Farm: Bertine Farms
Location: Brooker, Bradford County
Date of Origination: 2003
Commodities: Cattle, hay and sod
Gene Bertine and his family own and operate Bertine Farms in Brooker, Florida. Mr. Bertine has farmed for decades and established Bertine Farms in 2003. They proudly produce cattle, hay and sod.
Mr. Bertine has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm since 2004. 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. Bertine Farms uses a crop rotation system to reduce erosion, improve the soils organic matter and minimize crop disease. Cross fences have been installed to keep cattle from disturbing natural wetlands. Mr. Bertine also uses a rotational grazing system to improve pasture longevity, allow more timely utilization of forage and increase stocking rates. He also installed drinking water facilities for his cattle as a reliable water source.
Mr. Bertine is actively involved in his local community. Being a past 4-H and FFA Alumnus, he is also a Florida Farm Bureau member, involved with the 4-H Foundation and a part of the Mason organization. He and his family are actively involved in their local church.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Bertine responded, “it is important to protect the environment to allow the sustainability of agriculture to flourish.”