We often post about new developments, studies, and projects directed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension. As agriculture advocates, we are blessed to have such a tremendous resource for the industry.  A recent article in the Jackson County Floridian highlights agriculture innovators.  The article shares that for the past three years, UF has been teaming up with the Farm Credit of Northwest Florida to honor innovators in the agriculture industry.  The forum honors an elite group of innovative farmers and ranchers in the Florida Panhandle. The purpose of the Agriculture Innovator Recognition Program is to annually recognize innovative farmers and ranchers from 16 Florida Panhandle counties, from Jefferson west to Escambia County. A goal of the program is to bring top farmers together, and foster further innovation.

This year, Herman Laramore was recognized as the Jackson County Agriculture Innovator of the Year by the Jackson County Extension Service. Laramore is the business manager of the Bar L Ranch located near Marianna, and a leader in the Florida Cattle Industry. Through exceptional management, Laramore and his team are able to identify superior sire lines which drastically improve both the productivity and the marketability of the herd.  The practices implemented by the Bar L Ranch have enabled the ranch to decrease their breeding season from 120 days down to 75 days.  The University of Florida has partnered with the ranch to develop protocols that are now used all over the world.

From the distinguished pool of 13 County Innovators, an “Innovator of the Year” was selected to represent Northwest Florida. This year, Stephen and Tracie Fulford were selected as the Farm Credit of Northwest Florida Agriculture Innovator of the Year. The Fulfords were selected because they combine environmental stewardship, technology, and innovation to make Fulford Farms successful.