Florida Grower Named Veteran of the Month
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has named Staff Sargent Dustin Grooms as the Veteran of the month this month.
Grooms is a fourth generation farmer from Plant City, Florida.
Grooms… “We grow strawberries, squash, peppers, blackberries, peas, okra. You name it, we've grown it. But we are primarily a strawberry farm. That's our main focus.”
Grooms says at first he didn’t know what he wanted to do after high school, but the Army seemed like a good fit.
Grooms… “I ended up going in as a Motor Transportation Specialist, and just really enjoyed my time there. And I got off active duty, joined the Army Reserves, and my last three years I was actually a United States Army Drill Sergeant, and I trained soldiers for combat.”
Upon completing his military service, he had the opportunity to return to the family farm in Plant City to help his father expand.
Grooms… “I've always loved agriculture. I love farming. And that's two things I'm passionate about was the military and agriculture/farming. So. It was just a perfect fit and a perfect time for me to step up and take my leadership skills that I've learned in the Army and take them back to the farm and expand there.”
Grooms has also been recognized with a 4R Advocate Award, a This Farm CARES Award, and the HIllsborough County Young Farmer of the Year.