April 20, 2015
Farm families are keenly aware of the need to conserve natural resources. They put that awareness into practical action every day.
Their care for land and water reflects an environmental ethic that guides everything they do on their properties. Farmers and ranchers are committed to conservation strategies because they are keys to their success as food producers for a burgeoning world population.
Field data reveal the extent of their accomplishments. Florida farm families conserve more than 11 billion gallons of freshwater each year by efficient use of the resource. They have installed precisely controlled irrigation networks, comprehensive recycling systems, retention ponds and other methods that both reduce water use and enhance water quality.
Agricultural producers also constantly implement techniques that use less energy resources to grow larger quantities of food. The average farm now feeds an estimated155 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.
Nearly 700 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. Florida’s Farm families celebrate earth day every day.
The dedication and hard work they apply to natural resource conservation make our quality of life possible.