This being the sportsman and ag-recreation edition of Central Florida Ag News, I wanted to let folks know how well these two elements fit together in Florida. If you think about it, it’s actually one of those peas-and-carrots sort of things, but for those who wouldn’t go so far as to call themselves a sportsman — or sportswoman — and want to be one, a need for how-to and go-to information might exist.
Fortunately, the resources for would-be sportsmen who live in Florida or want to visit here are plentiful. Good ones include the Florida Agritourism Association; the website operated by Florida Sportsman magazine; the Sunshine State’s own Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and StateofFlorida.com, a site not operated by or affiliated with the state government.
Florida Agritourism Association
Founded in 2013, the FAA invites folks to take “the ultimate field trip” and “explore our Florida adventures.” On its website, the FAA breaks down agritourism — a combination of the state’s top two industries, tourism and agriculture — into 12 categories, and one of them includes trail riding, hunting and petting farms. A dozen farm, ranch, and equestrian center operators currently are showcased here as FAA members. I expect this number to double in no time as people who cater to ag-related recreation and outdoorsmen realize the support and marketing value the FAA offers.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
If you’re seeking outdoor adventures — things to do and places to go — myfwc.com is an excellent site to explore. If you want to buy and apply for recreational and commercial hunting and fishing licenses, wildlife permits, and boating licenses, what you need to know is right here. If you want to know the rules for hunting and fishing in Florida or want to engage in wildlife conservation, FWC offers several guides for you.
StateofFlorida.com is a catch-all site for a wide variety of helpful information about the Sunshine State. It’s an A-to-Z resource, with B guiding you to boats and boating help, F including fishing information, H pointing you to hunting guides, and W getting you close — or as close as possible — to Florida’s wildlife.
Florida Sportsman calls itself “the go-to resource for saltwater and freshwater fishing, boating, hunting, and conservation in the country’s largest outdoor enthusiast market.” That market is Florida, of course.
At floridasportsman.com, visitors will find a vast amount of information about Florida’s great outdoors, regional reports, a how-to section for novice sportsmen, and dozens of recipes for wild game and freshwater and saltwater fish.
Among the best parts of the website is the collection of forums, where members share information, seek information, provide recommendations, and tell all about their exciting outdoor adventures. Where one sportsman has a great time in Florida, others follow, and ag-recreation in the state expands.
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Arcadia, and Plant City. You also can visit his Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch online at www.DH-LR.com. A cattle rancher and citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.