Chamber’s Farm City Event Going Virtual Due To COVID-19

The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce’s Farm City Luncheon, held in past years at the South Florida Fairgrounds, will be held virtually on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.

Although no lunch will be served, participants are invited to have their own lunch and hear presentations from experts in South Florida agriculture. They also will be given the traditional box of Palm Beach County produce later at a location to be disclosed after signup.

“Some people will be eating lunch while they’re tuning in,” Central Palm Beach County Chamber CEO Mary Lou Bedford said. “We’ve done this for several of our other events, and it seemed to go well.”

Anyone who wishes to participate in the Zoom event can go to the chamber web site at and click on the Farm City banner to register.

“There’s a link that all attendees will be sent when they register. They’ll go on virtually, and whoever you see on the screen will be who is presenting at that time,” Bedford said.

Chamber representatives will open the luncheon and give credit to Baptist Health, the event’s sponsor, as well as Keith Wedgeworth, president of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, a longtime co-sponsor of the event.

The keynote speaker will be Florida Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services Nikki Fried for the third consecutive year.

“We’re happy to have her back, and then we’re going to have our panel of four agricultural leaders in the community,” Bedford said.

Panelists will be R.C. Hatton Farms Vice President Paul Allen, Florida Crystals South Florida External Affairs Manager Caroline Villanueva, TKM Bengard Farms Director of Food Safety Stephen Basore and Alderman Farms CFO Jim Alderman. Ben Boynton of Boynton Financial Group will serve as moderator.

“We’re very excited about this because, unlike some of our other virtual events we’ve been doing, to continue the tradition of Farm City, the agricultural community is kind enough to offer us complimentary vegetable boxes,” Bedford said. “Those who not only register but actually attend the Farm City event on Zoom will be sent information to pick up their complimentary box the next day. Part of the reward of attending the event is they will get the address where to pick up their box of fresh vegetables, rice and sugar.”

The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association will also provide a free houseplant to participants. The pickup will be drive-through, with staff dressed in personal protective equipment supplied by Baptist Health.