2015 Woman of the Year in Agriculture – Lisa Hinton

2015 Woman of the Year in Agriculture – Lisa Hinton

(Rooster crowing)>>NARRATOR: Florida has a
long agricultural history. And educating the public
about the importance of agriculture is key to
maintaining this rich tradition. For Lisa Hinton,
this has been her passion. Whether teaching classes, helping develop educational
programs at county and state fairs, or working
with organizations like FFA and 4-H, Lisa has
spent a lifetime promoting agriculture. An innovator,
leader and trailblazer, Lisa Hinton exemplifies
what it means to be a role model — particularly
for young women — and her efforts have changed the
way agriculture is viewed today.>>NARRATOR: Lisa and
her four siblings represent the fifth generation of
Florida farmers in her family. They were
raised on a farm in Trilby, a small town in central
Florida. Her parents, Frank and Charlotte Tomkow,
ran a seed harvesting and cattle operation.
And, at an early age, Lisa began helping out
on the family farm. >>LISA HINTON: When we
were young enough, we worked in the seed barns
processing the seed. And when we got old enough,
our dad would put us on the combines and we drove
combines all over the state of Florida.>>NARRATOR: While in school Lisa and her sisters were
very active members of 4-H where they competed in a
wide variety of events. Lisa excelled in the
sewing competitions, where she made and modeled
her own clothes and won the State competition with
her demonstration Turkey Talking Time which
was based on her love of hunting and
fishing. Then, in 1970 the Future Farmers of
America opened membership to women, and a young
Lisa Hinton jumped at the opportunity to join. >>JOE KIRKLAND: Lisa said I
want to be a member, and I
want to be a state officer one day. And I
said well, Lisa, thatís great. I think it
will happen for you. And we knew right off that Lisa
was something special.>>NARRATOR: Lisa excelled in
youth competitions. Her understanding of
agriculture grew and her accomplishments with FFA
eventually proved Lisa to be one of the organizations
most talented members. In 1972 Lisa decided she
wanted to run for an FFA state office position;
something no other woman had done before. >>LISA HINTON: We campaigned.
I mean, we campaigned. We had campaign posters. We had campaign fliers. We
had business cards. We would travel to as many FFA
banquets as we could and meet as many people as we
can. And it was quite an experience. Just the
process of running for state FFA office
was wonderful. >>JOE KIRKLAND: She ran for
state secretary and was elected that year. She was
the first female officer elected in the
state of Florida, Florida FFA Association.>>NARRATOR: Just two years after being elected
state secretary for FFA, Lisa saw an opportunity
to run for a national FFA officer position as one of
the first eligible female candidates.>>LISA HINTON: Amazing
experience to be running against the
best of the best in every state across the United
States. And it was a grueling five days of
interviews. And it was an experience and I learned a
lot. And while I didn’t become an officer, somebody
has to break the ice. And girls now have held
many offices in the FFA.>>NARRATOR: In 1974, girls
were finally eligible to receive FFA’s
highest honor, and Lisa was one of the
first four females to earn the American Farmer
Degree. But that wasn’t her biggest prize that
year.>>LISA HINTON: Ironically, I
received the American Farmer from my husband, who was then
a national officer. >>BOB HINTON: We met
through the FFA. I guess it was my senior year and we saw each
other at some FFA activities.>>LISA HINTON: I first set my eyes on him when he was a
state FFA president. Of course every girl in the
state had her eye on him at that time. But that’s when
we first started dating.>>NARRATOR: After high school
Lisa and Bob attended college at the University
of Florida where Lisa graduated with a Bachelor
of Science Degree in Agricultural Education. After
college, Bob and Lisa got married
and moved to Dover. Bob began farming with his
family and Lisa started her first job teaching
agriculture classes at Eisenhower Middle School.
A year later she began teaching at East Bay High
School where Lisa and her students were asked to
design a petting zoo for the State Fair.
Impressed by her work, Florida State Fair chairman
Doyle Carlton Jr. offered her the job of director of
agri-business. Taking the same path as his father
Doyle Carlton III joined the Florida State Fair
board in 2003 and in 2011 he too was elected
chairman. >>DOYLE CARLTON III: Each year
at the fair we will have about a thousand
kids that are participating in some type of livestock exhibits
or competitions. Lisa had direct oversight over all
of those programs. You could walk around the
fairgrounds with Lisa, and it was kind of like
being with a rock star as far as the kids that
she had impacted over the years. >>NARRATOR: During
Lisa’s 24 years at the Florida State Fair she was
integral in developing many successful programs that
helped educate children about Florida agriculture.
One such program, Ag-Ventures, brings
children in from the local community to teach them
about where their food comes from by giving
demonstrations and providing hands-on
activities.>>VINA JEANBANKS: We started
out with one track and went to two tracks, to three
tracks, to four tracks. And each track has five
different stations
where the kids come, and they’re
all third-graders from Hillsborough County.
They come and they learn different things about
agriculture.>>NARRATOR: A veteran of
livestock competitions, having grown up showing
steers at the Pasco County Fair and the State Fair. Lisa noticed a disturbing
trend at fairs. The participants seemed to be
rewarded not for the amount of work they put in, but
rather for having better access to higher-quality
livestock. With the development of the Champion
of Champions and the Steer Futurity programs,
the focus of livestock competitions moved from
the animal to the child’s efforts. >>SAUNDRA TENBROECK: We
developed a Steer Futurity
where Florida Cattlemen participated, would donate
cattle to the program. The youth were able to meet
those cattlemen. Those cattle were brought back
to the fair and shown. And then, through the futurity,
those kids would get paid based on achievement
in record books, in a skill-a-thon, in
illustrated talks and demonstrations, interacting
with the public.>>TOM UMIKER: We went to a
program and Lisa developed the program when we were
beginning to raise grand champion students and
exhibitors versus the focus being so much on the
animal. The animal was a vehicle to raise grand
champion students. So it didn’t matter if you
were showing a chicken or a steer, It wasn’t the
size of the animal, it was the ability of the
student to keep track of records and to exhibit the
animal and to also learn about the animals
and the other parts of agribusiness.>>NARRATOR: Lisa was successful at improving agricultural
education and competition and many of her
programs have since been adopted by fairs around
the country. Her basic philosophy in regards to
livestock shows has always been that we’re raising
kids, not animals. >>LAUREN MCNAIR: She is such a
great example of someone who was a pioneer in the
Florida FFA Association, who was a pioneer at the
Florida State Fair with creating educational
programs for youth livestock exhibitors.
She’s been a pioneer in the Florida Federation of
Fairs. And so I think young women, like myself,
look at her and we see the potential impact that we
can have in our industry because that’s exactly what
she’s done.>>NARRATOR: In 2002 Lisa was
inducted into the Florida 4H Hall of Fame for her lifetime
contributions and, in 2009, she was inducted
into the Florida Federation of Fairs Hall of Fame for
her exceptional service. After her retirement from
the Florida State Fair in 2006, Lisa seized another
opportunity to promote agricultural education on
a state and national level and is now serving as the
executive director of the Florida Federation of
Fairs. Today Lisa remains as passionate as ever
about agriculture and she continues to work
to inspire the next generation. She was named
the Executive of the Year in 2013 by the
International Association of Fairs and Expositions
for her work with the fair industry. >>PAUL DAVIS: She’s constantly trying to come up with ways
that everyone gets involved and has an impact in their
community. And thatís the one thing about the fairs
in the state of Florida. As trite as it may sound,
weíre still a slice of Americana. It’s where
communities can come together and celebrate all
the good things that happen in their community.>>NARRATOR: Bob and Lisa are the proud parents
of their children, Shane and Melissa and have
always encouraged them to pursue their passion. Shane
is currently a professor at the University of Tampa
teaching creative writing and published his first
book this past summer. Following in her
parentsí footsteps, Melissa was very
active in FFA and 4-H and, like her father, was
elected state president of FFA. >>MELISSA RABURN: You know, she was always there to
help me with walking calves in the afternoon or just
always had crafts for us to make, always welcomed
friends coming over to our house. I mean, she
was like the original supermom.>>SHANE HINTON: She worked
really hard in her position at the fair,
but she worked probably harder around
the house even, to make sure that we were
not just taken care of but that we were really having
fun and felt loved all the time.>>NARRATOR: These days
Bob and Lisa live on their farm in Riverview. Lisa
enjoys spending as much time as she
can with family, especially with her
six grandkids.>>LISA HINTON: The best days in
the world are farm days. When those kids come down
and we go out in the middle of that strawberry farm and
put them down and theyíre digging in the mud and
playing in the water, nothing beats a farm day.>>MELISSA RABURN: They are
thrilled when they are
around the kids. Truly, they light up and itís
like all their joys of kids without all the stress of
work.>>LISA HINTON: I feel blessed that I have a
family that loves me. I have friends here locally,
and I have friends from one end of the state to the
other at every fair in this state that stand by me
and support me and promote agriculture. And that I work and live and
love the greatest industry
there is:

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