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VOLUME 39 NUMBER 4 • PH. 813-737-NEWS (6397) • E-MAIL: FARMRANCHNEWS@AOL.COM • WWW.FARMAND R A N C H N E W S . C O M

Agriculture’s Most Trusted Source For News, Views and Advertising Since 1974 Quinn Carter receives Florida Cattlemen’s “Florida Premier Exhibitor” Award Quinn Carter, an 11th grade student at Haines City High School, has been awarded the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Florida Premier Brangus Exhibitor award and also the Florida Premier Brangus Bull award for one of her bulls. She also won Senior Showmanship at the Polk County Youth Fair this year and won Grand and Reserve Grand Champion at the Florida State Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival. Quinn has been in the FFA for only three years and this is her 2nd year

in showing cattle. Quinn is an outstanding student that works hard on her academics but her passion is her Brangus. She has also been a part of several judging teams (poultry, livestock and vet-tech) and has shown poultry,swine, horticulture, steers, and beef. Quinn has fulfilled her requirements and will be receiving her State FFA Degree at the State FFA Convention. She will also be going to the Junior National Brangus Show in Louisiana this summer with two of her Brangus.

Quinn and her bull

Candidates Seek State FFA Officer Positions for 2012-2013

The following FFA students are candidates for state offices: from left to right, above: Presidential Candidates: Clayton Willis, South Lake FFA and Matthew Cantrell, Baker County FFA. Area VI Vice-President Candidate Ashley Hassan, Okeechobee Brahman FFA. Area V Vice-President Candidates: Lucas Worley, Lennard FFA and David Walden, Durant FFA. Area IV Vice-President Candidates: Harley Zoeckler, Frostproof FFA and Katie Hutchinson, West Orange FFA. Area III Vice-President Candidates: Justin Watson, Pine Ridge FFA and Amber Sapp, South Sumter FFA. Area II VP Candidates: Sarah Trimm, Bronson FFA and Cecelia Koon, Lafayette FFA. Area I VP Candidates: Christen Howell, Sneads FFA and Shelby Calloway, Malone FFA.

Rabies Cases in Florida

A case of rabies was reported in a Raccoon in Fort Meade on May 22. Last month, the Lee County Health Department was encouraging animal owners to be certain that their pets and horses are vaccinated against rabies following the death of a horse in North

Ft. Myers. The rabies death was confirmed last month as the first livestock or domestic animal rabies case in two years. Among wild animals, the disease is most often reported in skunks and raccoons but is also found in bats and foxes, and usually is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal into a bite wound. Rabies consistently poses a threat to domestic animals that are not vaccinated. Rabies is a fatal disease, but is easily prevented with vaccinations. Disease prevention - through vaccination and good management - is good for the horse, owner and veterinarian. For more information about rabies or other equine diseases, talk with your veterinarian and go to www.outbreak-alert.com


SFWMD Governing Board Re-Elects Officers

Chair H. Paul Senft Jr.

Vice Chair Hugh M. Gramling

H. Paul Senft Jr. has been reelected by his peers to serve as Governing Board chair of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The Governing Board also reelect its other current officers which are: Hugh M. Gramling, vice chair; Douglas B. Tharp, secretary; and Albert G. Joerger, treasurer. Chair H. Paul Senft Jr. Senft of Haines City was appointed to the Governing Board in March 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board secretary. Senft graduated from Druid Hills High School in Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Emory University and his master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University. Senft is the owner of TownsendSenft Consulting and Insurance Inc., and is past president of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. He has also served in numerous appointed and

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Secretary Douglas B. Tharp

elected government positions on the Polk County Commission, Polk County Industrial Development Authority, Polk County Zoning Board, Polk Community College Board, and the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is a past chairman of the Central Florida Economic Development Council and is currently the director of the Haines City Economic Development Council. Vice Chair Hugh M. Gramling Gramling of Plant City was appointed to the Governing Board in April 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board secretary. Gramling graduated from Plant City High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Gramling retired as executive director of the Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers in March. He is also a member of several professional organizations, including the International Plant Propagators Society, the Florida Nursery Grow-

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Treasurer Albert G. Joerger

ers & Landscape Association, the American Nursery & Landscape Association, and the Florida Society of Association Executives. In addition to his nursery and landscape industry experience, Gramling is chair of the Hillsborough County Soil & Water Conservation District, and has served on the Green Industry Advisory Committee, the Plant City Election Board, the Hillsborough County Utilities Water Technical Advisory Committee, and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association Research Committee. Secretary Douglas B. Tharp Tharp of The Villages was appointed to the Governing Board in September 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board treasurer. Tharp graduated from Shamokin High School in Shamokin, Pa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Penn State University. Tharp is a retired industrial en-

gineer. He has more than 15 years’ experience managing large government contracts. He also has more than 10 years’ experience as an outreach specialist for the Penn State Department of Engineering, where he advised entrepreneurs and manufacturers on using technology to improve efficiency. Tharp serves on the Sumter County Republican Executive Committee and is the past president of The Villages Homeowners Association, which boasts 17,000 members. He currently serves on the association’s board of directors and The Villages Homeowners Charitable Foundation, Inc., which raises money for local charities and disaster relief. Treasurer Albert G. Joerger Joerger of Sarasota was appointed to the Governing Board in February 2008. Joerger graduated from Council Rock High School in Newtown, PA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University. Joerger continued his education at Cornell by earning a master’s degree in landscape architecture and a doctorate in environmental information science with a minor in conservation and sustainable development. Joerger is founder of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in Osprey. He also currently serves as president emeritus of the Florida Alliance of Land Trusts. He served two governors on their transition teams. He was recognized as one of Sarasota’s top “40 Under 40” by the Gulf Coast Business Review for his work in the Sarasota community, as well as an “environmental hero” by Sarasota Magazine.

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Hillsborough Commissioner Higginbotham Initiates An LDC Amendment To Assist Local Farmers Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, District 4, and the Board of County Commissioners have initiated an amendment to the Land Development Code to allow farmers to continue their agricultural operations in land rezoned to Planned Development (PD). A Planned Development is defined in the LDC as “land under unified control to be planned and developed as a whole in a single development operation…” Examples include subdivisions, town homes, apartments, mixed used developments, medical complexes and other projects that require greater flexibility than otherwise provided by the Code. Development Services estimates that there are approximately 2,500 planned developments in Hillsborough County. Many times, the applicant will include a condition to allow all agricultural uses in the interim until the PD is developed. This allows farmers to continue their operations on the land until the developer begins the construction. Commissioner Higginbotham expressed great concern when a couple from southern Hillsborough County was required to submit an application to be removed from the PD so their family could engage in

farming operations that had been allowed on the property prior to the PD zoning. “In the current economic times, many planned developments are not being realized and the farming community would like to continue to utilize the land. However, they are dependent on the applicant to have included a condition giving them permission to do so. It is my hope that our amendment will recognize the value agriculture provides to the vacant parcels,” said Commissioner Higginbotham. In the Land Use meeting on June 12, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to receive a staff report and draft amendment. If approved, the amendment would be included in the 2012 second cycle of amendments. A community meeting is scheduled for July 24, 2012. The schedule for the amendments can be found at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/zoning/ codes/2011/ldcAmendShed.pdf. Hillsborough County’s Agriculture Industry Development Program estimated that in 2010, agriculture contributed $815 million to the Tampa Bay economy. A majority of the acreage resides in District 4, represented by Commissioner Higginbotham.

UF/IFAS dedicates conference center at Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra Since 2000, the University of Florida’s Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra has been an idea place” where new crops and production techniques are tested. Now, it’s a place where new ideas can be communicated to UF faculty, students and guests much more easily. At a May 16 ceremony attended by several hundred guests, UF officials dedicated the unit’s new 12,000 square-foot conference center, the Frank Stronach Plant Science Center, named for the donor who funded the building project. “Today, we gather to dedicate more than a building-it’s an idea place,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. That sentiment was echoed by several other speakers, including UF President Bernie Machen, who noted that many of the crop varieties developed by UF plant breeders get their first real-world field trials at the unit. Though the 1,068-acre unit has always had plenty of room for cultivating plants, it’s only now that there’s enough teaching space, said Danny Colvin, the unit’s director. The conference center comprises two facilities: a 7,000 square-foot open-air pavilion and a 5,380 square-foot multipurpose room, which can be divided into three classrooms or opened into an auditorium with seating for 300. Both will be used for classes, seminars, field days and other teaching and extension functions, he

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said. At the dedication ceremony, Colvin recounted the unit’s history. Donated to UF in 1972, the land was used for cattle research until 1995 and repurposed for plant research in 2000. “We built it one piece at a time,” he said, explaining how the number of plant research experiments grew from an initial 13 to a present count of more than 600. Two years ago, Colvin met Frank Stronach, a Canadian entrepreneur who sought advice for a grass-fed beef enterprise he was planning in Marion and Levy counties. Impressed with the unit’s work, Stronach donated $1.5 million needed to construct the multipurpose building and pavilion. Stronach addressed the audience at the ceremony, saying he hopes to be a good corporate citizen and looks forward to working with UF personnel on future projects. The ceremony concluded with a pair of ribbon-cutting ceremonies, one involving Stronach and Marion County commissioners, the other pairing him with UF officials. Research at the unit involves trees, turf, ornamentals, vegetables, fruits and energy crops. Programs there focus on topics such as organic production, weed science, plant pathology, insect pest management, irrigation and soil fertility. Tom Nordlie/ IFAS News Bldg. 116, UF main campus tnordlie@ufl.edu (352) 273-3567

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Celebrating 4-H Legislature’s 40th Anniversary 4-H Legislature Alumni Gathering Coming June 28th They call it “Leg”, and many Florida 4-H alumni describe it as one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. The event is Florida 4-H Legislature, a simulated legislative session held every summer in Tallahassee at the state Capitol. There, bills are debated and then passed or voted down by 4-H’ers, ages 14 to 18, who act as representatives, senators, lobbyists, reporters, judges and other figures involved in the state’s official business. The first Florida 4-H Legislature took place in 1973 and was such a success that it’s been held every year since. To mark the event’s 40th anniversary, the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program is hosting the first Legislature alumni gathering, June 28-29 in Tallahassee. All 4-H alumni are invited. Legislative experience is not required, but registration is encouraged. See http://florida4h.org/Alumni/2012alumnievents.shtml for information. At noon on Thursday, June 28, attendees will view the final hours of the 2012 Florida 4-H Legislature session, expected to end at 3:30 p.m. with closing ceremonies. That evening, alumni may join current 4-H’ers at the 2012 Florida 4-H Legislature formal banquet in the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center; tickets are available at the registration website.

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“Waves” by Myke Morris - Contributing Editor

I have heard Patti Davis say that her father taught her that to get past the surf to the calm beyond, "you must face the waves," not run from them. Go with me now from the vast waters of the Pacific to a dry gulch a little north of Helena, Montana. Mention "Mann Gulch" to anyone who fights wildfire and you will likely get some reaction though perhaps not many details. The name is a legend even if the particulars are somewhat hazy. On August 5, 1949 fifteen men jumped out of an airplane over a dry Montana gully. They floated to the ground in Mann Gulch near a small 'Class C' fire (10 to 99 acres). Though they landed in very rough, rocky terrain, ironically only the foreman, 'Wag' Dodge, was injured with an elbow cut to the bone. There are many ironies in this story; too many to recount here. The one I want involves Dodge so that is the reason I name him while neglecting the others. As they gathered their equipment and treated Dodge's elbow, they heard a crash. Their radio smashed into the ground under a failed parachute. Instead of the crews of firefighters that they expected to find already on the fire, they picked up one lone man. They were on their own in that dry, rocky wilderness; a total crew of 16 young men facing a fire that would burn into history. At about 4:00 PM they had

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jumped on a "10 o'clock fire"; that is, one they expected to have under control by 10:00 the next morning. But shortly after assembling and gathering their gear, 16 young men were running for their lives. Before 6:00 PM, 11 were dead and two others were so badly burned they did not live until 10:00 the next morning. Ultimately, the fire took 450 men to control and burned 4,500 acres. What made the difference between 4 and 6 that hot August afternoon? In his book Young Men and Fire, Norman Maclean takes 300 pages to try to explain. It is still open for debate. It is enough for now to say that for about an hour after landing, everything seemed routine. Then, suddenly, the fire blew up. (I find that is a very fitting expression to use reading Maclean's description of a "blow-up". The small fire that is like a fuse hits the fuel that is like the bomb and it literally "blows up.") From advancing to fight the fire at about 5 o'clock, Dodge ordered a retreat and then, moments later, ordered his men to abandon their tools. That is like a ship captain cutting the lines on the life boats and shouting "every man for himself." As the men ran for their lives toward the ridge between Mann Gulch and (I could not make this up) Rescue Gulch, a strange thing happened. Dodge stopped and lit a match. He tried to get the rest of his men to stop too, and lie down in the middle of the fire he lit! Some of the men were already ahead of him, although probably barely so, and perhaps could have heard his calls. Some of his men apparently ran past as he motioned

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them to join him. But none did. Of the three men who made it to the top of the ridge, two survived and one died of his burns. All the rest but Dodge died in Mann Gulch. Dodge survived by doing the strange thing of starting another fire and then lying down in it! There is anecdotal evidence of others using a "rescue fire" before, but it was not something firefighters in that time ever considered. Why Dodge thought of it and chose it is a mystery, but it brings me to my point. It would seem that the other firefighters expected to outrun the fire – they expected deliverance by running away. Dodge saw that to survive, he must face the fire. It was years later that the man who taught his little daughter to face the waves on that sunny California beach stood beside an ancient gate in a far off city, and looked across a wall at the might of an enemy with the power to destroy civilization. He issued a challenge that made the wise men of his generation shudder. Not to take a few bricks off the Berlin wall, not to open a gate or two, but to "tear down this wall!" Because he courageously faced that enemy, the wall came down. Not just bricks and mortar, but the walls of fear, ignorance, oppression, tyranny, and hatred itself began to tumble. Ms. Davis’ halfbrother, Michael Reagan, has said that growing up, his father never told him, "I love you," and that he held that against

him for years. But, at the end of his father’s life, when Alzheimer's had taken such a toll that his father wasn't able to say his name, Michael began to come to him and hug him and say to him, "I love you." Without using those words, President Ronald Reagan had shown his love for mankind by issuing the challenge that freed so many. But in the end, Michael gave his father the words that had been missing. HIs father finally knew him as, "The man who hugs me and says, 'I love you." It is love that gets us past the waves, past the walls, past hate, and past death itself. It is love that always wins. Romans 5:6-8 (ASV) For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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Mosaic Honors Contractors at Fifth Annual Safety Recognition Luncheon 107 Local Business Recognized for Outstanding Safety Performance

Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC recently honored 107 local contractors with exemplary safety records at its fifth annual Contractor Safety Recognition Luncheon. The contractors were recognized for achieving excellence in safety through demonstrated safety leadership and performance. To be eligible for recognition, contractors were required to have worked more than 2,000 hours last year at Mosaic facilities. “Those contractors who demonstrate the highest standards of safety performance are recognized during this very special event,” said Mike Neal, DirectorHeath, Safety & Security-Phosphates & Distribution/International. “By hosting this annual Contractor Safety Luncheon, we’re showing our contractors as well as our employees how much we appreciate their commitment to Mosaic’s ongoing goal of relentlessly pursuing an injury-free workplace.” Contractors who represented the highest standards of safety performance were recognized at three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Dillon Transport, Inc.. Rogers Grove Service, Inc. Triple S&P, Inc. (Formerly Dixie Southern Contractors Inc) Rubber Applications, Inc. Florida Dredge & Dock Ryan Companies, Inc. Glausier Electric, Inc. Semco Construction, Inc. Godwin Pumps of America, Inc. Sims Crane & Equipment Co. Hardee Agri-Care Southeast Industrial Sales & Service, Inc. Hatch Associates Consultants Superior Coating, Inc. Health Fitness Corporation Tampa Armature Works, Inc. Hudson Pump & Equipment Associates Trans Phos Inc Hughes Supply Company (H.D. Supply) Union Tank Car Company Joe Browder Consolidated Fiberglass Walter Graves Construction & Roofing The Mosaic Contractor Safety Recognition Luncheon is an annual event at which Mosaic recognizes contractors who exemplify the company’s commitment to safety and the relentless pursuit of an injury free workplace.

Companies receiving a Gold designation: Acuren Inspection Penn Pro, Inc Bul-hed Corporation Plants by Prophit Corrosion Control, Inc. Rita Staffing Dale C. Rossman, Inc. Road and Rail Services, Inc Electrical Engineering Enterprises RSS Field Services, Inc Flanders Electric Motor Srv. Safety Training and Consulting (STC) Ground Level Siemens Water Technologies, Inc Industrial Engineering Services Skipper Grassing, Inc J. H. Ham Engineering, Inc. Tight Line Services James Construction Group – Florida TLC Tractor & Sod Kendrick Land Surveying Kovacs Brothers Inc Tru Fab Doors Miles Land Development Vector/Vehicare Corp MJM Electric, Inc Zerbo Industrial Services P.R. Steelecoat, Inc Vanavac Inc. Companies receiving a Silver designation: Plibrico Sales & Service, Inc. Mills Compressor Service Inc Denard and Moore Construction National Pump & Compressor LP Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. Phoschem Supply Company Epperson & Company Pickett & Associates, Inc. Florida Handling Systems Preferred Maintenance & Construction Graphite Maintenance, Inc. Southern Air Compressor Service Inc Hertz Service Pump & Compressor Southern Developers Hurricane Hydro Inc Taylor’s Industrial Coatings Keller Grassing Company Inc Turner Coatings, Inc. Companies receiving Bronze designation: Allied Reliability, Inc. Kimmins Contracting Corp. American Compliance Technology (ACT) Kleinfelder (LPG) American Construction & Engineering McDonald Construction Corp Ardaman & Associates Metalcoat Inc. Arr-Maz Custom Chemicals Metalcraft Services Atlantic Scaffolding Company Mid State Machine & Fabricating / MS Industrial Bennie Albritton Grove Service Mike Braxton Brand Energy & Infrastructure – FL Milam Environmental Services, LLC C J Bridges Railroad Contractor Inc Moretrench Environmental Services CAT Logistics Natural Resource Planting Service CCC Group, Inc. O’Cain, Inc. Central Construction Omega Consultants, Inc. Citrus Air, Inc. Orange Industrial Services, Inc. Comanco Environmental Corp. P & H Minepro Corbesco Maintenance Services, Inc. Payne Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. Crane Tech Pro-Industries, Inc. Crawford Hill Interiors R.W. Summers Railroad Contractor, Inc.. Custom Drilling Services, Inc. Reintjes D.B. Construction Services, Inc. Rescar, Inc.

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Economist: Weigh Every Option before Considering Restocking Beef Herds by Blair Fannin

COLLEGE STATION –Restocking may be an option that many ranchers are considering, but rainfall and other factors will weigh heavily into the decisionmaking process, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist. Dr. Jason Johnson, AgriLife Extension economist from Stephenville, told beef producers at the recent O.D. Butler Forage Field Day at Camp Cooley Ranch if the conditions are right “and even with high input costs, these high market prices can make you some good money.” The most important issue that producers must determine, he said, is when pastures will recover from the drought and provide enough forage to consider restocking. Texas pastures took a beating last year due to historic drought conditions, Johnson said. He urged producers to use caution and carefully develop a strategy to rebuild herds. Since 1971, Texas is down some 25 percent in cow inventory, he said. “2011 was the single largest decline in beef cow numbers we’ve ever seen,” he said. “All of these things are supportive of high calf prices and in support of beef overall. We are not in a situation where we are building cow-calf numbers up.” The price forecast looking ahead to April 2013 is $1.63 per hundredweight for 700-pound calves. “Coupled with declining cow numbers, it looks like these high prices are here for a while,” he said. “Cattle on feed prices are going higher as well as live cattle prices. Fewer cows, fewer calves and less beef… that’s signaling higher prices.” Other factors such as global finance crisis could affect consumer spending on beef. “If people don’t have money to pay for electricity, they don’t have money to buy beef,” he said. In the meantime, Johnson said feedlot return margins are thin due to fewer calves available to put on feed. He said feedlots are “like hotels, and the occupancy rates haven’t been too good.” There are also infrastructure issues, such as operational costs at auction barns. “With small runs at the auction barns, they still have to pay for overhead costs,” he said. Ultimately, if a rancher decides to restock, how much are they willing to pay?, Johnson asked. Should they buy replacement heifers or cow-calf pairs? When it comes to replacement heifers, Johnson said beef producers should consider how much they can sell their heifers versus raising them. With market prices climbing, Johnson said producers may elect to sell those animals and make a nice profit. “You really have to answer the question: ‘Am I willing to forgo that paycheck I would receive holding on to that replacement heifer rather than selling it?’” Johnson said. “It’s going to be two years before I get that first paycheck out of that animal if I hold on to it and raise it as a replacement.” Those that choose to buy replacements should

Dr. Barron Rector, Texas AgriLife Extension Service range specialist, displays white prickly poppy as part of a walking tour at the O.D. Butler Memorial Forage Field Day held at Camp Cooley Ranch. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)

do so through private treaty (a private buysell negotiation) rather than an auction barn, unless there is a special consignment sale, Johnson said. “Where you buy them is important,” he said. Johnson also suggested ranchers consider storing up to two years worth of hay supplies to cut down costs. In 2011, hay prices skyrocketed above $300 a round bale, so he advised developing the capacity to store excess hay so producers could avoid the necessity of buying hays in extremely expensive years like last year. Other suggestions included getting soil samples so producers can apply fertilizer at an economical and recommended rate. “You absolutely have to know your fertilizer needs and (considering) the high cost of fertilizer. Better information will lead to more efficient applications,” he said. “With a soil test, you know what your pasture needs are.” Johnson also advised producers to consider purchasing drought insurance to further protect from downside operation risk. Meanwhile, Dr. Barron Rector, AgriLife Extension range specialist, gave a walking tour that included plant identification. He discussed grazing and weed management strategies with producers. He said coming out of last year’s drought, many pastures are seeing a lot of weed growth development. Seed from some of the weeds observed are noted to be viable in the soil for up to 15 years. Without good management and observation of pasture changes, the soil weed-seed bank will be increased this year for future years, Rector said. “Take Broomweed for example,” he said. “Every day that we come out of a drought, that weed seed bank gets replenished. Everything that happens on the land is a reflection on us as managers. To grow grass, you’ve got to get water in the soil and keep it there.” He said three-inch stubble height will retain more rainfall in the soil than forage grazed down to the surface, which will brown out faster. Pasture conditions with short grass or little cover allow the sun to heat up the soil surface more resulting in soil-water loss to the atmosphere through evaporation, Rector said.

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“With knowledgeable grass management, I can keep water in the soil longer, and I can grow grass longer,” he said. Pointing to the green pastures at the ranch, Rector said, “What grass you are seeing out there right now might be what we are carrying for livestock grazing to the next hurricane in the fall.” That’s why Rector stressed the importance of grazing heights on pasture in order to preserve soil moisture. He also discussed various weed types found during the walking tour and advised producers to spray herbicides in March to get the best response time for grass growth. “This will allow ample time for grass to grow during the optimal months (March, April and May) when we expect temperatures to be cooler and the limited rainfall we receive to hang around longer.”

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Watchful Mom-To-Be Thwarts Alligator Attack By Stephanie Farmer

While at Crystal Springs covering the Native Plant Conference, I snapped some photos of this dutiful Sandhill Crane mom-to-be.

Gently rotating each of her eggs

Returning from an evening meal – yes mom’s need a break too!

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The caretakers of the spring told me how they had witnessed a botched alligator attack. As the gator approached, the mom let out a shrill call for help. Suddenly a flock of sandhill cranes from out of nowhere, swooped around the nest to protect it and the mom. Rather than face the mob of sharply billed cranes, the alligator slipped back into the river.

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FINANCIAL FOCUS

Can You Turn “Be a Millionaire Day” into Reality? If you look hard enough, you can find many obscure holidays, but few of them can instantly capture people’s interest as much as Be a Millionaire Day, which is “celebrated” on May 20. While amassing a million dollars may not be as significant a milestone as it used to be, most of us would still feel pleased if we could someday attain “millionaire” status. While there are no perfect formulas or guarantees, here are some steps to consider when working toward any investment goal: • Put time on your side. The earlier you begin saving and investing, the better your chances of reaching your financial goal. You can’t expect to “strike it rich” immediately with any single investment, but by investing year in and year out, and by choosing quality investment vehicles, you have the opportunity to achieve growth over time. • Pay yourself first. If you wait

until you “have a little extra money lying around” before you invest, you may well never invest. Instead, try to “pay yourself first.” Each month, move some money automatically from a checking or savings account into an investment. When you’re first starting out in the working world, you might not be able to afford much, but as you advance in your career, you can increase your contributions. • Control your debts. It’s easier said than done, but if you can keep a lid on your debt payments, you’ll have more money with which to invest. • Take advantage of tax deferral. When you invest in tax-deferred vehicles, such as a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, your money has the opportunity to grow faster than it would if placed in an investment on which you paid taxes each year. Of course, when

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you start taking withdrawals, presum ably at retirement, you’ll have to pay taxes, but by then, you may be in a lower tax bracket. And since you’ll have some control over your withdrawals, you can help control taxes, too. • Build share ownership. As an investor, one of the best things you can do to build your wealth is to increase the number of shares you own in your investments. So, look for buying opportunities, such as when prices are low. Also, consider reinvesting any dividends or distributions you may receive from your investments. • Don’t be overly cautious. For your money to grow, you need to put a portion of your investment dollars in growth-oriented vehicles, such as stocks. It is certainly true that stock prices will always fluctuate, sometimes quite sharply, and you may receive more or less than your original investment when sold. But

if you avoid stocks entirely in favor of more stable vehicles, you run the risk of earning returns that may not keep you ahead of inflation. As you approach retirement, and even during retirement, your portfolio will probably still need some growth potential. Work with your financial advisor to determine the appropriate approach for you. • Think long term. By creating a long-term investment strategy and sticking to it, you’ll be less likely to take a “timeout” from investing in response to perceived negative news, such as market downturns and political crises. Following these suggestions may someday allow you to reach the point when your financial goals become a reality for you. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor., Tim Shuff, CFP.

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Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News


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CJ and Margaret Digging Potatoes Ah! It’s gardening time and in the Strickland family it is a yummy time of year, albeit with a bit of sweat equity put forth in their organic garden. Currently their garden has a large variety of fresh foods available such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, squash, asparagus, cucumbers, green beans and a few other things. It might be work, but what kid does not enjoying digging in the dirt, especially when you are digging up fresh potatoes as Margaret and CJ are doing.

Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News

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Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News


32nd Annual Florida Native Plant Society Conference Held in Plant City By Stephanie Farmer-Associate Publisher

Jessica Springer, with Springer Environmental, and Greyson, and his wooden alligator.

After over two years of planning, the event finally arrived! This year Plant City hosted the 32nd Annual Florida Native

yards, leaving only about 1/3 for animal habitat. But, you don’t have to have a lawn for an attractive landscape. You can add native trees and plants for balance. One of the problems that occur when we rake or mow our lawns (so there is no leaf litter under the grass) is that we disturb the balance of nature leaving no homes for bugs. Bugs are important to a variety of native and migratory birds. While bird feeders help feed some birds such as cardinals, most are carnivorous such, as blue birds. For instance, it takes about 4,800 caterpillars to feed one chickadee! Now, imagine a migratory bird which has flown thousands of miles that arrives in an area devoid of the necessary bug population to sustain them due to over spraying and poor natural lawn management. We are actually negatively impacting nature in a variety of ways, including the bird population. Everything depends upon creating a whole system to give wildlife a chance. You can have a beautiful lawn, but there is a way to balance your lawn care such as maintaining leaf litter, as well as planting a variety of beautiful native flowers, plants and trees, thus encouraging and helping wildlife. There is also an added plus to planting native species: water conservation. With water resources quickly dwindling, native plants tend to sip, rather than guzzle, our precious resource. This conference and the various other societies around the State can help you do so.

Plant Society Conference. This is a once-a-year three-day event requiring lots and lots of planning. What makes this event so unique is that it is never held in the same location twice, therefore making it accessible to more people. Planners coordinated a large variety of topics and speakers from Orchids, How to Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, how to grow native plants in your yard to Florida Land Trusts and Cooperative Invasive Species Management. They also designed a series of 20 field trips from Green Swamp to the Indian Mounds in Pinellas County. One of the goals of this event was to educate homeowners and landscapers on the hows and whys of growing native plants in your yard or landscape. A large variety of people attended from all over the state. One was a professor at Manatee State College. He will be teaching ecology at the next school year and wanted to learn more about native plants in order to pass the information on to his students. He said most of his students currently own or will own a home with a lawn and this is information they need to know. Another couple from the South Florida area came with the anticipation of taking back what they learned to their homeowner association, and to encourage more native specie planting, even if they only encourage fellow homeowners one yard at a time. Why are native species important in your own home landscape? Here’s an example: about 30% of the land in the City of Tampa is impervious to water due to pavement and roads, Cleaning your yard so all you see is dirt and grass while 30% more are mowed without leaf litter is not good for the balance of nature.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higgenbotham’s wife, Devon, was one of the coordinators of this event. She is seen here with a variety of native plants various vendors were selling.

Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News

The event ended with a visit and banquet at beautiful Crystal Springs.

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Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News


1st Baptist Church of Plant City Donates Property to Pregnancy Care Center

Above, left to right: Coleman Davis, Deacon Chairman; Dr. Michael Lewis, Pastor, First Baptist Church Plant City; Darlene Davis, Exec. Director, Pregnancy Care Center, and Pastor Jeff Howell, Church on The Rock, Board Chairman.

Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News

Plant City First Baptist Church, at their semi-annual business meeting, voted to deed the building at 304 N. Collins Street, occupied by the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City for the past twenty years, to the pregnancy care center. The center expresses their deepest gratitude for such an awesome gift, which will allow them to do a greater work in the community. The Pregnancy Care Center has begun a renovation project under the direction of Ray Young Construction, the general contractor. They will be adding on a reception room and a conference/training room totaling 883 sq. feet. All interior rooms will be resized to better meet the needs of the center. The project is scheduled to be completed in August. In the interim, the classes are being held at The Network of East Hillsborough

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Neighborhood in Plant City. The center has chosen to dedicate the reception room in memory of Mike Storter to recognize his fight for life, “for our fight for a baby’s life begins in the reception room”, and the ultrasound room in memory of Lily Kocab for her fight for life. It is in the ultrasound room where many decisions for life are made. If you would like to make a contribution for this project, please make a check payable to The Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City and designate it to the capital campaign in honor of Mike Storter or in memory of Lily Kocab. If you would like a room dedicated to a loved one in honor or in memory of them, please contact our office at 813-759-0886 and ask for Darlene to see how you can make that dedication.

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Volume 39 • Number 4 • 2012 • Farm & Ranch News


FRNEWS V39 Issue 4