Networking and Resources
Florida agriculture offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities not found in many other states. Here you will find educational resources -some tailored specifically to Florida, and some from other regions that contain information that may be applied in Florida. Resources for extension or other educational programs are also available.
- Solutions for Your Life: University of Florida/IFAS Extension website. This website offers users the latest information about various topics relevant to their daily lives, all free.
- College of Agriculture and Food Sciences: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University's Extension website. Here you will find useful publications and information about upcoming Extension programs.
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Your comprehensive guide to Florida agriculture.
- Fresh from Florida Recipes: Find recipes centered around Florida grown foods and learn about the different food groups.
- Fresh from Florida Kids: Kid-Friendly recipes and age appropriate nutrition information.
- Community Farmers’ Market Locator: Find a Farmer's Market near you.
- Marketing and Small Farm Outreach: FAMU’s Marketing and Small Farm Outreach program.
- USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass: This online resource is a multi-media narrative with stories, pictures and video about USDA's support for local and regional food systems. It includes an interactive map of USDA-supported local and regional food activities in all 50 states.
- Map the Meal Gap: Check out Feeding America's interactive map to learn more about community level hunger across America and the food banks that serve them.
- Plant Hardiness Zone Map: This updated zoning map uses better weather data and more interactive technology, the online map has 26 zones that are searchable by zip code.
- Food Environment Atlas: This atlas assembles statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and provides a spatial overview of a community's ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.
- Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution: This USDA report highlights eight food distributors/food hubs around the country.
- eXtension: eXtension is an interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America.
- eXtension Webinars: Free webinars are offered daily through eXtension.org and recorded for later viewing if you can’t make it live.
- Sweetpotato Production for Kentucky: This resource comes from the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Kentucky and was funded by a Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant. While the guide is written specifically for Kentucky, there’s plenty of great information that is transferable to Florida.
- Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS): The EDIS website is a comprehensive, single-source repository of all current UF/IFAS numbered peer-reviewed publications.
- Finding Fresh Florida Produce: Chart showing availability of fresh produce in Florida.
Local Food Guides:
- Sarasota County Local and Organic Food Guide (PDF)
- Central Florida Local Food Guide 2013-2014
- FarmPlate: Catalogs more than 30,000 businesses nationwide that subscribe to sustainable and eco-conscious practices
Agriculture News Updates:
- AgClips: Provides short articles featuring agriculture news, rural development news, and federal and international policy issues.
- AgriFeeds: Allows you to filter agriculture news and events from multiple sources to get the information you want.
- FarmPolicy: Summarizes farm policy news.
Moving the Needle: Accomplishments of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative: A 60-page resource guide from University of Arkansas on everything you wanted to know about sustainable strawberries but were afraid to ask. The resource includes research on organic strawberry production in the SE from the University of Florida.
Cutting through the red tape: A resource guide for local food policy practitioners and organizers: This guide offers policies and tools related to production, processing, distribution, consumption, and food waste recovery. Toolkits were created by various non-profits and universities to guide city-level food system planning through policy and zoning. Pilot projects are also presented as examples.
The potential for urban agriculture in New York City: Growing capacity, food security, and green infrastructure: This study out of Columbia University is a comprehensive assessment of the potential for urban agriculture in NYC. They specifically look at the capacity of NYC for urban crop production and the potential benefits of urban agriculture.
Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget: This family-friendly resource is available in English and Spanish from Sesame Street. It is a multimedia program designed to help support families who have children between the ages of 2 and 8 and are coping with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Parents and caregivers can also get tips for teaching their children healthy eating habits. There are also resources available for providers working with families who need help getting healthy food.
Food Hub Resource Guide: The guide is an extensive collection of information and resources, providing background on everything needed to develop or participate in a regional food hub. The guide highlights economic contributions food hubs make to local communities and the role they play in expanding regional food systems. It also outlines funding opportunities, support resources, best practices, strategies to address challenges and more.
Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels: Season extension tools are widely used by organic and sustainable vegetable growers to control pests and support natural enemies. SARE funded a project to study the efficacy of biological insect control in minimally heated greenhouses and high tunnels. This fact sheet reports the research results and provides detailed advice on how growers can use natural enemies to manage insect pests in minimally heated greenhouses and unheated high tunnels.
A Guide to Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Food Hubs and Food Systems: How to Navigate the Funding Process:The guide describes grants available from USDA that are applicable to food hubs and other food systems organizations. The full guide is available, and will continue to be updated as information becomes available.
The Local Food Movement: Setting the Stage for Good Food: This publication provides history of the local food movement in the United State and its link to “good food” –food that is healthy, affordable, fair, and green –within the contexts of food access and health, food justice and sovereignty, the environment, and racial equity.
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day: A practical cookbook which includes over 130 pages of recipes that fit into a $4 a day food budget.
Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success: This resource is designed to provide guidance on how food value chains are structured, how they function, and the benefits they provide to participants, with the intent of encouraging their adoption where the opportunities for successful collaboration exist among organizations with compatible principles and complementary areas of expertise.
USDA Resource for New and Beginning Farmers: A one-stop shop for new and beginning farmers entering agriculture. It’s a practical, workable tool that will help farmers and ranchers of tomorrow tap into the range of USDA resources today.
Deep South Local and Regional Food Systems Resources Handbook:This handbook is intended to serve as a resource guide for farmers, aggregators, and distributors of sustainable food to build or strengthen a values-based food supply chain for their products in the Deep South.
Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems. Provides information for farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, community organizers and others who are striving to reconfigure the nation’s food system so more value stays in food-producing communities.
Small Ruminant Toolbox: This Small Ruminant Toolbox was developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in order to provide a collection of information for small ruminant producers and educators. The Small Ruminant Toolbox includes many publications, presentations and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant producers.
Florida Food Connect: Promotes buying and selling of Florida food products.
Peanut Field Agronomic Resource Manager: A tool developed by the University of Florida Agronomy Department, to assist peanut farmers, consultants, and extension agents. The program provides irrigation scheduling recommendations and monitoring of peanut maturity, on an individual field basis.
Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network: A peer learning community, a national information hub, and a source of targeted applied research and direct technical assistance. Their website has a wealth of information on starting and operating meat processing facilities, working effectively with your processor, food safety, mobile slaughter units, marketing local meats, and much more.
Food Hubs: Solving Local: Presents five case studies showing how larger scale buyers team up with hubs to get products from small farms and other food businesses into high-volume supply chains.
Beginning Farmer Business Planning, Marketing, and Sheep, Goat & Poultry Resources: The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service provides information for beginning farmers. The resources on this page will help you develop a business plan, marketing plan and provide you with information and worksheets to help you meet your farm goals.
Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management for Goats in the Southern Region: Southern SARE has assisted Tuskegee University in making available a goat production handbook.
School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources: This website is dedicated to helping local educational agencies find the resources they need to meet recommendations made in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Organic Agriculture: This U.S. Department of Agriculture website is designed to be a one-stop shop for information on its organic programs and services. The page includes information for growers, handlers, certifiers and consumers.
The Farm Incubator Toolkit: The National Incubator Farm Training Initiative has compiled a comprehensive guide to starting and operating land-based beginning farmer training programs, based on the knowledge and experience of dozens of farm incubator projects across the US.
Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System: This report analyses and aggregates a collection of innovative solutions to overcoming difficult food access and food equity issues with a focus on market-based consumer-driven solutions for low-income underserved communities.
From farm income to food consumption: Valuing USDA data products: This report outlines eight questions to provide a framework for making more informed and subjective judgments about the relative merits of competing data products.
Farmer Knows Best: A user forum on NCAT’s ATTRA website offering more than a dozen topical areas where you can start a conversation or contribute to the conversations already going on.
Access Agriculture: Features training videos and related audio files on a wide range of topics. Videos are available in over 40 international and national languages.
USDA Farm to School Census: A nationwide census on farm to school.
Trap Cropping in Vegetable Production: An IPM Approach to Managing Pests: This bulletin showcases Southern SARE-funded research studies that have explored trap cropping and its effectiveness in controlling a variety of pests in some of the more popular vegetable crops grown in the Southern region.
Food Hubs: A Producer Guide: A food hub publication geared toward producers that supply food hubs. It focuses on providing producers with information, resources, and case studies specific to understanding how food hubs can provide new marketing outlets.
Field Guide to the New American Foodshed: This site is designed to help entrepreneurs and their advisors find and use relevant business development information and strategies for local and regional food markets.
U-Scout: An excellent resource for vegetable disease diagnosis: This tool is a valuable resource for both producers and extension personnel. It provides detailed images of vegetable and fruit diseases from across northwest Florida, aiding in swift diagnosis and treatment of infected crops.
Geographic Preference: What it is and how to use it: A quick overview of the geographic preference law and associated regulations and three ways to use the geographic preference option.
Geographic Preference: A primer on purchasing fresh local food for schools: Provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement a geographic preference policy, starting with articulating the legal authority and rationale for buying local foods.