“Suwannee County UF/IFAS Extension Hosts Portion of the Leadership Suwannee Tour”
On November 9, 2017, the UF/IFAS Suwannee County Extension team hosted a tour for the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce’s agriculture portion of the Leadership Suwannee program. The tour stops included an educational visit at Dwight Stansel’s Farm and Nursery, and a trolley tour at the North Florida Research and Education Center-Suwannee Valley (NFREC-SV). Over 25 attendees from various local businesses participated in the afternoon’s events.
Dwight Stansel’s Farm and Nursery
At Dwight Stansel’s Farm and Nursery, the participants learned that the farm is one of the oldest privately-owned nurseries in Florida that produces reforestation seedlings. The farm has grown southern yellow pine seedlings since 1986 and the primary focus of the farm is slash, longleaf, and loblolly pine seedlings. Throughout the farm tour, owner Dwight Stansel spoke about his love of farming the land. He described the Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented continually on his farm to make it more sustainable while preserving the local environment. At the conclusion of the visit, the hosts provided a demonstration of sugar cane juice extraction for syrup processing. Dwight Stansel and farm manager, Robert Feeney, mentioned that cane syrup making is becoming a lost art because of the detail and intricate nature of cooking off a round of syrup. The attendees were excited to take home their very own bottle of freshly homemade syrup to enjoy.
North Florida Research and Eductaion Center-Suwannee Valley (NFREC-SV)
The second portion of the tour was devoted to spending a few hours at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center-SV in Live Oak. During this time, the participants engaged in a trolley tour of the farm’s research, a trip through the sweet potatoes and pumpkin patch, and a presentation followed by a supper in the center’s conference room. The participants got to select a few sweet potatoes and pumpkins to take home, just in time for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
Suwannee County Extension would like to thank both Dwight Stansel Farm and Nursery and North Florida Research and Education Center–Suwannee Valley for being a host on each of the tour stops. Please check out the Suwannee County UF/IFAS website and UF/IFAS Suwannee County Extension Blogs page for updates on extension programs and event highlights.
Photos by Katherine Allen
UF/IFAS Extension in Suwannee County is an Equal Opportunity Institution.