Farm: Alliance Dairies
Location: Trenton, Gilchrist County
Date of Origination: 1990
Commodities: Corn, dairy and sorghum
Ron St. John and Sandy McArthur co-own Alliance Dairies in Trenton, Florida. The farm was started in 1990 with 2,000 cows and 920 acres. Today, the farm has grown to over 5,000 cows on more than 6,000 acres. They proudly produce corn, milk and sorghum.
Mr. St. John has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm since 1990. 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. Alliance Dairies has installed an anaerobic digester that recycles the manure from the dairy cows and returns it back to the land as a fertilizer. This digester also produces enough electricity from the manure to run the dairy and return power back to the grid. A GPS Autosteer system is used for spraying and planting of the crops. Moisture sensors are also used on the farm to determine when and how long to irrigate.
Mr. St. John is actively involved in his local community, serving on the board of Paloma Medical Group, supporting local sports teams, the local FFA and the scholarship foundations in both Levy and Gilchrist counties. He and his family attend the First United Methodist Church in Trenton.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, St. John responded, “at the end of the day, we are all renters, just passing through this beautiful place. It is our responsibility to leave this place as good, or better than we found it.”