November 1, 2018
On Oct. 26, 2018, leadership from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACs) and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) came together to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding to reinforce the core partnership for the County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship, also known as the CARES program.
The MOU signing took place at the Florida Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting in St. Augustine.
The partners present who signed the MOU included Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam H. Putnam, and Executive Vice-President of UF/ IFAS, Dr. Jack Payne.
The CARES program was established by Florida Farm Bureau and the Suwannee River Partnership in 2001 to recognize superior natural resource conservation by agricultural producers. The program relies on action by farmers and ranchers to implement state-of-the-art natural resource management systems, or Best Management Practices (BMPs), on their properties.
To date, nearly 800 farmers and ranchers have been awarded a CARES designation. Recipients of the designation receive an award plaque and a “This Farm Cares” farm gate sign.
Florida farmers and ranchers depend upon the life-sustaining capacity of the natural resources, they manage to maintain their livelihoods.
“Florida’s farmers and ranchers answer the call daily to protect our environment while also producing a better food supply. The CARES program and its partners strive to not only recognize producers for their extensive contribution to protecting Florida’s natural resources but to also educate Floridians on how farmers and ranchers protect our precious environment,” said Florida Farm Bureau CARES Coordinator Cacee Hilliard.