Fair's agricultural expert announces retirement

- The Florida State Fair takes many experts - outside of the rides and food - to be successful, and the fair's Director of Agribusiness is no exception. 

Vina Jean Banks is know for her outstanding leadership skills and and dedication when it comes to the fair. She has been a big part of its success for the last 25 years. 

Banks is also known as one of the best in the field of agriculture and her experience dates back to her childhood.

"I was born in agriculture, raised in agriculture, married a young man in agriculture, and raised our kids in  agriculture," Banks said.

She grew up on a farm in Iowa. Her family moved to Hillsborough County in 1960. The 67-year-old farm enthusiast joined the fair in 1990 and has been there ever since.

Now, after 25 years, she is retiring from her post. Her last day will be in April.

"Its been awesome, I've been so fortunate to have a job I truly love," Banks said. "To be able to work here at the fair, up there in that live stock office, it's just been a blessing to me."

Banks has won numerous awards, but said she is most proud of the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award she received in 1999. 

"Not to get up to go to work on Monday, in a way, is going to be kind of sad, but it is going to be fun too," Banks explained.

Banks said she is proud of the work she's done to help the fair become the best it can be every year.

"I loved it, its been a great ride," she said. "Its been a great ride."

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