Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need Not Look Far

What drives you to succeed? Who or what moves you to try new things and explore opportunities untapped? Whether replying to these questions aloud or in your head, I’m sure the answers run the gamut. Inspiration is where you find it; and that could be just about anywhere — even on your farm and/or around your local farming community.

As I write this, these thoughts come to mind with the afterglow of National Ag Day 2017 still shining in my rear view. The day of recognition, created by the Agriculture Council of America to promote public awareness of farming’s vital role to society, has been on the calendar for more than 40 years. This year, I was blown away by the outpouring of social media sharing that included farm scenes aplenty accompanied by hashtags #AgDay and #AgWeek, among others.

I noticed many of you were moved to post your own thoughts and photos of not only what you do for a living, but what you love. And it’s obvious how much love is out there.

Seeing is Believing

Speaking of love, the part of my job I enjoy most (and am always looking to do more) is getting out of the office and in the field to engage with growers and researchers.
Breaking free of my desk, I was inspired by what I saw and heard during a recent road trip around the Tri-County Agricultural Area — St. Johns County in particular. Being on a mission to gather info and photos for an article about the importance of Agritourism, there really is no better place in Florida to see how tourism and farming (the state’s two biggest economic drivers) work hand in hand.

Along the way, I took full advantage of my opportunities to see, listen, and learn. Each occasion reminded me about how much farming undeniably touches the lives of everyone.
The firsthand experience of speaking with growers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. I always come away from these visits enlightened, energized, and amazed. For those that open their farm gates to the public, you know how valuable offering a “priceless” experience like this can be.

Land of Riches

We’re so fortunate to live and work in a state with such a bounty of natural beauty and adventure that attracts millions of people to our shores (and yes, our fields, too) every year.

What you do is vital. And you don’t need a national day (or week) of recognition to be proud of who you are and what you do. For farmers, every day is Ag Day. But, you already know that.

I am grateful (always have been) to cover/write about an industry so genuine. Thank you to all those who share your world with me. It is truly inspiring.

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