Friday, January 18, 2013

What Are You Doing Next Weekend? AGRItunity of course!

The 7th edition of the AGRItunity Conference and Trade Show will be held next Friday and Saturday, January 25-26, 2013 at the West Central Florida Agricultural Education Center in Bushnell, Florida.  Register at to save $5 on admission for Saturday's conference.

Agenda At-A-Glance
AGRItunity 2013 Conference and Trade Show

7620 SR 471
Bushnell, Florida
Friday, January 25, 2013

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM                     Farm Tour ($35)
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM+         Aquaponics Workshop and Tour ($30)
Saturday, January 26, 2013

Conference and Trade Show ($15 Pre-registered, $20 At Door)

7:30 AM – 12:00 PM         Registration Open

 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM           Trade Show Open

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM         General Session including Keynote Speaker Sheri Salatin

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM        Break – Visit Exhibitors

 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM        Select A Workshop:

                                        Alternative Soil Management

                                        Florida Hay – Myths and Fiction

                                        Preserving What You Produce

11:20 AM – 12:15 PM        Select A Workshop:

                                        Pomegranate Production

                                        Egg Production in Florida

                                        Developing Buyers Clubs (Salatin)

12:15 PM -1:30 PM           Lunch (Catered by Oakwood Smokehouse $10)

                                        Visit Exhibitors

                                        Enjoy music by the band SnoRogers

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM           Select A Workshop:

                                        Farmscaping/Native Pollinators

                                        Small Ruminant Health


2:20 PM – 3:05 PM           Select A Workshop:

                                        Mushroom – Bag Culture

                                        Grass Fed Beef

                                        Permaculture – Planning for Sustainability

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Attention Ag Producers - Be Counted!

In just a few days, America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities by taking part in the Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them.  

America’s producers have a story to tell, and the Census gives them a voice to tell it with. NASS recently launched “Share My Story” on the Census website to ask farmers how the Census impacts their lives, operations and communities. A row crop and hog farmer from Indiana posted a story telling us the data is a tool to track, “how our herd numbers, acreage, technology use and practices…compare to other local farmers, farmers across the state of Indiana and farmers across the country.” 

The Census also helps tell the whole story of U.S. agriculture. Without the information collected we wouldn’t know that 3 million farmers in the United States, only one percent of our total population, provide feed, fuel, and fiber to the other 99 percent. While that seems like a huge task, we know that farmers are stepping up to the challenge because the data tell us that U.S. agriculture is growing.


The last Census counted more than 2 million farms and ranches in the United States spanning more than 922 million acres. That’s nearly a 4 percent increase in the number of farms from the previous Census in 2002. Those farms produced more than 2 billion bushels of soybeans, 18 million bales of cotton, and $37 billion in egg and poultry sales. And, working on those farms were more than one million women farmers, a 19 percent increase from 2002.


As preparations continue for this year’s Census of Agriculture, we call on farmers and ranchers to share their stories, ask questions and talk to their fellow producers about this critical effort.  Your answers to the Census help grow your farm future; shape farm programs; and boost services for you, your community and your industry.


Census forms will be mailed out in late December, and responses are due by February 4th, 2013. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online. After all, the Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility. For more information about the Census, visit or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Royal and Wildwood receive community garden grants


The UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension Office partnered with two communities to obtain a Community/School Garden grant offered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Master Gardener volunteers and extension agents are working with community members in Royal and in Wildwood to build raised bed community gardens. The gardens in Royal have been constructed and will be used to produce crops for the community.  A large group of volunteers with the Community of Royal, Inc. has been active in preparing the site and building the beds for the project which is located in the community park.


The gardens in Wildwood will be constructed with assistance from the City of Wildwood, the Wildwood Community Development Center Inc. and Loaves of Love.  Clarke Park will be the site for individuals in the community to grow vegetables in 48 square foot raised bed gardens.


Members of these two communities are encouraged to become involved in the community garden projects. For more information please contact Susan Kelly, Sumter County Extension Director at (352) 793-2728.






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