On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the Burlin and Levi Findley families, of Wild Boar Farms were honored as the 2017 Santa Rosa County Farm Families of the Year, during the 51st Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour. The Findleys received the award from Santa Rosa County Commissioners Don Salter, Bob Cole and Sam Parker, along with a special Congressional Record citation from Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office.
Wild Boar Farms is comprised of father, Burlin (7th generation farmer) and son, Levi Findley, (8th generation farmer). Farming history in the Findley family runs deep and can be traced all the way back to the 1750’s, starting in South Carolina and moving through Georgia and Alabama before finally settling in the Mt. Carmel Community in Santa Rosa County, in 1922. In 1972, Burlin began farming on his own and Levi joined the operation while still in high school. Since 2005, Levi has managed the day to day operations with Burlin right there beside him every step of the way.
Wild Boar Farms was the first National Association of Conservation Districts Soil Health Champion for the state of Florida, and has been recognized as a “This Farm CARES” recipient by Florida Farm Bureau. Wild Boar Farms currently produces cotton, peanuts, corn, and produce on 650 acres. The Findleys have been utilizing conservation tillage on their farm for over 15 years.
Burlin has served the community in many capacities. His many accomplishments include serving on the Blackwater Soil & Water Board for 22 years, Vice Chair for the Escambia/Santa Rosa USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee, State President for the Association of Florida Conservation Districts, Vice President for Three Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Council, and Vice President for the Florida Peanut Producers Association. Burlin is also known for being an expert grill master, and has won multiple wild game cook-offs.
Burlin’s wife Ann is a retired school teacher. The couple has been married for 44 years and have three children, Nikki (deceased), Kelly and her husband Kevin Mitchem, and Levi and his wife Kaylen. All three children attended Jay High School with Kelly going on to FSU, and Levi attending Pensacola State College. Like most, their grandchildren are their pride and joy; Chance (deceased), Avery, Caroline, Mason, and Keith Levi.
Levi also serves his community well. He is an active member of the Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, the Assistant Chief at Station 27 of the Jay Volunteer Fire Department, and is an active member of the Jay Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni.
Levi’s wife, Kaylen is the Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor at Jay High School. They have been married for almost two years and recently welcomed Keith Levi into their growing family.
Burlin and Levi’s vision is to diversify their operation, and help sustain farming for the future so the newest Finley (Keith Levi) can continue the Findley farming tradition.