South Carolina has a booming agriculture industry, and the SC Agri-Biz and Farm Expo held this month in Florence, SC, is a premiere opportunity to get a feel for both the historical roots and the innovations for the future that make up South Carolina’s diverse ag industry. Held January 13th and 14th, it’s a prime opportunity for the people and organizations in and around the state’s ag industry to meet, network and examine the issues of the day.
Timber industry experts have long been calling for an explosion in the southeast in the wood and timber industry, but it has yet to come to fruition. While Tom Inman, president of Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, labels 2015’s timber industry as “a healthy one based on 2015 standards,” a number of factors have come together to make 2015 a weak year for everyone in the timber industry—including North Carolina.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases forecasts on many topics, quarterly agricultural trade outlooks among them. Though talk of future windfalls in ag exports have been talked up in the news due to the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, the USDA’s December outlook for 2016 exports doesn’t paint quite as rosy a picture.
If you look at a chart of the USDA’s citrus crop forecasts for Florida, you’ll notice a downward trend, and it’s all due to citrus greening. Since the HLB bacterium was detected in Florida citrus 10 years ago, the USDA’s forecasts have gotten smaller and smaller, and the annual number of boxes harvested have followed suit.
Being in the cattle business, you’re well aware of the increasingly tight U.S. cattle supply and the epically high cattle prices that have followed. These extremely high prices boast good news, including record profits. Cattlemen were getting double, but now are seeing triple, what they got before.
“For every summer since 2008, local interns and new hires have gathered for the eight-week [Summer Leadership] program, which exposes them to the best of what Lakeland has to offer — its restaurants and entertainment, notable businesses, volunteer opportunities, cultural attractions, and of course, networking with other young professionals.” -Kyle Kennedy
Have you ever met someone and wondered what exactly makes them tick?
With our company growing and expanding in different ways each day, many new faces have been added to the mix as well. We are committed to getting to know each of our customers on an individual level, and we like for you to be able to take that approach with us as well. Check out the different links below to get to know a little bit more about three of our employees that have joined the team this year! Without further ado, let us introduce to you:
“G with an O, O with a D, T with an I, M with an E, that spells: GOOD TIME!”
This probably is going to be my favorite blog to write, because who doesn’t love writing about a good time? Our Bankers South team had the opportunity to make the annual trip down to Marco Island for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Convention & Trade Show, and what a trip it was! The trade show could not have went better. We enjoyed seeing familiar faces, catching up with old friends, meeting new folks, and giving out heaps of awesome goodies.
One of the highlights for our team, though, was the Whiskey & Wine Event we hosted Tuesday night.
We teamed up with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim to throw a lively, energetic party. We were thrilled to have everyone come out, and from what we have heard, good times were had by all! The Seminole Tribe was gracious enough to contribute their various wines as well as tastings of their delightful rib eye.
Not only that, but we had a fantastic musician, Ed Horowitz, serenading the evening with his guitar, mandolin, and even violin. At one point, Ed broke out in “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and a few of our own sang along!
Of course, it can’t be “work, work, all week long,” so we had a photo booth at the entrance to the party for our guests to have the chance to put on a different hat (literally!) and show their goofy, spunky, crazy sides. It was great seeing everyone, from little kids to grown cowboys, have a blast in front of the camera.
It was a wonderful evening full of food, fun, and friends – and overall was a fantastic week. After learning that we will not be calling it “Marco” for the next two years, though, it was bittersweet having to say goodbye – but we are looking forward to what’s in store for next year!
“THE MUFFLED drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo; No more on Life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.”
Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O’Hara
On May 5, 1868, three years after the conclusion of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day, a time for the nation to remember those fallen in the war by decorating the honorary graves with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared Decoration Day would be observed on May 30, as flowers would be in bloom throughout the whole nation at this time. While citizens everywhere, each in their own way, joined in the remembrance of their fallen soldiers, it wasn’t until 1866 that Memorial Day was born. It was in Waterloo, NY, on May 5, 1966, that Congress and President Lyndon Johnson held a ceremony honoring local veterans who fought in the Civil War. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held throughout the nation.
After the conclusion of World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to encompass and honor every soldier who lost his or her life in any American war. Ultimately, in 1971 by an act of Congress, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday, though it is still occasionally referred to as Decoration Day.
Hot dogs and hamburgers, fireworks and fun; whether you are taking to the water for a day of fishing, or enjoying a cook-out with family and friends, don’t forget to take a moment to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day:
“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” –Maj. Gen. John A. Logan
Good news for Florida’s citrus industry and the agricultural community as a whole!
The 5-year farm bill debacle is finito. Well, almost.
As of February 4th, it’s finally out of Congress’ hands.
Now, all that’s left is President Obama’s seal of approval, which should come in no time!
Along with Obama’s stamp of approval, will follow a plethora of benefits to Florida’s citrus industry.
Anyone involved in the citrus industry is aware that Florida’s signature citrus crops have been hurting due to the ever-expanding HLB “citrus greening” epidemic.
To combat this invasive beast, heavy research and collaboration is paramount and urgent.
The farm bill offers the industry hope with its $125 million worth of mandatory funding for citrus pest and disease research initiatives. $25 million of this funding will be disbursed each year for the next five years to contribute to dedicated research efforts. Any unused funds will stick around, getting passed on to the following year.
Finally, the industry has access to a great organization with sufficient funding in place to support research outside of grower assessments. Thanks to a strong collective of citrus supporters, congressmen, and senators, as well as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, this critical federal program has reached fruition.
Need help developing your citrus operation? Call on us here Bankers South – a Florida-based ag lending company – for farmland financing support. Our AgAmerica Lending Program boasts unparalleled ag loan products perfect for re-planting citrus trees, expanding your groves, etc. Please contact us for further information about our AgAmerica ag loans and citrus loans!