Organic agriculture networking

As organic food goes mainstream, more small farms are looking to get into the industry, says Jim DeValerio, agriculture agent for Bradford County with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program.

“We’ve seen growing demand in small farm communities for more opportunities to learn about organic agriculture, and meet others who are also interested in going organic,” DeValerio said.

Growers will have a chance to do just that at the next meeting of the Florida Agriculture Network (FAN), April 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 1655 SE 23rd Place in Gainesville, Florida. Attendees will tour two organic farms, mingle with other growers and help inform future UF/IFAS research.

Those interested in attending can register at http://tinyurl.com/l5yzv2y or call the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County office at 352-955-2402. Registration is $15.

Organized by UF/IFAS Extension faculty, FAN meetings help growers to network and also meet their local county Extension agent — all in one place.

“When you’re a farmer, your time is limited, and it may be hard to get to know farmers in your area or your local Extension agent,” said Tatiana Sanchez, commercial horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County. “FAN is a centralized place where farmers can make these connections.”

FAN meetings rotate through various north-central Florida counties. In January, the Network met in Lawtey, Florida, where attendees learned about growing leafy greens and marketing produce to local restaurants.

The April 25 meeting will take members to Siembra Farms and The Family Garden, neighboring farms in southwest Gainesville. These farms grow a variety of crops, including strawberries, squash and onions, depending on the season.

During the tours, farm owners Cody Galligan and Jordan Brown will share their own networking experiences and explain their respective farm management philosophies, DeValerio said.

Tours will be joined by Danielle Treadwell, associate professor of horticultural sciences, and Jose Perez, small farms coordinator for UF/IFAS, who will update attendees on organic certification and UF/IFAS efforts to source organic seed in Florida. Treadwell will also discuss how UF/IFAS research on organic production is responding to growers’ needs.

After the tour, attendees will convene at The Family Garden barn for hors d’oeuvres and socializing.

Proposed topics for future meetings include:

  • How to get your farm certified organic
  • Raising grass-fed beef, June 13 at the Call Street Café in Starke, Florida. Participants will enjoy a grass-fed beef burger and learn how to produce certified grass-fed beef and how to make their forages work for them.
  • Agritourism
  • Conversations between food buyers, chefs and growers

Farms in north-central Florida are welcome to host upcoming FAN meetings, Sanchez said. “Inviting other growers to your farm increases your visibility, fosters relationships among producers and has helped farmers attract new clients,” she said.

Growers interested in hosting a FAN event should contact Jim DeValerio (904-966-6224, jtd@ufl.edu) and Tatiana Sanchez (352-955-2402, tatiana.sanchez@ufl.edu), and join the FAN Facebook group.

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Posted: April 18, 2017


Category: Agribusiness, Agriculture, Crops, Farm Management
Tags: Featured Hot Topic


Comments:

Manchester City 1 Claudio Bravo drakt
April 23, 2017

I adore this site - its so usefull and helpfull.

sgrenrock

February 7, 2017

Thanks for your support, Janet!

sgrenrock

February 7, 2017

Thanks for your support, Shirley!

sgrenrock

February 7, 2017

Hi, Eric! Do you need help contacting the UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County office?

Eric
January 22, 2017

This sounds like a blast. It would be a fantastic class to have in Pinellas County.

Shirley Bond
January 14, 2017

So proud of our Florida 4-H members who will be able to participate in the Presidential Inauguration. They are very lucky to be attending Washington Focus while the inauguration is taking place. Have a great time as you study our government and your the historic landmarks that you studied in school. you will make new friendships with young people from all over the USA.

Janet Morris
December 8, 2016

What a wonderful idea! As a Master Gardener myself, I can not think of a better program for prisoners. Horticulture is wonderful therapy and skills learned will be helpful when inmates are released. Congrats to all involved.

sgrenrock

December 5, 2016

Hi, Gary. Thanks for your interest! You can find more information about the artist in residence program at https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/artist-in-residence/. It doesn't appear that next year's application is up on the web site yet, so please email ncbs@ifas.ufl.edu for more information about the application.

Gary Kuhl
November 29, 2016

How does one apply for this opportunity to be at Seahorse Key for a week!? I am a nature photographer who has taken many photos of the Cedar Key area which I love.

sgrenrock

July 6, 2016

Hi Christine. Thanks for getting in touch. Could you tell me which county in Florida you are located in? This will help me better direct you to the right resources.

sgrenrock

June 29, 2016

Hi Christine. Sorry you're having this problem. The videos are on pause when you open the page, but if you click the play icon, they should start up. Please let us know if you are still having difficulties.

Christine Foltz
June 29, 2016

BTW: Tech issues with this page: the videos on the mosquito workshop embedded are on pause and will not play.

Christine Foltz
June 29, 2016

I am working on a Farm-To-Table Educational Workshop Project to take nationally and wondered if there was any kind of grant programs available for projects such as this?

sgrenrock

May 3, 2016

Hi, Amanda. UF/IFAS doesn't promote or endorse products, but thank you for your interest!

Amanda Huber
May 1, 2016

If you would like to highlight a Florida-grown product that would fulfill the magnesium deficiency, such as peanuts, I would be happy to provide you with photos. UF IFAS is always such a big supporter of Florida's farmers.

sgrenrock

February 26, 2016

Hi, June. Thank you for your question. I recommend taking a look at these UF/IFAS publications for more information on removing nuisance armadillos: The Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) -- see the section called "Methods of Control" Baiting the Nine-Banded Armadillo Dealing with Unwanted Wildlife in an Urban Environment -- see the section called "Armadillos" I hope these are helpful to you, and please let us know if you have any more questions.

June
February 24, 2016

I have a family of armadillos under my shed. I also have dogs and do not want them in my yard. How can I get rid of them humanly?

sgrenrock

February 10, 2016

Julieta, this is the answer to your question from Dr. Jonathan Crane, a UF/IFAS Extension Topical Fruit Crop Specialist: "1.Propagation of kumquat by seed may or may not result in the same identical plant. Kumquats can produce seed from nucellar (mother plant) tissue and through cross pollination with other citrus. 2.Propagation by seed usually results in weak plants. 3.Kumquat is mostly propagated by grafting or budding onto cold hardy rootstocks (usually trifoliate orange, ‘Flying Dragon’)."

sgrenrock

February 10, 2016

Hi, Julieta. Thank you for your message. I am consulting one of our experts about your question and hope to have an answer for you soon.

Julieta
December 23, 2015

The ones I am eating today are from Alachua County and they are delicious. If I plant the seeds, will I get perfect kumquats again or I wonder if I will get part of a hybrid or rootstock.

sgrenrock

October 21, 2015

Hi, Linda. Thank you for your message. I am consulting one of our experts and hope to answer your question soon.

Linda
October 18, 2015

where can I buy local pecans in Florida?

therron

September 17, 2015

Hi Deborah, Thank you so much for your suggestion. Go here to have our blog posts delivered to your email box: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/global/subscribe/. Then, feel free to forward the email on to others! -Thanks, Tennille

Deborah Gigliotti
September 16, 2015

Please email these timely blogs, so I can pass the info onto the people purchasing my Green House Growing Solutions Systems here in New Port Richey, Fl. PPI: Providential Provision Inc would like to get these 4' by 6' VICTORY GARDENS out to enable the Veterans and Families to Get Growing their own food Vertically, Hydroponically, Bioponically, and Aquaponically all 4 growing seasons! Let's Put the Pieces Together, Together!

therron

September 15, 2015

Hi, Tomatoes need about 1-2 inches of water per week. If rainfall is not enough, water plants thoroughly once a week. Heavy soakings once a week are better than many light sprinklings. More frequent watering may be needed in sandy soils, especially in the first week plants are set. Include a lot of organics in your soil to help absorb and hold water. For more information go here: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh028 | http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_tomato. Thanks!

jimsagenich
September 11, 2015

How often should I water my tomato plants?

Don
August 27, 2015

I am in the Florida Keys and haven't seen any native tree frogs for decades. I have pretty much eliminated Bufos from my property. I enjoy the insect control provided by the Cuban Tree Frogs but would happily trade them for native Green Tree Frogs. My problem is when I eliminate the invasives how/where can I get natives, hopefully tadpoles, to repopulate.

A. Leon Polhill
August 27, 2015

The first sentence under the 'Capture & Humane Euthanization' section erroneously identifies native tree frogs as culprits when it should read Cuban treefrogs. BTW, Paula & I enjoyed being led by Dr. Johnson on a rafting trip down the Snake River several years ago. Thanks for the memories.

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