Jeff Pittman operates J&G Farms headquartered in the Lovedale Community, but with leased land between the Chipola and the Apalachicola Rivers in Jackson and Calhoun Counties. The Pittman’s diversified farming operation consists of about 7,500 acres of owned and leased farms utilized for cotton, peanut, corn, cattle, and hay production. Jeff is the 4th generation of Pittmans to farm in Jackson County.
Beef cattle have always been part of the family’s long history of diversified farming. Pittman remembers his Grandfather having cattle and feeding out steers to sell for freezer beef. His father, Milton grazed 2,000 head of stocker cattle annually, adding several hundred pounds of weight and then reselling them. So it was only natural for Pittman to add cattle to his farming operation. He feels cattle work well in a modern, diversified farming operation. Pittman can utilize cotton, peanut and corn crop residues to reduce his cattle feed costs. He also utilizes the cattle to harvest the bahia and cover crop grains, used in rotation with the warm season crops on his headquarters farm.
In 1998, Pittman bought 175 head of older cattle from four herds that included the Bar L Ranch. From these older, proven cows he raised some high quality replacement heifers that became the base for a smaller, but more consistent herd. Today his herd consists of 75 head of uniform, commercial Brangus cattle that are bred to Angus bulls. Three years ago Pittman bought the top performing Angus bull at the Florida Bull Test, to improve the performance of his heard. His efforts are starting to pay off, as his calves generally sell very well at the Seminole Livestock Market in Donaldsonville.
Not only is Pittman one of Jackson County’s top farmers, he has also become a real leader in the agricultural industry. A large portion of the land he farms is located in the Blue Spring Basin, so he is actively working with a number of Agricultural Organizations to protect the future of farming in this region. Pittman has served on the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Board of Directors since 2006, and served as President of the Organization from 2012-2013. He has served for many years as the Jackson County Farm Bureau President. Pittman represents the Panhandle on the State Farm Bureau Board. Jeff chairs the County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee which provides oversight on the Farm Bill Funds utilized locally. Currently, Pittman is the Florida’s Alternate on the National Peanut Board for Michael Davis. He has also served on the Florida Peanut Producer Board and on the National Cotton and Peanut Commodity Committees for American Farm Bureau.
Jeff and his wife Ginger have three children: Jeffery -20, Mary Katherine -17, and Wilton-11. The Pittmans were recognized as the Outstanding Farm Family in 2003, and Jeff as the Cotton Farmer of the Year in 2005.
The Cattlemen of the Year is selected each year by the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association.