Gary Cecil, a 38-year farming veteran, raises tobacco, watermelons, corn, wheat, pumpkins and other miscellaneous vegetables on his 705-acre farm in Owensboro, and is currently the only commercial watermelon grower in the state.

His farming career began in the mid-1970’s when he rented his first 10 acres of land to grow tobacco and helped local farmers haul their hay and corn.

A family endeavor from the beginning, Cecil’s wife, Imelda, helped provide additional income by working as a nurse while raising their three children. Their son, Ryan, and daughter, Suzanne, have both returned to the farm to fill integral roles in the operation today.

Working with labor-intensive crops like tobacco and vegetables, Cecil now employs more than 20 workers and has added two greenhouses for early vegetable production.

He is a long-time KFB member and has served on the Daviess County Farm Bureau board of directors for nearly 30 years, including two terms as president.

He also represented Kentucky for 10 years on the U.S. Potato Board, served on Kentucky’s Soil Conservation board for 16 years, and has offered his time and leadership to numerous other local civic and industry-specific organizations.