Learn a little more about the smith family

Smiths

Jeb Smith is a 5th generation farmer from Hastings, Florida. He and his father own and operate Smith and Johns, Inc.  The family farm began in 1923, and farmed potatoes for over 80 years. The 400 plus acre farm has now diversified, and grows perennial peanut hay, sod, Tilapia, organic vegetables and pasture-raised beef.

In 2007, Jeb began Smith Family Beef and Produce, which specialized in a Community Supported Agriculture program, in order to meet the growing consumer demand for locally produced vegetables. Although not certified, produce is grown organically and both full and half shares are available to members. Unfortunately, due to a decline in customers, the CSA was discontinued. 

Smith Family Beef and Produce also sells beef cattle that are pasture raised on the farm, and antibiotic and hormone free.

CSA Produce

Jeb grew his first crop of potatoes on his own when he was 4 years old. From that time on he knew that he was destined to farm. On an annual basis, he consistently grew and sold his own crop and before long he was addicted to the vocation of farming. Through the years, Jeb’s love for farming and agriculture has been exemplified by his activities. He serves on the American Farm Bureau Horticulture Advisory Committee, and is currently the president of the Putnam/St. Johns County Farm Bureau, a director on the Florida Farm Bureau Board of Directors, a member of the 4H Advisory Committee, and a member of the Florida Farm Bureau Vegetable Committee. In the past he has served as a commissioner for the Farm Service Agency, a member of the First Coast Slow Foods organization, and a director for the Hastings Drainage District.  He was also the recipient of the 2009 Florida Farm Bureau Achievement Award.

Jeb majored in Food and Resource Economics at the University of Florida, and attended Ambassador Baptist College. He currently serves as the pastor and founder of God’s Way Baptist Church of Hastings.

Wendy did not grow up in a farm family, but was introduced to agriculture through many years as an active member of the Florida 4-H Program in Marion County. Among her favorite 4-H projects was the Beef project where she raised and showed Polled Hereford and Angus-cross steers. She is a former Marion County Cattleman’s Sweetheart and Florida Polled Hereford Queen. She served as president of the Marion County 4-H Honor Club and was a member of the Florida 4-H Meat Judging Team. She continued her agriculture education at the University of Florida, competing on the Collegiate Meat Judging Team and serving as secretary of the Block and Bridle club and treasurer of the Ag Ed Society. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.

Smith Family Today

During her 4-H years, Wendy met Jeb who was serving as the 4-H District V president. A few years later they began dating while at UF and she fell in love with the farmer. She is very blessed to be married to her best friend and love of her life. She homeschools their children and is an active volunteer for the St. Johns County 4-H Program. Wendy is also currently serving as the small farm representative on the Small Farms Subcommittee for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Safety Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Florida Agriculture Museum Board of Trustees.

Jeb and Wendy have been married for over 20 years and they have four children - Jared, Cady, Jeremy, and Cayla who offer their services to the farm on a regular basis.