For more than most of his life, Bryan Simon has been involved in the Vermilion Parish agriculture industry.
An active Farm Bureau member for 25 years, serving as president for six, Simon understands how important agriculture is to the parish. The Rotary Club of Abbeville also understands agriculture’s significance, as each year it names a “Farmer of the Year.”
This year, it is Simon. The club presented Simon with the award during its meeting on Wednesday.
“I am honored,” Simon said.
Simon grew up on a rice and soybean farm in the Maurice area. He began driving tractors at seven years old. Simon was an active member of the 4-H Club, which allowed him to show steer.
Simon received a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). In 1997, Simon became the farm manager for Steen’s Sugarcane, which included 3,000 acres. In 2016, Simon started planting sugarcane for himself, an operation that has grown to 1,000 acres.
For nearly 30 years, Simon has been married to Roslyn Simon, with whom he has raised three children, Kacy, Meg and Noah.
Simon is a member of the American Sugarcane League, for which he has served as the State Vice President. Simon is the lone “voice” of agriculture on the One Acadiana committee.
As someone who has been involved in farming since a young age, Simon has used his time in Farm Bureau to encourage young farmers. That has resulted in Vermilion’s Young Farmers and Ranchers winning multiple awards.
“It’s so important to get the young farmers involved,” Simon said. “That is the next generation.”
Simon said the Rotary Club’s continued support of farming helps.
“It means so much,” Simon said. “It helps the community realize what we are doing.”
Simon continues to do so much in many facets of farming and agriculture. Rotarian Mark Shirley, who presented Simon with the Farmer of the Year Award, said Simon is certainly a deserving honoree.
“Because of Bryan’s outstanding leadership in Agriculture,” Shirley said, “his dedication to farming and his family, and his highly successful farming operations, it is fitting that he be named Rotary Farmer of the Year for 2021.”