Farm: Davie Dairy Inc.
Location: Okeechobee, Okeechobee County
Date of Origination: 1959
In 1959, Theodore Berman and Jim Hazel founded Davie Dairy Inc. in Davie, Florida. Today, the dairy is headquartered in Okeechobee, Florida and is owned and operated by Bill Berman and Glynn Rutledge.
Davie Dairy Inc. has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm 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. Davie Dairy Inc. has developed and implemented a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan throughout the farm. The Dairy uses a system called “Edge of Farm Phosphorous Treatment” to filter out phosphorous before reaching the creeks that drain into Lake Okeechobee. This system uses a specific compound called Alum which is used to react with the phosphorus. Once this reaction occurs 80-85% of the phosphorous is removed before it leaves the farm. In addition, dairy cow waste is recycled into fertilizer that is reused in pastures and fields for various crops.
Mr. Berman and Mr. Rutledge are actively involved in their local community. Mr. Berman is a past president of the United Feed Co-Op Inc. in Okeechobee. Both farmers are Farm Bureau members and attend religious services regularly.
When asked why they are farmers who CARE, they responded, “the resources in Florida are limited and it is our job to conserve the resources we have for the future generations.”