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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. 

Luis Rodriguez


Luis O. Rodriguez

Small Farms and Pesticide Education
Extension Agent I, M.S.
(863) 519-1049

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