Farm: SMR Farms
Location: Bradenton, Manatee County
Date of Origination: 1922
Commodities: Cattle, citrus, ornamental tree and turf
SMR Farms is family owned and operated by a board of directors made up of the Uihlein family. Gary Bradshaw is currently the president of SMR Farms and oversees the farm that was established in 1922 by the Uihlein family. They proudly produce cattle, citrus, ornamental trees and turf.
SMR Farms has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm since the 1990’s. 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. SMR Farms practices a rotational grazing system that improves pasture longevity, allows for more timely utilization of forage and increases the stocking rates. Fertilizer application is monitored and recorded to ensure the proper amount of fertilizer is applied to the soil. Water application throughout the groves and turf are monitored using tensiometers to ensure the precise amount of water is applied. Weather stations in the groves record accurate readings of rainfall, wind and temperature, which assist SMR in conserving water, by only irrigating when necessary and providing proper protection to the trees during a freeze event. Many other turf, cow/calf and citrus BMPs are used throughout SMR Farms.
Gary Bradshaw is actively involved in his local community. He is on the board for the Manatee County Farm Bureau, a member of various turf associations, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Mr. Bradshaw responded, “it is important to be good stewards of the land and to be in tune with the resources we were given.”