Farm: Mack Farms
Location: Lake Wales, Polk County
Date of Origination: 1967
Commodities: Cabbage, corn, potatoes and watermelons
Arnold Mack and his family own and operate Mack Farms in Lake Wales, Florida. The farm was started in 1967, when Mr. Mack started growing watermelons. Today, they proudly produce cabbage, corn, potatoes and watermelons.
Mack Farms 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. Mack Farms uses plastic mulch in preparation for watermelon season. The plastic mulch is removed from the field after the season, rather than degrading in the field. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) equipment is used in the application of fertilizer and herbicides to ensure the precise amount is applied. Pivot and seepage irrigation are maintained, cleaned and calibrated to optimize uniformity and efficiency of water use throughout the growing season.
Mr. Mack is actively involved in his local community. He was a past president of the National Watermelon Association and the Florida Watermelon Association. Mr. Mack is also a board member for the United States Potato Board and a member of the Florida Farm Bureau.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Mr. Mack responded, “to protect the wildlife as well as ensuring a home for future generations.”