Farm: Watson Farms
Location: Levy, Gilchrist, & Columbia County
Date of Origination: Late 1800s
Commodities: Peanuts, Hay, Produce, Cattle & Sheep
Rodney Watson, his wife Chelsea, and his brother Rhett operate Watson Farms, a diverse operation that produces peanuts, hay, a variety of produce, cattle and sheep in Levy, Gilchrist, and Columbia Counties. Watson Farms is a 5th generation to be raised on a farm that originated in the late 1800’s. Watson Farms is a family-run business with all members of the family having an active role in the prosperity of the farm.
Watson Farms has implemented BMPs for the past 8 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 pulling precision soil samples on 2.5 acre grids, the use of GPS guided applicators, and the use of soil moisture probes on irrigated fields.
Utilizing GPS guided applicators help indicate when and where to apply fertilizer and nutrients for optimal growth and efficient production. Soil moisture probes in their irrigated peanuts help determine when to water the crops. These practices ensure that their land will remain productive and viable for future generations.
Rodney and Rhett are involved in their community as the owners of Riverside Ag Service, LLC which pulls grid samples for producers in their area.
Watson enjoys taking care of their livestock and growing food for the world. When asked why they believe it is important to protect our environment, Watson responded, “If you take care of the land it will take care of you.”