“Agriculture is in my blood. I take pride in the vegetables I grow and the cattle I raise. I am able to see the finished product from beginning to end, like no other farmers do. This way I can produce farm products the way nature intended. I love what I am doing and it is so gratifying to see my produce and cattle raised and processed at our farm.” -Troy Harbison
Harbison Cattle and Produce Farm is a multi-generational family farm located in Sparr, Florida (Marion County). Velma and Gerald Harbison and son Troy manage nearly 500 acres of lush, pristine, pasture land providing fresh beef and produce to customers throughout central Florida.
The Harbison family farm dates back to the late 1700’s when Velma Tueton Harbison’s relatives purchased land in the Sparr and Ft. McCoy, area. Her father used the land for farming hogs and raising free-range cattle and purchased additional acreage in northern Marion County for other agricultural purposes.
The Harbison’s have spent their entire life farming in Marion County. Prior to 2005 they sold their beef and produce exclusively to wholesale markets. That year (2005), the Harbison’s realized that their customer’s attitudes were changing about the foods they were purchasing. They wanted fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the farm. The customers were also voicing concern about antibiotics, chemicals, and growth hormones in their meat products. Troy believes the consumer’s ideas and concerns about food product safety in this country led to a new type of market (farmer’s markets).
So in 2006, Harbison Farms began participating in the Leesburg Saturday Morning Market. With natural grown produce and beef raised free of chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones, the Harbison’s attracted many satisfied customers. A few years later (2009), The North Magnolia Merchant’s Association in Ocala, opened a local farmer’s market, which gave producers in Marion County a place to sell their products. Troy is currently the Market Manager for both markets in Leesburg and Ocala, and has been responsible for organizing other farmer’s markets throughout central Florida.
About the Harbison Family
Velma and Gerald Harbison are 1958 graduates of Anthony High School, where they were active members of the FHA, FFA, and various sports activities. They were married in 1959 and have three children.
Troy Harbison is a 1981 graduate of North Marion High School where he was an active member of the Millwood 4-H Club. As a young entrepreneur in the 1990’s he owned and operated Harbison Farms, Inc. dba Harbison Swine Genetics. He was a major breeding producer of farrow to finish show hogs for the state of Florida and other southeastern states. 4-H and FFA student members were among the buyers of these show quality swine. Many of these animals were Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion winners at county and state livestock shows throughout the south. He also bred Yorkshire and Yorkshire Cross breeding stock hogs which he sold to Florida and Georgia farmers for many years.
He was honored by the North Marion High School FFA for his outstanding contributions to their chapter, and was awarded an Honorary Chapter FFA Degree in 1998.
Troy Harbison has also received numerous awards for his agricultural excellence.
Farm Bureau: 1997 Florida Outstanding Swine Producer
Farm Bureau: 1997 Florida Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher – Semi-Finalist
He has been a past member of the Marion County Farm Bureau.
He served as Vice-President from 1998-1999, and was a member of the Board of Directors, 1995-1999.
For more information, please contact:
Harbison Cattle and Produce Farm
4696 East Highway 329
Anthony, FL 32617
Farm: (352) 401-0888
Cell: (352) 239-3552