Robert and Pam Butler
Farm: Butler Oaks Farms, Inc.
Location: Lake Okeechobee, Highlands County
Date of Origination: 1972
Robert L. “Bob” Butler, a third-generation farmer, owns Butler Oaks Farm. He has made it a priority to find new and more efficient ways to manage the nutrients that come off his land. Lake Okeechobee, the wellspring of the Everglades and a backup drinking water source for millions of Floridians, has long suffered from phosphorus pollution. Butler has improved the quality of water entering the lake by reducing phosphorus runoff from his dairy.
Butler Oaks voluntarily participates in the South Florida Water Management District’s Dairy Best Available Technologies (or BAT) program, and has reconfigured his dairy’s water management system to reuse all water runoff on the farm.
Butler actively promotes conservation and provides educational tours to demonstrate the latest in environmental technology and Best Management Practices on his farm.
Butler is past president of Dairy Farmers, Inc., and has served on the boards of Southeast Milk, Inc., the Florida Beef Council, the Okeechobee County Farm Bureau, the Florida Farm Bureau Dairy Advisory Committee, the Kissimmee River Advisory Committee, Dairy Management Inc., and the University of Florida’s SHARE Council and Dairy Check-off Committee. In 1982 he was named Florida’s Outstanding Young Dairy Farmer, and in 1994 he received the Okeechobee County Farm Bureau President’s Award.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Butler said that “He is committed to agriculture. It’s important to show how farmers take care of the land and seek solutions to water pollution and other environmental problems.”
Source: FreshFromFlorida.com – 2007