Farm: D.R. Fussell Ranch
Location: Polk City, Polk County
Date of Origination: 1870’s
D.R. Fussell and his family own and operate D.R. Fussell Ranch in Polk City, Florida. The ranch was established by D.R.’s great grandfather, George Fussell, in the 1870’s. They proudly produce cattle.
D.R. Fussell Ranch has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the ranch for decades. BMPs are a set of guidelines that advise producers on how to manage the water, nutrient, and pesticides they are using to reduce agriculture’s impact on the state’s natural resources. D.R. Fussell Ranch practices a rotational grazing system that improves pasture longevity, allows for more timely utilization of forage and increases the stocking rates. Mr. Fussell has installed wells to give the cattle a reliable source of drinking water and keep them from disturbing the natural wetlands. Soil samples are also taken regularly to ensure the proper amount of fertilizer is being applied to each pasture.
Mr. Fussell is actively involved in his local community. He is director of the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association and a past supervisor for the Soil and Water Conservation District in Polk County. He and his family attend Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Polk City.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Mr. Fussell responded, “when a feller leaves this land, he needs to leave it the same or in better condition than when he found it.”