You—our member entities—have a say in who makes up your FBGA Board of Directors. This year we need to elect one (1) Grower and two (2) Allied members to fill open seats. 

  • Absentee voting must be completed by 11/17.
  • To vote your entity must be a Allied or Grower Member (Research Members are not eligible to vote).
  • Each entity gets one Vote only.
  • Voters should vote for (up to) 2 Allied Members and 1 Grower Member. 
  • Please identify your choice for President out of the votes you submit. Votes for anyone else for President have to be considered invalid.
  • Members can vote for someone not on our Nominee list.
  • Email your choice to [email protected]


Growers (1 Open Seat)

Rick Aspden (Grower) Faith Farms

Rev. Rick Aspden comes to the FBGA with a diverse background, growing up as a tobacco farmer’s son in Southern Ontario, Canada. After high school, he spent a season in the Canadian Army, then transitioned into the business world as a building contractor for several decades. The Lord finally called him to full time Christian ministry in 2009, where he now works as CEO of Faith Farm Ministries. Faith Farm is a free Faith Based Christian residential addiction program where men and women come to address their substance abuse issues. Faith Farm utilizes micro industries and agriculture to offset the program’s cost. Faith Farm planted its ten acres in 2021 and is excited to see the potential revenue generated from bamboo so that it can help save more lives in the fight against alcohol and drug addiction.

Lance Bennett (Grower) Bennett Heritage Farms

Lance Bennett grew up in Mims, Florida on an Orange grove. His parents were in the citrus business for about 20 years. They also had a peach orchard for a number of years. Lance has been around farming his entire life. With the transition of the citrus industry to alternative crops, bamboo seems to be a very viable option. He’s excited to be at the forefront of this budding industry. Lance graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering in the 90s. Upon graduation he worked for the Water Management District prior to transitioning into private consulting.

Ben Norris (Grower) Agri-Citrus

Ben Norris is a 4th generation citrus grower. Running the family business since 1991, he has been growing Bamboo since 2018. Ben is a partner in Greenfield Bamboo Investments, a farm development company building bamboo farms. Ben has been married to his wife Robyn for 40 yrs with 3 children and 2 Grandchildren.

Allied (2 Open Seats)

Kevin Barley (Allied)

Kevin Barley has a passion for business and farming. He believes that we are building a new ag industry in Florida, but that there is work to do. His career has been primarily in commodities (Morgan Stanley) as a specialist in the orange juice industry. Kevin works with Greenfield Bamboo in bamboo farm development and management. He helped start the Florida Bamboo Growers Association and has served as a Director and its President for the last two years.

Peter Chaires (Allied)

Peter Chaires manages several smaller citrus organizations under the FFVA umbrella – including Florida Citrus Packers, New Varieties Development & Management Corp., and Citrus Administrative Committee. He has 34 years of experience managing trade associations, interacting with state, federal and international regulatory agencies. He is experiencedin the acquisition and management of grant funds, and serving on and for Boards

Alex Marks (Allied)

For over 2 decades, Alex Marks has spent his career globally improving compost systems with commercial recyclers and working in conservation, soil restoration and agriculture.  Now based in Central Florida and working across the state, Alex is more focused than ever working directly with Florida growers to improve soils using compost in both conventional and organic systems.  The bamboo industry is an exciting opportunity here in Florida because it not only continues a tradition of growing here in the state, but also represents a means for many growers to diversify in a changing and evolving field.