New Avenue for Kids
Central Florida Ag News|March 2021
Organization Offers Education, Opportunity and Support for Community
HEATHER MACHOVINA

THE NEED FOR AN ORGANIZATION that provides great educational opportunities and project support to kids in the Polk County community through agriculture has been a popular conversation topic over the past few years.

“A lot of the kids come from agricultural families, so they have that knowledge base and resources to rely on,” explains Andy Mason, treasurer of Central Florida Youth in Agriculture (CFYIA), “but there are many kids that don’t have those resources available, so the original intent of the group was to be that resource for everyone.” The first interest meeting for CFYIA was in February 2020 and has been growing since.

After COVID hit, many agricultural shows in the country and state were being canceled, and that’s when CFYIA stepped in to start the CFYIA Showcase and Sale. Historically, quite a few of the larger shows existing in the Polk county area have ceased to exist.

“So, when there used to be a lot of local options, those don’t necessarily exist anymore,” Mason says. Rather than try to duplicate efforts of other events, it became all about providing a new form, a new opportunity, and really expanding to get new exhibitors and new supporters in the door that haven’t previously been involved.

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