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Growing for Profit
Monthly Program starts February 18, 2014

This monthly program is designed as an introduction to basic production techniques on a wide variety of topics from pasture management and livestock production to growing vegetables and alternative enterprises. As you consider your options for your farm, learn what is involved and get the resources available to help you be successful.

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Congress at Work: Farm Bill, etc.

With so much attention surrounding the launch of the Healthcare Marketplace Exchange and the cancellation of millions of health care insurance policies, very little significant legislation has passed as a result. For example, remember how 2013 was going to be the year to tackle tax reform? Even the current farm bill –scheduled to expire in 2012 but extended until January 2014 – has not made much headway and may well be this year’s cliffhanger legislation for Congress to pass before year-end.

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Digitizing Our Agricultural History; 77 Years of Annual Statistics Now Online

Did you know that more than 11 million Americans worked on farms in 1930, of which 8.3 million were family workers? Compare that to the fewer than 1.5 million workers employed in agriculture during the peak harvest months of 2011.

Every year, the Department of Agriculture releases a reference book of major agricultural statistics for the United States and countries around the world. It is a one-stop location for annual production, consumption, trade, and price data for all sorts of crops and livestock, as well as spending for government programs, farm economics, and lots of other statistics important to our country’s agricultural system.  Agricultural Statistics has a long history of publication, and is an important archive for researchers to study the history of U.S. farming. 

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Visit us at the Florida Small Farms Conference!

Visit the Small Business Development Center (SBDC at UNF) at Booth #419! The SBDC at UNF is here to assist small farmers in becoming more successful in meeting the challenges of tomorrow.  The center can assist small farmers with starting a farm, buying or selling an existing operation, or growing a farm to the next level. 

The purpose of the annual Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference is to provide farmers with up-to-date, research-based, in-depth educational information. The conference aims to facilitate solutions-based collaboration by encouraging networking and an open dialog among members of Florida’s small farms community. Additionally, the conference is an excellent vehicle for increasing awareness of Florida’s small farms industry, which organizers accomplish by including participation from decision makers and supporting institutions, and partners from the public sector.

Who Should Attend:

  • Small family farms
  • Transitional farmers
  • Beginning farmers
  • Allied-industry representatives
  • Educators and researchers
  • Agricultural associations
  • Policy-makers
  • Foundations
  • Anyone interested in becoming a part of, and strengthening, the small farm community in Florida

We hope to see you there!


Helping Produce Businesses in Many Ways

Accurate and timely information, access to new markets, and financial protection are critical to the success of any business. In the produce industry, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides services to cover all three of these items.

By providing current price and volume information, AMS Market News helps produce businesses, transportation companies, and others make informed decisions. In response to user requests, we created the Custom Average Tool (CAT). This new tool makes it easy to view average price trends over a period of time, select a range of data desired, download data in a spreadsheet, and much more. Choosing which varieties or products to carry and what the price levels might be at a given time of year are easier for  a wholesaler to determine when they can easily visualize average price trends compared to movement in a dashboard. The CAT is now prominently displayed on our Fruit and Vegetable Market News Portal

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Census Provides Opportunity to Grow the Future of Agriculture

The 2012 Census of Agriculture, the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation, is currently being mailed to millions of farmers and ranchers across the United States.  Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture. It looks at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers do business and succeed in the 21st Century.  Read more:


2012 Census of Agriculture Provides Producers Thanks and Hope this Holiday

As our nation’s farm families gather this Thanksgiving to count their many blessings and reflect on this year’s harvest, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) urges producers to ensure their farm or ranch is also counted in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The Census is a crucial tool that provides farmers with a voice in the future of their community and operation.  To read more go to:

USDA Urges Holiday Shoppers to Sample Local Businesses

Saturday, November 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, in partnership with the White House and the Small Business Administration, proudly supports this important effort by asking everyone to shop at small businesses whenever possible.  Presently, there are 28 million small businesses throughout the United States, representing 44 percent of U.S. private sector payroll.  These small businesses also create 2 out of every 3 new American jobs.  Read more here:

USDA Delivers Funding for Hurricane Sandy Recovery Projects in 11 States

 As part of federal efforts to provide necessary support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Agriculture Secretary announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has provided $5.3 million in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program funds to 11 states affected by the storm. EWP—an emergency recovery program—responds to emergencies created by natural disasters by helping people relieve imminent hazards to life and property.  To read more click here:



Drought and Drought Assistance

Throughout much of the country, communities are struggling with one of the worst droughts to strike the U.S. in decades. The lack of rain and high temperatures have done considerable damage to crops — particularly those in the Midwest. USDA and other federal agencies are taking steps to help farmers, ranchers, and small businesses wrestling with this crisis.  To read more about resources and information related to the current drought crisis from across the Government go to:


No drought aid for farmers, ranchers as Congress breaks for summer

Congress adjourned for the summer on Thursday without passing a relief package for farmers and ranchers suffering through the most widespread drought since the 1930s.  Congress has agreed to take the issue up again after Labor Day.  Most farmers devastated by the drought are getting help from federally assisted insurance policies.  But a number of livestock producers are in serious trouble. Why? A decision by Congress four years ago to pass a five-year farm bill that eliminated key federal livestock support programs in 2012 instead of 2013.  To read more go to:



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