MILTON —The 51st Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour will be held Tuesday, Oct. 24, beginning at the Santa Rosa County Extension office located at 6263 Dogwood Drive in Milton.
The longest-standing agriculture and natural resources tour in northwest Florida will feature forestry for the 51st edition of the tour.
"Resource Management Service is proud to be a partner for the farm tour this year," said Paul Lambert of Resource Management Service LLC, an event committee member. "We plan to highlight the longleaf pine ecosystem restoration in the context of a working forest, with tour stops planned within our Coastal Headwaters Working Longleaf Forest that show the ability to manage longleaf for wood products, clean water, and longleaf habitat for species including the flat woods salamander and gopher tortoise."
The farm tour will showcase a wide range of agricultural and natural resource stops including the Blackwater State Forest, Future Farmers of America and 4-H livestock projects, longleaf working forest, and invasive cogongrass management.
Santa Rosa County agriculture generates $73 million per year and provides numerous jobs to its residents. The county's population continues to become more and more removed from agriculture and the Santa Rosa County Farm Tour aims to help residents understand the value of agriculture and natural resources.
Annually, approximately 200 residents join on the tour and discover what the county's agriculture and natural resources have to offer. They ride in a charter bus and enjoy a catered lunch. The tour will award the Farm Family of the Year to Burlin and Levi Findley of Wild Boar Farms.
Lunch will be provided at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences West Florida Research and Education Center-Jay Research Facility. Traditionally, and continuing this year, the tour will end at Holland Farms so attendees can enjoy some of Santa Rosa County's famous boiled peanuts.
Organizing agencies and businesses include:
UF-IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County
Blackwater Soil & Water Conservation District
Farm Bureau Insurance
Farm Credit of Northwest Florida
Florida Farm Bureau
Resource Management Service LLC
Three Rivers RC&D
UF-IFAS West Florida Research & Education Center
USDA Farm Service Agency
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Bus space is limited. The fee to reserve your spot is $20. Register at www.SRCFarmTour17.eventbrite.com.
For more information, contact the Santa Rosa County extension office at 623-3868.