Publisher Letter: Whether you live next to — or a thousand miles away from — a farm, this is the edition for you

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

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THE WORDS OF OUR 34th president of the United States ring more true today than when they were spoken in 1956 during an address to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Our world has gotten smaller and our population bigger, which means our farmers and ranchers have the special challenge of meeting the demands of a growing populace while trying to educate the public about what it takes to make that happen.

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The truth of the matter — which Eisenhower understood all too well — is that farming is not easy. But the question today remains how does the agriculture industry increase awareness about growing challenges, practices, technology, and sustainability? One answer to this question is through agritourism, which we talk about on PAGE 16 (in the printed version) of this special edition of Central Florida Ag News. Growers and ranchers must constantly look for ways to diversify or change with the times, and agritourism is quickly growing as a viable option to accomplish diversification on the farm while building awareness and offering rural recreation to the general public.

The other theme that we present in this edition focuses on ag equipment, for it is today’s technological innovations and the hard work of our farmers and ranchers that make feeding the masses possible. Every year the world’s population grows; there are plenty of hungry mouths to feed and today’s advanced ag equipment helps make it possible. We have a special Work & Play Farm Equipment Section on PAGE 20. I hope you’ll enjoy.

The fall also starts the year’s hunting season, which I know is a favorite hobby among many of our readers. I recommend reading the Q&A on PAGE 14 about hunting wild game.

Other must-reads include our agriyouth feature for this edition on PAGE 38, which talks about how students are learning firearm safety and responsibility, as well as our Recipe Spotlight, which offers some great ideas for cooking up that fresh catch on PAGE 28.

Thanks again for reading Central Florida Ag News.

Nelson Kirkland is publisher of Central Florida Ag News. He may be reached by e-mail at nelson@centralfloridamediagroup.com.