Bulloch County farmer Lannie Lee beamed with pride Friday as he accepted a plaque listing his family as the 2010 Bulloch County Farm Family of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Statesboro - Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness committee.
The annual award is bestowed upon a deserving family with rich agricultural history each year during a luncheon during Farm City Week.
Lee, who turned 90 Wednesday, was accompanied by a large number of family members during the luncheon held at the Bulloch Center for Agriculture. Many family members were from out of town, and were actually in the area because Lee will celebrate his 90th birthday with a party Saturday.
The Lee family was one of four nominated for the honor. The other families were the Cliff Groover family, the Will Anderson family and the Kenneth Knight family.
"I'd like to thank everyone," Lee said as he took the stage with some of his family members. "I am pleased to see so many friends here. It is an honor, and I am overwhelmed. It caught me off guard."
Lee, who lives between Statesboro and Brooklet on Pretoria-Rushing Road, belongs to a long line of farmers who have been tilling the soil for over 100 years. He began working on the family farm at age six, doing chores before heading to Brooklet to school in a horse-drawn wagon. His family owned 900 acres and raised over 300 head of cattle, and he specializes in growing and processing sugar cane for making his special-recipe cane syrup.
He has served as president of the Bulloch County Farm Bureau for three years and has served as vice president during the 34 years in which he belonged with the group. Bulloch County Farm Bureau sponsored the luncheon.
Guest speakers for the luncheon were several Bulloch County 4-H and FFA members who spoke about the importance of their respective clubs and agriculture.
Katie Page, agribusiness committee member, also announced the winners of the Farm Bureau Agriculture Art Contest, open to Bulloch County students. The overall winner was Desiree Orlando, daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth Orlando, 11th grade student at Southeast Bulloch High School.
(Editor's note: Read more about the Lannie Lee family in the Statesboro Herald Lifestyles section Sunday, Nov. 28.)
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 912-489-9414.