April 22, 2019
Florida’s farmers and ranchers take care of our bountiful natural resources. Their livelihoods depend upon the good health of the land and water around them. Across the state farmers, ranchers and nursery plant growers have implemented state-of-the art irrigation systems. These systems have dramatically reduced water use on farm properties.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, conservation by farm families save nearly 11 billion gallons of freshwater each year.
Innovation by farm owners has also improved water quality. This improvement is a long-term commitment, despite the financial challenges agricultural operations face.
The average farm now feeds an estimated 155 people each year. In 1960 that number was 26. In other words, the same farm with same acreage can now support five times more people than it did 50 years ago. Their skilled work puts food on the table in their homes and in yours.
More than 9.3 million acres of agricultural and forestry land in Florida are now enrolled in Best Management Practices (BMPs). These state-of-the-art strategies, devised by university experts, protect the soil, preserve wildlife habitat, conserve and protect water quality and increase energy efficiency.
More than 800 farmers and ranchers across the Sunshine State have been recognized by a special program for their superior leadership in protecting the environment. They have received awards for their achievements under Florida Farm Bureau’s County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) Program. CARES award recipients operate conservation systems that have been evaluated by state officials to verify their effectiveness.
Many more of their peers across the state deserve the same positive recognition.
The dedication and hard work they apply to natural resource conservation make our quality of life possible.