Congressman F. Allen Boyd, Jr. is a fifth generation farmer and rancher in Ashville, Fla. He is a product of church and 4-H clubs in his small rural county. From steer and corn projects to community clubs, Congressman Boyd’s youth was spent participating in 4-H activities.
He remembers the impact 4-H had on his life. "I joined 4-H when I entered the fourth grade. After that, 4-H was a large, important part of my life growing up. We were very involved in all the activities that were offered, doing all the projects that we could.”
He attended Florida 4-H Congress and was a member of a Jefferson County livestock judging team that went to the national championships. At Florida 4-H Legislature, he drafted legislation and learned how government worked. He learned Robert’s Rules of Order and how to speak in public. And it made for his first venture into politics, when he decided to run for an office within 4-H.
He also went to 4-H Camp Cherry Lake, located near Madison, Florida. He learned to swim at the camp, and even how to set up and break down a chow hall. He was also a staff member at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake, where he developed leadership and organizational skills.
The Jefferson County extension agent also played an important role in his life. “I did all this [my 4-H activities] under the watchful eyes of our 4-H volunteer, who was the County Extension Agent back then. He was more important than any male influence in my life other than my father,” said Boyd.
Reflecting on his experience, Congressman Boyd added, “4-H instilled in us values that transferred well into my adult life. Essentially, it taught me how I wanted to live. It was invaluable."
Allen Boyd was sworn in to office on January 7, 1997, as a Democratic member of the 105th Congress representing Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. The district spans 16 counties, from South Walton County through Tallahassee, almost reaching Jacksonville, making up the largest geographic congressional district in the state. This area of North Florida is distinctly rural, yet surprisingly diverse. The regional economy is as reliant on small fishing villages and rural farming operations as it is the higher education and state government communities of Tallahassee.
A leading voice on fiscal responsibility in the House of Representatives, Congressman Boyd was named to the House Budget Committee in the 110th Congress. As a member of the Budget Committee, Boyd is actively involved in every aspect of the nation’s fiscal policy and works to implement budget enforcement tools that are necessary to restore our country’s fiscal house.
In the 106th Congress, Boyd was appointed to the Appropriations Committee. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Boyd has worked to protect Florida’s military community and bring much-needed aid to the agriculture industry.
Even with his many responsibilities on Capitol Hill and in his Congressional district, Congressman Boyd has never forgotten his roots. In November 2001 when the future of 4-H camping programs was jeopardized by budget cuts at the University of Florida, Congressman Boyd assured a $100,000 federal allocation for temporary funding. This prevented the closures of 4-H Camp Cherry Lake and 4-H Camp Cloverleaf. The funds allowed for a smoother transition for the camps to the oversight of the Florida 4-H Foundation.
In the 110th Congress, Boyd’s understanding of our national defense and strong commitment to our military were recognized by his appointment to the powerful Subcommittee on Defense of the House Appropriations Committee. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Mine Warfare Caucus.
In the 111th Congress, Boyd joined the Financial Services Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. In this new role, Congressman Boyd oversees the budgets of multiple agencies, including the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Judicial branch. In addition to the Subcommittees on Defense and Financial Services, Boyd continues to serve on the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee where he works to provide funding for a safe food supply and a healthy agricultural economy in Florida and throughout the nation.
From 1989 until his election to Congress, Boyd served in the Florida House of Representatives. Throughout his career in public service, Boyd has led the charge for government reform and fiscal responsibility. He is also known as an articulate voice for consensus building and reasonable compromise. As Chairman of the Florida House Democratic Conservative Caucus, Boyd helped build bridges between diverse interests on such difficult issues as public education, healthcare, and welfare reform—issues he continues to work on in Congress.
“I am delighted that 4-H is as strong and as successful as it ever was,” said Congressman Boyd, during a ceremony dedicating a historical marker for 4-H on the University of Florida’s campus in August 2009. The marker notes that in 1909, J.J. Vernon began establishing 4-H corn clubs for boys in Florida and was dedicated in observance of Florida 4-H’s centennial.
A fifth generation farmer, Boyd graduated from Florida State University in 1969 and served his country in Vietnam. To this day, he continues to oversee the family farm operations on land that has been in his family for five generations. He and his wife, Cissy, reside on their farm in Monticello, Florida. They have three grown children and one granddaughter.