The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is honored to announce that Longino Ranch has generously established a new scholarship in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation. The B.T. “Buster” and Jane Longino Forestry Endowed Scholarship seeks to support forestry students with a demonstrated interest in combining commercial forest production with environmental stewardship.
“Buster’s lifelong passion has been growing pine trees at Longino Ranch, and that legacy started with Buster attending forestry classes at the University of Florida,” said Mr. John L. Minton, Jr., President of Longino Ranch, Inc. “It is fitting that we afford other students this same opportunity in honor of Buster and Jane.”
B.T. “Buster” Longino and Jane M. Longino leave a legacy of working respectfully and collaboratively with many different interest groups—environmental, agricultural, religious, and business—to benefit their community. They contribute broadly to civic life, working tirelessly to ensure that Longino Ranch is a model agricultural operation that melds commercial production with environmental sustainability. This endowment was established in their honor, and the scholarship will be awarded to a student who shows similar potential.
“Some of my earliest memories are following my father along fire breaks in the ‘timber pasture,’ a section of mature slash pine on our family ranch in south Florida. The large trees in this section were reserved for the future, rather than the shorter-term pulp wood production in other parts of the ranch,” stated Mr. John Longino, B.T. and Jane Longino’s son. “The Florida flatwoods were beautiful. Pine lilies flowered, runner oak scuffed our boots, quail burst from palmettos. The future of the trees was spoken about in economic terms, but I could see in my father’s eyes the love of the trees themselves and the deeply held commitment to the long-term integrity of those flatwoods. I learned my values from him and my mother, and I am thrilled that this scholarship may instill those values in others.”
Forests cover about half of Florida’s land area, providing broad benefits to Florida residents and beyond. These forests produce more than 5,000 items, ranging from furniture to pharmaceuticals, and provide habitat for wildlife, natural air and water filters, recreational opportunities and much-needed green space. Financially, the forestry industry employs more than 124,000 Floridians and infuses $25 billion into the state’s economy.
The Forest Resources and Conservation program began in 1937 to help Florida manage its legacy of southern pine forests and train future foresters. Today, we continue this tradition by conducting research to increase efficiency and sustainability of productive private forests, to restore native forest ecosystems, and to better understand how to manage 17 million acres of forested public and private lands that provide essential ecosystem services across our state.
Longino Ranch epitomizes the ideas that agriculture and natural resource conservation are not opposed to one another, but instead go hand in hand. Through this scholarship, they hope to continue this legacy of conservation through future generations of agriculturalists and environmental stewards.
You can join Longino Ranch in supporting students in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation by clicking here. For more ways to support this endowment, please contact Katherine Davies (firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-294-7869).