Farm: Starnes Farming and Trucking Inc.
Location: Levy & Marion County
Date of Origination: 1985
Commodities: Peanuts, Hay, & Cattle
Jeff and Robin Starnes own and operate Starnes Farming and Trucking Inc., in Levy and Marion Counties. The farm began in 1985 and proudly produces peanuts, hay, and raises cattle. Starnes Farming and Trucking Inc. is a family-run business with all members of the family having an active role in the prosperity of the farm.
Starnes Farming and Trucking Inc. has implemented BMPS for the past 20 years. 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. Some of the BMPs that have been implemented include no till peanuts, cover crop, rotational grazing, soil samples and GPS application fertilizers.
Starnes uses a split application of fertilizer for peanuts and pastures, allowing a smaller more efficient rate to try and avoid leaching and run off. Rotational grazing utilizes cross fencing or fencing of sensitive areas to allow for animal rotation and protection of waterbodies. By rotating the herd from pasture to pasture, it gives the grass enough time to grow tender leaves for cattle grazing and enhances efficiency to the pastures’ growth. These practices ensure that their land will remain productive and viable for future generations.
Starnes is an active member of the Williston FFA Alumni, Farm Bureau and the Florida’s Cattlemen’s Association. When asked what he enjoys the most about farming, Starnes responded, “I enjoy teaching my children the importance of hard work and how it pays off. I feel blessed to be able to raise my family on the farm and show them how important farming is to mankind.”