Honey Bees and Veterans: A Winning Combination

By | June 25th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

The importance of honey bees as pollinators of our country’s food supplies cannot be understated. A special program in Louisiana will see honey bees getting a leg up from another group important to our country: military veterans. A partnership between a USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) lab and the Louisiana Armed Forces Foundation (LaAFF) will soon be teaching the art of beekeeping to interested veterans. […]

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The Importance of Ag Education

By | May 24th, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Agriculture is in need of warm bodies in the industry, with vacancies in the scientific and technical side of agricultural employment growing rapidly. It’s one reason why ag education is so important. Traditional ag education classes that pair with organizations like 4-H, Future Farmers of America and others—both in and out of public school classrooms—are touted for their ability to reach kids from diverse backgrounds and get them interested in agriculture. One college program in California is having a profound effect on a group already immersed in agriculture: the children of farm workers. […]

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Florida School Gardens Growing Ag in the Classroom

By | May 2nd, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

According to the statistics, school gardens are NOT too cool for school, as a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) review counts about 1,300 school gardens growing in The Sunshine State alone. A recent study by Karla Shelnutt, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension nutrition specialist and Associate Professor in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and Kohrine Counts, a dietetics intern and master’s student at UF/IFAS,  showed that Florida’s school gardens are helping to put ag in the classroom and fresh produce into the students’ diets. As an added bonus, school gardens have a whole host of additional benefits for all those involved. […]

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Five Tips for Going Green That Will Save You Green

By | April 4th, 2016|Community, Education|

You’d have to have been living under a rock the past few years not to understand that the Earth needs our help. From Global Climate Change and greenhouse gases to plastics in the ocean and animal species on the brink of extinction, we should all be ‘going green’ and changing our ways, or we will face some pretty dire consequences down the road. […]

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Help Pollinators and Ag With a Window Box

By | March 28th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

It’s no secret that pollinators are of vital importance to the country’s agriculture industry, and most people have heard that many pollinators—such as honeybees and Monarch butterflies—are in trouble. Similarly, those pollinators that aren’t experiencing troubles like reduced numbers or documented colony collapses are needed to take up the slack of those that are in dire straits. […]

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Road Map Aims to Reduce Food Waste

By | March 18th, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Researchers predict that we’ll be a population of 9 billion or more and counting by 2050, and each and every one of those mouths will need to eat. It’s an issue that the powers that be are attempting to solve proactively, and there are many avenues identified already for attacking such a problem. From GMO superfoods to indoor agriculture, it’s hoped that each avenue will be able to have an end result of more food reaching more people. One promising avenue is reducing food waste. […]

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The Value of Ag Events Like the Polk County Youth Fair

By | January 25th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

The Polk County Youth Fair wrapped up its latest annual ag event at the end of January. Youth from all over the county had the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labors, representing weeks and months of hard work. From dog showmanship and archery to showing hand-raised livestock and displaying horse handling skills, there’s something for everyone. However, taking home ribbons is just part of the attraction of such ag events; the Polk County Youth Fair, or PCYF, is about so much more than winning. […]

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How Farm Living = Healthier Living

By | January 9th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

Farms and ranches grow and raise the products of healthy living—fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and dairy—but the statistics show that farm living is a healthy thing as well. Here’s a look at the ways and means behind the healthfulness of a farm lifestyle. […]

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The State of Florida’s Fight Against Citrus Greening

By | January 2nd, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Citrus Greening has ravaged the Florida citrus industry for the last 10 years, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. In early December, the USDA released an updated citrus forecast, and the outlook was anything but rosy.  According to the new estimates, the USDA is forecasting only 69 million boxes for all oranges, which is 29 percent less than last year’s total numbers.  While some of the low numbers are due in part to last year’s freezing temperatures, production of oranges overall has fallen by over 50 percent since HLB was detected a decade ago. […]

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Try these Ag Apps to Improve Your Farm or Ranch

By | November 14th, 2015|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Agriculture is steeped in history and tradition, but it also utilizes technology to improve, increase production and stay relevant in a global market. Apps simply require a smartphone—which are now pretty inexpensive these days and can be useful in the field—and many will work with computers as well. Try these apps to improve your agribusiness: [...]

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