News and Events

The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County Shares Information on the Dangers of Tobacco at the Arcadia Rodeo
March 12, 2017

The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County Sponsored a booth at the 2017 Arcadia Rodeo March 9 – 12th. Celebrating its 89th year, the 2017 March Rodeo is the largest and longest running rodeos in the southeast with events such as bull riding, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, and team roping. It brings nearly 20,000 spectators from all over the state of Florida and the finest Pro Rodeo athletes from across the U.S. The rodeo is held in an outdoor arena where many other events are held, however, it is the last rodeo to be held in this arena, as a new one is under construction.

Partnership Members (From L to R): Jodie DeLoach, Daniel Hernandez, Faith and Abby Carter, Destiny Medina, Myha and Melissa Mendoza

A 10 X 10 booth was included in the sponsorship and was placed near the front entrance where all attendees would enter. This gave members the opportunity to welcome and greet rodeo fans and participants as they entered the arena utilizing hands on activities and face-to-face discussions.

Representatives from the TFP and SWAT Youth Ambassadors were both present all four days where they had the opportunity to network, interact, and educate with attendees one-on-one within the arena. TFP DeSoto and SWAT youth were stationed at the booth, as well as in various display areas throughout the event site during the rodeo where they conducted outreach and collected tobacco free rodeo rally cards.

Attendees in the stands were directed to the TFP booth where they could sign up to become a member, review local data, and/or receive more information on our partnership and mission.

  DHS SWAT Youth Cesar Barajas and Saul Andrade enjoy spreading the word about tobacco prevention.

DHS SWAT Youth promote tobacco prevention to rodeo fans.
(Pictured L to R: Daniel Hernandez, Sarahie Ramirez, Jacarquis Bartell, Ramsey Dupuis)

Furthermore, time was allotted for live broadcast commercials in the arena during the rodeo in which the event emcee announced TFP DeSoto as a Bronze Sponsor throughout rodeo performances. The TFF logo also appeared on a 2 x 7 banner which was displayed in a prominent area inside the arena.

This event gave the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County and SWAT Youth the opportunity to reach a very large crowd where tobacco use, especially smokeless, is a social norm. This event also allowed members the chance to better educate attendees on the initiatives and goals of the TFP. We had countless individuals stop by to receive Quit Your Way information, as well as numerous community members sign up for more information on potentially joining our partnership.

This event is a wonderful opportunity to engage and educate community organizations, local businesses, elected officials and community members on the goals and objectives of the Department of Health and Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. It serves as a great platform to educate and empower our community members to learn more and become involved in tobacco initiatives in DeSoto County.  

If you would like to get involved in our mission, please contact Jodie DeLoach at or (863) 832 - 0715.

  Superintendent of DeSoto County School Board and TFP Member, Mr. Cline educates rodeo fans on the harmful effects of tobacco use.