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Personnel note: Cheryl Flood is new State Fair director

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Cheryl Flood will move from interim to full-time director of the Florida State Fair effective immediately, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Tuesday.

Flood also had worked for Putnam when he was a congressman representing the state’s 12th Congressional District from 2001-11.

“Cheryl’s passion for the Florida State Fair’s mission and drive to see it succeed is unrivaled,” Putnam said. “I have the utmost confidence in her experience and ability to continue to make the Florida State Fair the best in the country.”

Flood also worked for then-Congressman Putnam as District Director and was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff, according to the release.

She was a legislative assistant before joining the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2002 as assistant director of legislative affairs, according to a news release.

Putnam left Congress in 2011 when he took over as Ag Commissioner, and Flood became the department’s director of external affairs.

Flood is a fifth-generation Floridian who “grew up on a cattle ranch east of Lake Wales and has dedicated her career to promoting agriculture,” the release said.

She graduated from the University of Florida’s Agricultural Leadership Education program with minors in Agribusiness Management and Sales, Agricultural Law, and Agriculture and Natural Resources Ethics and Policy.

The fair is held every year at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa; the next one is Feb. 9-20. Beginning in 1904, the event now attracts a half-million visitors.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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