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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

2019 Honey Bee Seminar

UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, in partnership with the Ridge Beekeepers Association, will host a Saturday program for new beekeepers and those considering starting a hive.  Join us for a fun day where you can learn about beekeeping and sharpen...
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Growing Vegetables in Controlled Environments

How many ways are there to grow a head of lettuce? Besides growing the traditional way in an open field, you can grow lettuce and other vegetables in various soilless, protected systems. Protective structures include high tunnels, greenhouses,...
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March 1st Application Deadline for Agricultural Classification or “Greenbelt”

Did you know that in Florida, land used for commercial agriculture may qualify for reduced property taxes? The deadline to file an application for agricultural classification is March 1st. Applications must be submitted to your county property...
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