Local farmers honored for environmental leadership

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Gainesville, Fla. –  Nineteen Suwannee River Basin agriculturists will be recognized for their exceptional natural resource stewardship with a County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) award during a dinner  on June 27. The event will be held at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center – Suwannee Valley in Live Oak, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The 13th annual CARES event will honor farmers and ranchers from seven area counties who have implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) to maximize the conservation and protection of natural resources on their properties.

Farm owners who have met verifiable standards of excellence in resource management receive a CARES designation and an identifying CARES sign to post on their property recognizing them for their commitment in taking the lead as environmental stewards.

“We are proud of our farmers and ranchers,” said John Hoblick, president of Florida Farm Bureau. “This award demonstrates their passion to produce safe, abundant food while being excellent stewards of our land and water.”

The CARES event will include a casual dinner with fresh farm foods and an awards presentation with special guest speaker Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick. More than 800 guests are expected to attend to honor their peers.

The CARES program was created by Florida Farm Bureau and the Suwannee River Partnership in 2001 to promote public recognition of state-of-the art agriculture production techniques. In partnership with more than 60 public agencies, CARES has become a model for the rest of the nation.  More than 550 agriculturists statewide have received the CARES award.

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Florida Farm Bureau is the Sunshine State’s largest general agricultural organization with more than 147,000 member-families representing Farm Bureaus in 60 counties. Membership provides a multitude of benefits and you don’t have to be a farmer to be a member of Florida Farm Bureau.

Editors: The list below includes the CARES award recipients who will be recognized at the June 27 dinner celebration. Photos will be available the next day.

2013 CARES Recipients
County First Name Last Name Farm Name Phone
Alachua Louis Smith Smith Brothers Farm 352-222-4506
Columbia Carl Allison Allison Farms 386-303-1393
Gilchrist William Smith Billy And Corliss Smith 352-493-3678
Gilchrist Mervin Hines Mervin Hines Farm 352-494-6521
Gilchrist Johnny Taylor Taylor Farm 352-215-1126
Jefferson Turnbull & Dianne Anderson Anderson Farms 850-997-5608
Jefferson Sloan & Melva Walker Sloan Walker Farm 850-997-4460
Levy Aaron & Donnie Lane Lane Farms 352-221-5263
Levy Ryan Thomas RBT Farms 352-258-9547
Levy Ken & Lynetta Griner Usher Farm 352-493-4221
Levy Dr. Roger West Jeffords Farm 352-373-5251
Levy Dr. Ashby Green West/Green Cattle 386-454-8658
Madison Gary & Annette Haire Young Green Acres 850-253-5520
Madison Willie James Joseph Joseph Family Farm 727-432-3270
Suwannee George Wayne Ross George Ross Farm 904-838-1558
Suwannee Ken Weaver Weaver Farms 386-364-5368
Suwannee James Reeves Jaime, Dylin, Patty and James Reeves Farm 386-288-2361
Suwannee Kevin & Stevie Dasher K & S Farms 386-590-6226
Suwannee Don & Laura Cooper Cooper Farms 386-590-1191