Flashback – From The Harvester, September 1984

– Cracker Breakfast returns –

Resurrected for this year’s convention is the Cracker Breakfast. The Cracker Breakfast was a highlight of FFVA’s conventions in the 1950s.

This event will highlight three of Florida’s treasures: our leaders, our youth and our products. FFVA’s Immediate Past President Frank Teets will emcee the breakfast, featuring speakers from both the Florida FFA and Florida 4-H.

In addition, awards for Legislator of the Year, given to a state legislator from both the Senate and House who we feel has done an outstanding job for agriculture, and the Florida Cracker Award, will be presented to the person who has done an outstanding job of promoting Florida products.

The breakfast menu will consist of baked grapefruit, orange juice, double-yolked eggs, hickory-smoked country ham, Summerfield grits, red-eye gravy, buttermilk biscuits, coffee, tea and milk.

The event is named in honor of the Florida Cracker, an early pioneer of the state of Florida in the 1850s.

The pioneers of the sparsely settled Florida region lived simply and roughly … but never wanted or went into debt. They were expert woodsmen. The good ones never got lost, even when tracking at night. Sometimes they were called “brush poppers.” They were masters with their rawhide whips, ropes, rifles and pistols.

The sound of their whips could be heard for miles across the palmetto prairies. In fact, a system was worked out by which they could communicate over great distances with the cracking sound of their whips, causing the early settlers to be known as “Florida Crackers.”

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