|Media contact: Rod Greder, sustainable agriculture agent, [email protected] or 941-861-9810.
SARASOTA COUNTY – Get a first-hand have a look at key agricultural operations in Sarasota County and study instantly from space farmers, ranchers and different growers about their accomplishments and challenges, on a day-long bus tour hosted by UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. The Nov. 17 occasion, which runs 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will showcase an business that continues to be a driving drive within the space, answerable for producing upward of $23 million in items yearly, however which faces challenges within the years forward.
|“The variety of farms and acreage has been declining for many years, and the development will possible proceed given the various pressures they face,” stated Dr. Rod Greder, sustainable agriculture agent at UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. “If we wish to preserve a vibrant ag neighborhood, then we have to inform their tales and supply help to assist take away boundaries and handle challenges.” Like a lot of the nation, Sarasota County has seen the quantity and scope of agricultural operations dip by way of the years, in keeping with the most recent knowledge from the U.S. Division of Agriculture. Round 300 lively farms within the county now work about 15 p.c of the full land within the county, effectively down from the 30-40 p.c of county land farmed simply three a long time again. Whereas the full land farmed has fallen—round 71,000 acres, on the final USDA depend—the array of merchandise stays substantial, together with citrus, blueberries, kale, tomatoes, honey, and a variety of nursery crops. Additionally vital in that output are livestock—together with 17,000 head of cattle—poultry and eggs, and aquaculture merchandise. Showcasing all that in sooner or later can be not possible. Fairly, the Nov. 17 tour will concentrate on highlights, together with:A sustainable cattle ranch;A thriving native plant nursery;An natural vegetable farm; andThe Mote Aquaculture Analysis Park. The tour additionally will embrace details about a starting farm incubator initiative launched by UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County and efforts to create a help system for aspiring farmers, to assist fill the pipeline for continued agriculture within the county. Audio system additionally will talk about the agricultural practices of Florida’s indigenous peoples and ongoing measures to protect land by way of conservation easements. That is the second tour held this 12 months; a March tour visited a special set of native farms and lined completely different matters. Price for the occasion is $69 per particular person, and features a seat on an air-conditioned bus, breakfast snacks, a grilled lunch on the Sarasota County Farm Bureau, a guided tour at every cease, and informational handouts. Be taught extra and reserve one of many restricted spots for the tour by visiting www.eventbrite.com/e/577714598917. The March tour offered out, so reserve your spot at present and don’t miss out. Along with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, occasion sponsors embrace Sarasota County Farm Bureau, Sarasota County Cattlemen’s Affiliation, and the Sarasota County Soil and Water Conservation District.