Calling all Florida beef cattle ranchers and dairy farm operators – University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economists want to document your importance to the state, and need your help to do it.
Through Aug. 31, a research team with the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program is asking ranchers and dairy farmers to complete a short online survey, available at https://tinyurl.com/ya5q857m.
The survey is also open to individuals employed by beef or dairy processing firms, veterinary practices and livestock-related businesses such as feed stores and farm equipment dealerships.
Data from survey responses will be used to develop a report profiling the economic contributions of Florida’s beef and dairy industries, said Christa Court, an assistant scientist with the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department and assistant director of the Economic Impact Analysis Program.
“We expect our findings to be used by legislators and policymakers, in advocacy efforts by industry groups and to inform the public about the size and importance of these industries in Florida,” Court said. “Florida has more than 1 million beef and dairy cows, so we hope to see a high level of participation, to ensure that we get the complete picture.”
The report will be issued in early 2019, she said. It will be accessible to the public on the program website.
In part, the new report will update 2007 findings on the state’s dairy industry, Court said.
Survey participants will remain anonymous and are not required to answer all questions, she said. The survey also includes an item where participants are invited to explain in their own words how their efforts contribute to the local economy.
Funding for the study was provided by the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Southeast Milk, Inc., Florida Dairy Farmers and the Milk Checkoff Research Fund.