Tag Archive: Farmers

Farmers Prepare for the New Food Safety Standards

If you are a farmer, you have most likely heard about the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, by now. If you are not a farmer, you probably do not know that food safety regulations are going through a big change. The FSMA, which was passed in 2011, is considered the largest update to food safety regulation in over 80 years.

The proposed produce safety rule under the FSMA is very robust, establishing the minimum standards for worker training, health and hygiene, agricultural water use, animal soil amendments, on-farm domesticated and wild animals, equipment, tools, buildings, and sprout production.

But this new rule will not apply to all farmers. The commodities they produce and the value of their produce sold will ultimately dictate whether they will need to comply.

First, the rule does not apply to produce that is not a raw agricultural commodity, or commodities the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified as “rarely consumed raw.” Secondly, if a farm has an average value of produce sold of $ 25,000 or less within the previous three years, they are also exempt.

If the farmer produces an agricultural commodity in which the rule applies and the value of their produce sold is over $ 25,000, it is still possible the farm will be exempt from most of the requirements.

Fresh cucumbers, for example, are considered a raw commodity. But cucumbers that will undergo further processing, such as for pickling, would be eligible for exemption from the produce rule. Photo by Molly Jameson.

For instance, if the average annual monetary value of food sold directly to qualified end-users was more than the average annual value of the food sold to all other buyers within the previous three-year period, the farmer would meet the first half of exemption eligibility.

What is a “qualified end-user”, you ask? They are considered the consumers of the food, or restaurant or retail food establishment, located with the same state as the farm that produced the food (or no more than 275 miles).

But even if farmers meet the above exemption eligibility standards, they must also meet the second requirement. That is, the average annual monetary value of all food sold during the three-year period must be less than $ 500,000, when adjusted for inflation.

If this all sounds confusing, you are not alone! This is why the FDA developed a chart to help farmers determine if they will be exempt: Standards for Produce Safety – Coverage and Exemptions/Exclusions for Proposed 21 PART 112.

Whether farms will be exempt from the FSMA produce safety rule or not, it is always a good idea to follow good agricultural practices and to have a farm food safety plan. To learn more about food safety on farms, view the EDIS document Food Safety on the Farm: An Overview of Good Agricultural Practices.

If you are a farmer, or know someone who would benefit from having a food safety plan, the UF Small Farms Academy Extension Agents are offering a Building Your Own Farm’s Food Safety Manual Workshop in Tallahassee to help growers develop their own food safety manuals.

The workshop is tailored to fresh fruit and vegetable farms, fields, or greenhouses and is partially supported by a grant through the Florida Specialty Crops Block Grant program from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.

The registration fee is $ 35 for the first person representing a farm and $ 15 for an additional attendee from that farm. The workshop is limited to 20 farms on a first come, first serve basis.

The workshop will take place at the Amtrak Station, County Community Room, 918 Railroad Ave, in Tallahassee, FL, on Tuesday, May 23, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Register on Eventbrite by following this link: https://farmfoodsafetymanualworkshop.eventbrite.com

Please note, this class will help farmers develop their farm’s food safety manual, but it does not fulfill the new FDA FSMA one-time training requirement.

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Author: Molly Jameson – mjameson@ufl.edu

Molly Jameson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/12/farmers-prepare-for-the-new-food-safety-standards/

Beavers – Engineering Marvel or Farmer’s Frustration

Beavers – Engineering Marvel or Farmer’s Frustration

Beaver lodge, Calhoun County Florida. Photo by Judy Biss

Even though the “work” beavers do can sometimes cause frustration to land owners, they are truly amazing creatures.  A number of questions have come into the Extension Office lately about managing beavers, so it is a good time to discuss a little about the history and biology of these unique animals, as well as the management options available for land owners.

Beavers in the American Landscape

Hundreds of millions of beaver once occupied the North American continent until the 1900s, when the majority had been trapped out in the eastern United States for the fur trade (Baker, B.W., and E.P. Hill. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis)).  “Growing public concern over declines in beaver and other wildlife populations eventually led to regulations that controlled harvest through seasons and methods of take, initiating a continent-wide recovery of beaver populations.” (Baker, B.W., and E.P. Hill. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis)).  In its current range, the beaver “thrives throughout the Florida Panhandle and upper peninsula in streams, rivers, swamps or lakes that have an ample supply of trees.”  (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Aquatic Mammals, Beaver: Castor canadensis).

Adaptations

Beavers are the largest rodent in North America.  In Florida, they commonly weigh between 30 – 50 pounds.  Beavers are considered an aquatic mammal, having adaptations such as a streamlined shape, insulating fur, ears and nostrils that close while underwater, clear membranes that cover their eyes while underwater, large webbed feet, and a broad flat rudder-like tail that aid in swimming.  They can remain underwater for 15 minutes at a time!  Their tree-cutting, bark-peeling front teeth grow continuously, and as a result, are continuously sharpened as they grind against the lower teeth.  (Baker, B.W., and E.P. Hill. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Aquatic Mammals, Beaver: Castor canadensis).

Habitat and Behaviors

Beavers typically mate for life and live in family groups consisting of the adult male and female, and one or two generations of young kits before they are old enough to disperse on their own.  They are primarily nocturnal, being active from dusk to dawn.  Beavers eat not only tree bark, leaves, stems, buds, and fruits, but  herbaceous plants as well.  Their diet is broad and can consist of aquatic plants, such as cattails and water lilies, shrubs, willow, grasses, acorns, tree sap, and sometimes even cultivated row crops.  (Baker, B.W., and E.P. Hill. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis)).

Top of beaver dam in Calhoun County FL. Water level difference is nearly 3 feet. Photo by Judy Biss

Dam and Lodge Construction

The sound of moving water triggers beavers to build, repair, or maintain their dams.  (Baker, B.W., and E.P. Hill. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis)).  The two main structures they build are the water-slowing dam and their living quarters or lodge.  The lodge is separate from the dam and is oftentimes located in the stream or pond bank.  “The ponds created by dams also provide beavers with deep water where they can find protection from predators — entrances to dens or lodges are usually underwater.  Some beavers in Florida do not build the massive stick lodges associated with northern colonies.  Instead, they are more likely to live in deep dens in stream banks…” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Aquatic Mammals, Beaver: Castor canadensis).

Pear tree felled by beaver in Calhoun County FL. Photo by Judy Biss

Impacts

Beavers are called “nature’s engineers” for good reason.  Their tree cutting and building behaviors certainly alter surrounding landscapes.  Outside of any connection to human civilization, their activities tend to increase diversity and habitat options for both plants and animals.  Many scientists have examined the intricate biological and ecological effects beavers have on surrounding landscapes.  Their activities in our backyard, however, do not always result in positive outcomes.  Often, beavers are triggered to build dams in running water through road culverts causing significant impacts to road drainage, and surrounding flood management.  Their construction of dams along creeks can flood farm fields and woodlands.  Their feeding and tree cutting can kill desired trees in nearby timberland and orchards.

Management Options for Land Owners

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) publication, “Living with Beavers” provides excellent advice, along with a summary of the regulations regarding this native wildlife species.  As per this document, “The beaver is a native species with a year-round hunting and trapping season in Florida.”  Beaver hunting and trapping regulations can be found on the FWC Furbearer Hunting and Trapping website.  A beaver can be taken as a nuisance animal, if it causes or is about to cause property damage, presents a threat to public safety, or causes an annoyance in, under, or upon a building, per Florida Rule 68A-9.010.”  Other recommendations from this FWC publication are:

  • “Beaver dam removal provides immediate relief from flooding and can be the simplest and cheapest way of dealing with a beaver problem. However, beavers often quickly rebuild a dam as soon as it is damaged. “
  • “When removing a dam is infeasible or unsuccessful, installing a water level control structure through the dam can allow for the control of water flow without removing the dam. This technique also reduces the likelihood of the beaver continuously blocking water flow. For technical assistance, contact a wildlife assistance biologist at a regional FWC office near you.”
  • “If a beaver dam is blocking a culvert or similar structure, installing a barrier several feet away from the culvert can be the most effective solution. This prevents the beavers from accessing the culvert to dam it. Please contact a wildlife assistance biologist at a regional FWC office near you for technical assistance.”
  • “Protect valuable trees and vegetation from beaver damage by installing a fence around them or wrapping tree trunks loosely with 3-5 feet of hardware cloth or multiple wraps of chicken wire. This prevents the beavers from chewing on the trees and other plants.”
  • “Lethal control should be considered a last resort.”

FWC also points the reader to this publication from Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, Department of Aquaculture, Fisheries and Wildlife, “The Clemson Beaver Pond Leveler.”  This publication provides diagrams and a list of materials needed to construct a device which is designed to “minimize the probability that current flow can be detected by beavers, therefore minimizing dam construction.”

All questions regarding beaver management should be directed to your local FWC Regional Office.  Land owners can also request a list of Nuisance Wildlife Trappers available in their area:

FWC Northwest Region Office
3911 Highway 2321
Panama City, FL 32409-1659
(850) 265-3676

 Links to the references used for this article:

 

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Author: Judy Biss – judy.biss@ufl.edu

Judy Biss is the Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent in Calhoun County, Florida

Judy Biss

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/03/18/beavers-engineering-marvel-or-farmers-frustration/

Local Farmers Inspire the Next Generation about Agriculture

Fred and Bobby teaching a group of 4-Hers about goats.

Fred and Bobbie Golden relocated to Jefferson County from Lakeland, Florida in 2000 to establish Golden Acres Ranch LLC.  The sixty-three-acre ranch is home to one of the largest mayhaw ponds in the region, grass fed goat & sheep, free-range chickens, guineas, pet boarding, and a country store.

Bobbie and Fred have genuine love for Jefferson County 4-Hers. Can you tell the difference between a sheep and a goat?  Jefferson County 4-H campers can!  For the past six years, 5-8 year old youth visited their ranch during 4-H day camps for some hands-on learning about agriculture. The campers have opportunities to feed, pet and learn important facts about Tennessee Fainting Goats, sheep, Pyrenees and Maremma, chicken, guineas and other animals reared on the farm.

 

Abagail Loveless, day camp participant said, “the reasons I like to visit Golden Acers Ranch, you get to feed, pet, learn things about the farm animals and swing on the tire/rope. “London Skipworth indicated that she was afraid of chickens, but with help and support from teen counselors and 4-H Staff, she was able to overcome her fears. London now plans to participate in the 4-H Chick Chain Project this year.

After a day of farming, Abigail enjoys a tire swing

Bobbie Golden, said “I like inviting the campers to the ranch because I like teaching them interesting facts about our farm animals, but most importantly bringing the youth back in touch with agriculture.”

Bobbie is a member of the Jefferson County Extension Ag Advisory and Vice President of the Overall Extension Advisory Committee.  Bobbie also chaired the Extension Office open house committee.  Bobbie and Fred support Jefferson County Extension in every capacity.

Annually, Jefferson County Extension participates in the Millstone Farm Tour and the Mayhaw Festival; both held events at Golden Acers Ranch. Each Extension program area provides interactive displays and hands activities for the youth and adults. For more information about Golden Acres Ranch, please go to https://goldenacresranchflorida.com/.

Campers leading songs on a hay ride around the farm.

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Author: jgl1 – jgl@ufl.edu

jgl1

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/03/03/local-farmers-inspire-the-next-generation-about-agriculture/

Income Tax Workshop for Farmers, Accountants, and Attorneys – October 3

Income Tax Workshop for Farmers, Accountants, and Attorneys – October 3

tax for farmers

 

On October 3rd at the ALFA building in Robertsdale, AL the Alabama Cooperative Extension System is offering a workshop on income tax for agricultural operations from 6:00-8:30.  The ALFA building is located at 21332 Highway 59, Robertsdale, AL 36567.

Topics will include the following:

  • Schedule F—Profit or Loss from Farming
  • How to report farming income and government payments:
    • Livestock
    • Rent
    • Crop shares
    • Commodity Credit Corporation loans
    • Conservation Reserve Program
    • Crop insurance and crop disaster payments
    • Income from cooperatives
    • Cancellation of debt
  • How to report expenses and prepaid expenses
  • What to File and When
  • Schedule J—Income Averaging for Farmers and Fishermen
  • The Effect of Claiming Accelerated Depreciation under Section 179 and Section 178(k) on a Farmer’s Cash Flow
  • The Cost of Retiring or the Tax Implications of Disposition of Machinery and Land
  • How Income Affects Social Security Benefits

The registration fee is $ 15 for farmers and $ 65 for accountants and attorneys who will receive 2.5 hours of CPE and 2.3 hours of CLE.  To register, visit www.aces.edu/farmtax or call 334-844-5100.

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/24/income-tax-workshop-for-farmers-accountants-and-attorneys-october-3/

The Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida: The Go-to-Guide for Vegetable Farmers

The Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida:  The Go-to-Guide for Vegetable Farmers

Figure 1 freeman 3The recently updated Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida (VPH) is the go-to-source of information on vegetable production.  So you need to know how to control leafminers in sweet potato? It is in there! Maybe you have a problem with Cercospora leaf spot in okra? Need some weed management options in tomato? That is in there too! You will also find information on weed management in watermelon, disease control in squash, and on and on.  You will be hard pressed to find a better desk-top or truck-seat reference guide for vegetable production.

The Vegetable Production Handbook has production recommendations for most of the vegetable crops produced  commercially in Florida. For each crop group there are recommendations for varieties, planting date, plant spacing, soil fertility, weed, insect, and disease management. Always remember to consult pesticide labels before making any application. Links below are to the entire VPH document, as well as the UF/IFAS Extension website that has each individual chapter listed

Freeman Crop IndexInformation in the VPH is derived from the research and years of experience of a team of UF/IFAS specialists.The VPH Team is made up of specialists in horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, nematology, weed science, and soil science.   The 2016-2017 edition is now available online, or as hard copies available to commercial growers at your local County Extension office. The authors and editors hope you will utilize this valuable resource to contribute to the success in the current and coming growing seasons.

Links to the Vegetable Handbook online:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vph (by crop)

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/cv/cv29200.pdf (complete 371 page handbook)

 

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Author: Josh Freeman – joshuafr@ufl.edu

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue.
https://www.facebook.com/NFRECVegetable

Josh Freeman

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/27/the-vegetable-production-handbook-of-florida-the-go-to-guide-for-vegetable-farmers/

Farmers Market Symposium in Pensacola March 8

farmers market symposium 2

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016,  UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County will hold a Farmers Market Symposium from 8:30-3:30.  The meeting will take place at the Langley Bell 4-H Auditorium, 3730 Stefani Road Cantonment FL 32533.

EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS WILL INCLUDE:

  • Overview of Florida Farmers Markets

  • Starting a Community Garden

  • Best Practices at Farmers Markets

  • Food Safety Guidelines for Growers and Vendors

  • Multiple Payment Options for Farmers Markets

  • Cottage Food Laws

  • Marketing Opportunities

  • Food Safety at the Farmers Market

  • Additional Optional Session: Farmers Market Nutrition Program Training for any interested vendors

 

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  The cost is $ 15 for pre-registration, $ 20 at the door.  REGISTER ONLINE at http://tinyurl.com/IFAS-Farmers-Market-Symposium

For more information, contact Christina Walmer or by phone at 850.475.5230

 

 

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/13/farmers-market-symposium-in-pensacola-march-8/

Farmers Market Symposium on March 8, 2016

Farmers Market Symposium on March 8, 2016

farmers market symposium 2On Tuesday, March 8, 2016,  UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County will hold a Farmers Market Symposium from 8:30-3:30.  The meeting will take place at the Langley Bell 4-H Auditorium, 3730 Stefani Road Cantonment FL 32533.

EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS INCLUDE:
• Overview of Florida Farmers Markets
• Starting a Community Garden
• Best Practices at Farmers Markets
• Food Safety Guidelines for Growers and Vendors
• Multiple Payment Options for Farmers Markets
• Cottage Food Laws
• Marketing Opportunities
• Food Safety at the Farmers Market
• Additional Optional Session: Farmers Market Nutrition Program Training for any interested vendors

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  The cost is $ 15 for pre-registration, $ 20 at the door.  REGISTER ONLINE at http://tinyurl.com/IFAS-Farmers-Market-Symposium

For more information, contact Christina Walmer at cbwalmer@ufl.edu or by phone at 850.475.5230

 

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Author: Beth Bolles – bbolles@ufl.edu

Horticulture Agent, Escambia County

Beth Bolles

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/11/farmers-market-symposium-on-march-8-2016/

UGA Decision Aids can Help Farmers Decide What Crops to Plant in 2016

2015 was a very challenging year for Panhandle row crop farmers with the double whammy of low commodity prices and unfavorable weather.  As a result, many farmers are uncertain as to what crops to plant for the coming year.

The University of Georgia has a nice tool or decision aid that provides estimated returns on investment for commonly grown crops in the southeast. The Crop Comparison Tool (CCT), which is an excel spreadsheet, comes pre-loaded with the most current estimates by UGA crop economists, but can be customized for a specific farm.  These comparisons are made in both conventional and strip-till cropping systems.  There is even a peanut price calculator to assist with partial production contracts to develop an overall average peanut price for true comparisons.  The example below is the summary from the strip-tillage crop comparison chart.  Use your mouse or touch screen to enlarge for a full screen view for easier reading.

16 Conventional Crop Comparison Tool

Use mouse or touch screen to enlarge for full screen view for easier reading. Source 2016 UGA Crop Comparison Tool

This tool also offers some charts that allow you to compare two crops and the price at which they provide equal returns. In this example you can see that a contract for cotton would need to be $ 0.73 per pound for dryland cotton and $ 0.69/lb. for irrigated cotton to be equal to a peanut contract of $ 370 per ton.  These prices are based on some assumptions for comparisons sake.  The Crop Comparison Tool has other crop combinations and can be adjusted based on the figures entered into the spreadsheet.

16 Cotton vs Peanuts Chart

Use mouse or touch screen to enlarge for full screen view for easier reading. Source 2016 UGA Crop Comparison Tool

Download the crop comparison tool using the following link:

Crop Comparison Tool (CCT)

The Crop Comparison Tool (CCT) allows users to compare expected net returns of alternative row crops side-by-side. These estimates and comparisons may be useful in acreage planting decisions.

The CCT in Excel format:

  • Allows users to make changes in yield, price, and costs to closer reflect their individual farm situation.
  • Features a peanut price calculator to estimate true peanut price received.
  • Contains charts to compare two competing row crops and aid in pricing decisions.

 

The University of Georgia also has crop specific budgets that can be used to develop a business plan for the coming year.  These budgets can be helpful to develop a more accurate estimate for an individual farm to use in conjunction with the Crop Comparison Tool.

UGA Crop Budgets

Download the crop budgets using the following links:

 

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Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/01/30/uga-decision-aids-can-help-farmers-decide-what-crops-to-plant-in-2016/

Cold Protection Tips for North Florida Vegetable Farmers

Cold Protection Tips for North Florida Vegetable Farmers

High tunnel frame, prior to adding plastic sheeting. Photo by Full Earth Farm.

High tunnel frame, prior to adding plastic sheeting. Photo by Full Earth Farm.

While many peninsular Florida farmers do not have to worry about cold protection, farmers in the Florida Panhandle are certainly an exception. Most of the Panhandle is in zone 8b, which means average minimum temperatures are between 15 and 20°F. North Florida therefore experiences a few hard freezes – temperatures less than 28°F for over five hours – every year. Consecutive nights that get this cold can “burn” the tips of even the toughest crops. Frost damage is more likely to occur on clear nights, as heat that radiated down from the sun during the day will escape into the atmosphere at night, if clouds are not present. Although most of our cold weather occurs in January and February, we can expect our first frost around the second week of November.

It is important for fruit and vegetable farmers to use multiple means of cold protection. Here is a description of commonly used methods:

  • High tunnels

    Although the initial investments of high tunnels can be costly, they can protect crops from extreme cold weather and promote early crop maturity. High tunnels are typically constructed using thick plastic sheeting stretched over a large metal frame, ranging from about 8 to 20 feet high. Tunnels work by increasing air and soil temperatures and by protecting crops from wind damage. Plastic siding should be designed so that it can be opened or rolled up during sunny days to allow for proper ventilation.

Frost cloth covering lettuce. Photo by Turkey Hill Farm.

Frost cloth covering lettuce. Photo by Turkey Hill Farm.

  • Row covers

    Row covers are typically composed of polyethylene or another material that is porous and nonwoven. They are commonly used in North Florida for cold and wind protection. Wire hoops are usually used to support the row cover, which must not touch the plant, and although they can be vented or non-vented, non-vented covers will need to be manually opened on most sunny winter days in North Florida. Row covers also promote early crop maturity and can increase yields

  • Frost cloth

    Frost cloth is breathable polyester fabric that is light weight and heat-retentive. It can moderate temperatures about 6-8°F. Wire hoops can be used to keep the cloth off the crop, but it is not essential. Most importantly, the cloth must touch the ground at all points to be effective, as it works by trapping heat that radiates from the soil and increases the humidity around the plant. Always wait until the outside air temperature is 50 to 60°F before you remove the cloth, as quick thawing can actually cause the most severe damage.

  • Hydration

    Always remember to keep your crops well watered, as frost damage is actually dehydration. When ice crystals form on the leaf surface, it draws moisture from the leaf tissue. Damage will therefore be less severe if the plant is not already drought-stressed.

Being prepared for cold weather will help keep your winter crops going strong all the way into spring. Remember that healthy plants will be more resistant to cold weather than unhealthy plants, and investing in cold protection infrastructure can go a long way to ensure your fruits and vegetables survive our chilly North Florida winters.

For more information on this topic, please see the following  UF/IFAS resources:

Row Covers for Commercial Vegetable Culture in Florida

Protected Culture for Vegetable and Small Fruit Crops: Types of Structures

Florida Automated Weather Network

 

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Author: Molly Jameson – mjameson@ufl.edu

Molly Jameson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/11/07/cold-protection-tips-for-north-florida-vegetable-farmers/

Farm Credit Seeking Nominations of Outstanding Farmers for Centennial Celebration

Hank Floyd FamilyRural America is constantly evolving to meet the needs of a changing global agriculture economy, and a new effort is underway to champion the men, women, and youth whose insights and influence are ensuring thriving rural communities for years to come.

Farm Credit, one of the nation’s leading lenders and financial service providers to rural communities and agriculture, has introduced Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives to celebrate the vision and commitment it takes to be a leader in rural enterprise today and tomorrow. This program comes as Farm Credit enters its 100th year of financial support through its network of locally owned cooperative associations.

“For a century, Farm Credit has had the privilege of working hand in hand with the rural entrepreneurs and innovators who’ve helped shape the fabric of our nation,” said Rick Bitner, CEO for Farm Credit of Northwest Florida. “As we mark the beginning of this milestone year, we can reflect on our history and heritage, while also asking ‘what’s next’ for rural communities.”

Nominations for Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives will be accepted at www.FarmCredit100.com until Dec.18, 2015. A panel of experts will evaluate the entrants and select the top 100 honorees to be announced during National Ag Week, March 14-18, 2016. These 100 individuals will be celebrated and supported at the national and local level in an effort to build awareness of and appreciation for rural American contributions to everyday life.

Of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees, 10 exceptional leaders will each receive a $ 10,000 award to help further their contributions to thriving rural communities and agriculture. These 10 honorees and a guest will be invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in a special recognition event in 2016.

To recognize the diverse ways individuals are contributing to the future success of rural communities, nominations will be accepted in ten categories:

  • Leadership (over 21)
  • Youth Leadership (21 and younger)
  • Rural Policy Influence
  • Beginning Farmer or Rancher Achievement
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Sustainability and Natural Resource Conservation
  • Financial Stewardship
  • Mentoring and Volunteerism
  • Agriculture Education and Community Impact
  • Rural and Urban Connection

“The 100 selected honorees will have the opportunity to share their stories, inspire others with their vision and advocate for agriculture,” said Picchetti. “Rural industries evolve rapidly, and we are honored to recognize those who represent the future.”

To learn more and read the nomination category descriptions, visit farmcredit100.com. Apply or nominate an agricultural leader you know for Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives by Dec. 18, 2015.

 

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/03/farm-credit-seeking-nominations-of-outstanding-farmers-for-centennial-celebration/

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