A Cow Whip Maker and a True Artisan

How the art of whip making can make you thankful to be in agriculture.

In my last column in Central Florida Ag News, I shared a few words belonging to my good friend KJ Smith, a cow whip maker and a true artisan. His thoughts on why he is still making cow whips after all these years made me think about how lucky we all are to be in the agriculture industry, even with all its ups and downs, and it seemed apt to share as we approach the holiday season. Read them below, and see if you agree.

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Adams Ranch Annual Bull and Heifer Auction

Get the details of the Adams Ranch Annual B&H cattle auction: the oldest, continuous cattle auction in Florida.

Cattle ranching has deep roots in Florida. The first cattle to step foot in the sandy soils of The Sunshine State did so alongside Spaniard Ponce de Leon in the 1500s, making Florida the oldest cattle state in the country. Adams Ranch honors that legacy with their Annual Bull and Heifer Auction, Florida’s oldest continuous ranch cattle auction. It’s slated for November 9th, with an Annual Field Day on the 8th. See the details of the event below, and make plans to say hello to the AgAmerica team if you plan on going in person.

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Lending a Hand to Local Schools

Here at AgAmerica Lending, one of our managing partners, Rob Harper, had the unique opportunity to contribute to the education of ag students here in Polk county. Central Florida Ag News featured this story in their April issue. Check out the article below!

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Rob Harper and Land South Group donate 70 head of zebu cattle for Polk County students to learn the ropes of showing steer

EDUCATION IN AGRICULTURE isn’t just about book learning. It’s often more about getting your fingers in the soil, your hands on the tractor wheel, and your arms around livestock. It’s more about experiencing what farmers, ranchers, and growers go through to bring good foods to the marketplace.

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Cattle Producers: Innovations to Ease Drought Devastation

Cattle producers, especially in Southern regions, were hit pretty hard in 2012 due to extreme drought conditions. Fortunately, many strategies have been implemented to reduce the disastrous impact of drought conditions on cattle production and other agricultural operations.

To save your cattle operation and promote continued success, a grazing management approach must be pursued to help reduce some of the drought risks. Many of the following strategies were developed and put into practice with assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; however, government backed farm loans are not the only viable option. In fact, some cattle operations impacted by drought conditions are outside government assistance program borders. Other cattle producers say that government agricultural loans are too slow or require too much paperwork. That’s where Bankers South would like to step in and offer farmland financing assistance.

To spare cattle operations from the worst of the drought, the following innovations have proven incredibly effective:

  • Electric fence and pipeline. Add these systems to channel water to new tire tank watering facilities in each of the pastures.
  • New pastures. Create new pastures, so cattle can move around more frequently and freely.
  • Prescribed grazing. Protect soil from erosion and compaction. Improve the quality of the forage by giving it restoration time before it’s grazed again. Enhance water quality by stopping soil from flowing into the water supply. Avoid the expense of costly supplemental forage like hay, which has become even more costly due to drought conditions.
  • Gravity flow systems. Conserve electricity by providing your cattle water via fenced ponds that rely on a gravity flow system to fill multiple tire tank watering facilities.
  • Legumes. Eliminate commercial fertilizer, prevent erosion, improve the abundance of soil water, and supply nutrients like nitrogen. Legumes convert nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into soil nitrogen that plants can digest, meaning manure or commercial fertilizer may be needed in minute quantities or be totally abandoned.

 

To beat the drought elements, it’s paramount to pursue new practices and ideas – to think outside the box. To fully realize these new practices and ideas oftentimes requires the help of an ag lending company like Bankers South.

Work with Bankers South to help finance your agricultural land. Choose an agricultural loan that works best for you and that allows you to better implement a conservation plan to successfully get your cattle operation through the drought.


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