SMALL FARMS AND ALTERNATIVE ENTERPRISES

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The goal of this program is to provide education and resources to Polk County small farms to develop their potential and increase local access to safe, quality, Polk grown products.  A small farm is defined by USDA as one producing products for sale with revenue less than $250,000 annually.  State and national trends show an increasing number of citizens exploring small scale fruit and vegetable production and alternative crops for local consumption.  Meanwhile, consumers are on the lookout for locally grown, quality foods and seeking a connection to the farm. 

Florida’s number one industry is tourism, followed by agriculture.  Agritourism represents a business opportunity for Florida farms as well as an agricultural awareness experience for the public.  2012 Ag Census statistics show the number of farms offering recreational services jumped from 281 statewide in 2007 to 724 in 2012.  Florida has been experiencing record tourism, nearly 96 million visitors in 2014.  In close proximity to major highways and tourist destinations, with vigorous agriculture to share, Polk County is well positioned to benefit from these trends. 

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CONTACT

Mary Beth Henry

Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises

Pesticide Applicator Training

Extension Agent II, M.S.

863-519-1049

mbhenry@ufl.edu 

Recent Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Blog Posts

Long & Scott Farms: A Voice of Agritourism Experience

Long & Scott farms is a well-known multigenerational farm in Central Florida’s Zellwood. It all started in 1963 when Frank D. Scott relocated the family farm from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Florida. Hank Scott, the current farm manager, is proud of what his family has built since making the move when he was just seven years old. “There was a learning curve to grow in this sandy Florida soil, but my dad did very well in the 60’s,

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Regional Agri-Tourism Conference

Are you a producer interested in engaging in Agri-Tourism and bringing more visitors to your farm? UF/IFAS Extension Martin County is hosting the 2017 Regional Agri-Tourism Conference on June 15 and 16. From 1:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the evening on June 15, participants will visit agri-tourism operations in Martin and St. Lucie Counties and hear directly from the farmers about their challenges and successes. The tour will include a

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Recordkeeping and Labeling: FSMA Requirements for Qualified Exempt Operations

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) included some exemptions for very small operations. If you are not sure if you are exempt, please check out our first article on Food Safety here. If your farm is not exempted from the Food Safety Modernization Act, chances are your farm could be considered a Qualified Exempt

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