2017 CARES Recipient
Farm: Cindale Farms
Location: Marianna, Florida
Date of Origination: 1994
Commodities: Dairy Cattle
Brad and Meghan Austin are second generation dairy farmers who co-own and operate Cindale Farms. Meghan’s parents, Dale and Cindy Eade, founded Cindale Farms in 1994 and now manage the family’s ice cream business, Southern Craft Creamery. In 2014, Brad and Meghan became responsible for management of the 467-acre farm. It is home to 300 Jersey & Jersey crossed cows who are milked twice daily.
Environmental stewardship has been a priority to the family since Cindale Farm’s was established. They were one of the first farms to enroll in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Dairy Best Management Practices (BMPs) and have taken advantage of many environmental stewardship programs to implement nutrient management programs. BMPs are practical, cost- effective methods that producers utilize to improve water quality and water conservation on their farms.
Other programs utilized includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). Through EQIP, Cindale Farms used cost-share dollars to implement a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, rainwater management and storage plan, erosion control and prescribed grazing management. WHIP cost-share funds were used to establish a field border which provides wildlife food and cover benefits.
The farm has also partnered with NRCS to develop and implement a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, forming a baseline of fertilizer use for their operation, and proving that these standards are accessible to farms of all sizes.
Cindale Farms does an outstanding job of connecting consumers to their food through free farm tours and Southern Craft Creamery. By educating customers that the milk used to make their ice cream comes from their family’s fairy farm who make environmental stewardship a priority, is what makes them an outstanding representative Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s CARES Program. Be sure to check out Cindale Farms and Southern Craft Creamery on Facebook!