On November 18th, the 2022 Tri-County Ag Area celebrated the recipients of the FDACS CARES Award at the St. Johns County Ag Center. This award is provided to those who practice environment stewardship, as recognized by staff of the FDACS Office of Ag and Water Policy.
While Flagler County praised the efforts of Seay Farms, St. Johns County was represented Dan Corey of DeLee Produce in St. Augustine. Putnam County did not have a recipient this year.
Dan Corey has been farming in St. Johns County for over four years now, originally coming as a producer from Maine. In fact, his operation is still active up north, and since arriving in Florida, has become one of the most popular potato seed producer for our Northeast Florida farmers.
Dan has a degree in agronomy, and applies his expertise of science and technical skills of farming to be one of the most progressive in the area. This grower understands the chemistry of how his products work, along with how to maximize profit while being a steward of the environment. That is how Stacey Simmons, local FDACS Area Manager for the TCAA, noticed and nominated him for the award this year. Not only is Dan applying a slow release fertilizer pre-plant, but he is also applying organic matter annually to build up his topsoil. He is also utilizing his cost-share programs to include weather stations on his properties, along with soil moisture sensors.
On top of being considerate of his environmental practices, Dan has also hosted numerous field trials with UF/IFAS since coming to Florida. In 2023, we will be working on a nitrogen rate study in Brassicas at DeLee Produce for part of BMP research, supported by FDACS.
Good farmers are abundant in this county, but Dan has exceeded expectations, and doing so while being the new kid on the block. Thank you to our many farmers who represent St. Johns County while applying Best Management Practices for generations to come.