The day known as National Ag Day comes only once a year, but there are things you can do in the near future and all year ‘round to show your appreciation for America’s farmers.
You may (or may not) know that March 21 marks the celebration of National Ag Day! While this day only comes once a year, it is a reminder for all of us to indulge in the many opportunities to learn more about Central Florida’s agriculture industry!
In honor of National Ag Day, Central Florida Ag News presents seven favorite ways to honor our local farmers and ranchers— not just on March 21— but at future events, observances, markets, and more:
- Support a local U-Pick farm
U-Pick farms are a great way to literally go out in the field and see what goes into getting your fruits and veggies from the farm to the grocery store. Here is a short list of awesome U-Picks in the Polk County area. If you would like to find more farms near you, check out Fresh From Florida and search your county!
Walter Farms – specializing in blueberries
9613 Alturas Babson Park Cutoff Rd, Bartow, FL 33830
Lake Buffum Farms – specializing in strawberries
3875 Lake Buffum Road W., Fort Meade, FL 33841
- Speak in the classroom (not just on National Ag Day, but any day!)
If you’re an expert in the field, go speak at a local elementary school! Educate our youth on agriculture; you would be surprised how many young students think chocolate milk comes from a brown cow!
- Sign up to participate in Ag Literacy Day
Here’s another way you can help young minds learn more about agriculture: sign up to read to them on May 2, 2017. This years theme for Ag Literacy Day is “Drive through Florida: Aquaculture and Seafood”. Get a group to tag along with you and read to an entire school!
- Buy Fresh From Florida
Shop local this National Ag Day. When you’re in the grocery store, look for the “Fresh From Florida” seal in the section you are shopping in. Try only purchasing those items and supporting your local farmer. If you can’t find the seal, look for any U.S.-grown products before buying from other countries. A new section added to the Fresh From Florida campaign leads us into the next way to show support for local agriculture.
- Fresh from Florida BEEF!
This beef was raised right here in Florida from start to finish on ranches close to you, like Lightsey Cattle Co. It is due to hit shelves in Publix around the 3rd week in March. Be on the look-out!
- Tour a Farm
Once in a while a local agriculture operation will open its doors to the public, allowing for a unique experience of a day on the farm, with fun-filled outdoor learning in store for the whole family. On April 22, local residents will have just such an opportunity with the Central Florida Farm Tour! With the purchase of a ticket, you can load up a car, truck, van, or bus full of your family, friends, students, and neighbors, and have a day of adventure. The Central Florida Farm Tour will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To get more information, or purchase your ticket with passport to these diverse farms and ranches, click here.
- Visit a Farmers Market
Almost every town in Polk County has a local farmer’s market. Find out when your town has one set up, usually once a week, and support your neighborhood farm! Buy fresh fruits and vegetables grown right down the road. Check here to find out where your local market is.
story by ABBY CRAWFORD
photo by TOM HAGERTY