Hello again to the Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen.
As I sat down to write this message that I thought I had written a few days ago, well it has been thirty days ago so here we go again. I’m thinking back over the things that were accomplished over the last month. For most of us we are doing our fall shipping, cow working, getting our cowherds ready for calving season, working to finish fall mowing or cleaning up our pastures and getting everything prepared for our winter months to come.
It’s also that time of year for Bull and Heifers sales in our State and outside of the state. I am trying to make it to as many of these sales as possible. Again, most of these Bull sales are donors to FCA’s Cow PAC. Please get out and support these Bull producers that support us and our PAC year after year. These Producers believe in the FCA and its membership. Over the last thirty days I’ve attended three of these sales. It’s great catching up with folks just to visit and watching producers looking over EPD’s to make Bull selections to change their cow herds in coming years.
It’s also the time of year where our County Associations are having their annual meeting. With at least one of these meetings happening each week I’m going to need to go on a diet very soon. The food is great. Thank you to all the County Associations for the invites to your meetings. These County Associations are the grassroots of FCA. Keep up the great work you do.
Moving on to BMP’s. I would like to make a portion of my message this month dedicated to discussing Best Management Practices. Under the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative there is a new level of focus on the environment and water quality. For us, taking care of the land, water resources and wildlife has always been our way of life. The definition of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) is activity based on research, field testing and expert review to be the most effective and practicable on-site means for improving water quality in agriculture and urban discharges, including economic and technological considerations. By Florida Statute, BMP’s for ag discharge must reflect a balance between water quality improvements and ag productivity. The above definition includes key components such as ag productivity, practicable and economic considerations which all are critical to the continued viability of Ranching. Practices that we have been implementing for decades include fencing for rotational grazing, reducing soil erosion, holding water longer and limited rotational application of nutrients, to just name a few. Your association has been working diligently to make sure that the agencies with regulatory programs and basin/watershed plans, not for profit organizations, and the public witness firsthand to better understand the importance of ranches on the landscape in Florida. Landowner BMP’s are not the only answer, they are part of a solution coupled with the agency’s implementation of regional technologies and reservoirs and stormwater treatment areas. We serve a crucial role and need to continue to be a part of the overall solution to our state’s water resource issues. Let’s continue to get things like these accomplished.