Fair Play, Fair Work
Central Florida Ag News|May 2021
Florida State Fair Executive Director Cheryl Flood Maintains Balance Between Education, Entertainment
PAUL CATALA

FOR HER ENTIRE LIFE, Cheryl Flood has been involved in agriculture, from her rural upbringing near Lake Wales to her current role as executive director of the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

And as a sixth-generation Floridian and Sarasota native whose farming roots originated in the Okeechobee area, Flood strives to keep the relevance and importance of the state’s agriculture in the forefront to fairgoers.

Although for the majority of visitors to the Florida State Fair, highlights generally include rides, games and corn dogs, she makes sure there are educational kiosks, history exhibits and livestock competitions. But Flood wants to make sure those aspects get equal attention.

“Agriculture is important to me, it’s a passion, it’s a heritage, it’s a mission and most importantly it’s an educational opportunity,” Flood says, speaking from her office at the State Fairgrounds.

“Florida is the backbone of our economy, and when everything else is cyclical, agriculture is always consistent. It’s vital that people understand where their food comes from and the fact that farmers and ranchers are working hard every single day to ensure that we have food on our table. America should never take their source of food for granted.”

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