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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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Luis O. Rodriguez

Small Farms and Pesticide Education

Extension Agent I, M.S.

(863) 519-1049

Recent Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Blog Posts

Plagas de las fincas de Florida: Babosas y caracoles terrestres

Cuando la gente piensa en plagas de plantas, lo primero en lo que piensan son los artrópodos, específicamente los insectos. Desafortunadamente, hay más que solo artrópodos que se consideran plagas de plantas. Uno de estos ejemplos son las...

Florida Farm Pests: Terrestrial Slugs and Snails

When people think of plant pests, the first thing that comes to mind are arthropods, specifically insects. Unfortunately, there are more than just arthropods that are considered plant pests. One of these examples are terrestrial slugs and...

Hydroponics: NFT System

Each year we have less agricultural land available, making it more difficult for farmers to acquire land to grow crops due to urban development increases in Florida. From 2010 to 2019, Florida’s population grew 14.2% to become the third most...