel will be “The Next Generation of Agriculture” according to a flyer released by Graham’s office. It will focus on the status of women, minority, and veteran farmers.

Afterward Graham plans to spend five days meeting with farmers and agriculture experts to learn more about contemporary farming techniques and challenges, in keeping with her “North Florida Way” district-driven focus in Congress.

Graham sits on the House Agriculture Committee, the only Florida Democrat to do so in the 114th Congress.

Graham also plans to perform two of her signature “Workdays” along the way of her barnstorming district tour on a cattle farm and a nursery.

She follows in the footsteps of her father, Gov. Bob Graham, who began doing full shifts of work with Floridians periodically in 1974, as a Florida Senator.

“The Second Congressional District is the most rural in our state,” Graham said in a statement. “Our farmers and rural communities are the backbone of North Florida, and I’m excited to kick off 2016 with a Farm Tour focused on the issues that affect them.”

Though Graham became intimately familiar with her district as a vigorous campaigner in 2013 and 2014, she is expected to be drawn out of CD 2 when new House maps are enacted ahead of 2016 elections.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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