Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises
Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises
Small Farms Networking
Our team enjoys creating opportunities for farmer-to-farmer discussion and collaboration. In addition to regular training events and conferences, the UF/IFAS Small Farm team has two regional farmer-to-farmer networking groups in the state. Learn how to get connected to these efforts and more! Find upcoming programs on our Calendar page and companion information on the About Us and Get Help From Us pages.
Southwest Florida Small Farmers Network
Small farmers in Southwest Florida can network about diversified and sustainable farming systems. Our network started in 2007 and includes growers from Hillsborough to Collier Counties. This farmer group is facilitated by county UF/IFAS Extension Agriculture Agents in the region. Our goal is education to meet small farmer-identified priorities, issues, and needs with farmer-to-farmer contact and extension resources. A typical meeting starts with a farmer-led walking tour and description of farm operations in conjunction with extension presentations on topics preselected by the membership. Additional activities include a growers meeting, pot-luck lunch and seed swap. The intended audience is the small farmer who wants to develop a regional network of enterprises, and also for beginning farmers. Membership is open and at no cost.
SW Florida Small Farmer Network is the 2009 National Winner (Southern Region) of the Search for Excellence Award in the Sustainable Agriculture Program of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Click here to download the SW Florida Small Farmers Network brochure.
Check the Calendar for upcoming meetings.
Contact the following UF/IFAS Extension agents in the Southwest Florida region:
- Robert Kluson, Sarasota County. 941-232-3090 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Roy Beckford, Lee County. 239-533-7512 email@example.com
- Jessica Mendes Ryals, Collier County. 239-252-4811 JessicaRyals@ufl.edu
- Mary Beth Henry, Polk County. 863-519-1049 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Francisco Rivera, Hillsborough County. 813-744-5519 Ext. 54119 email@example.com
Florida Agricultural Network - North Central Florida
The University of Florida / IFAS brings the agricultural community of North Central Florida together to develop stronger relationships and collaborations among farmers, chefs and other food entrepreneurs interested in sustainable food production. Our meetings usually start with a farm or site tour guided by the grower/operator. We also bring UF/IFAS experts to share updates and relevant information for your operation. Finally, we allow time for attendants to interact, learn from each other and make connections. There is a nominal fee to attend some of these events to cover any food expenses and host farmer preparation time.
We are covering the North Central Florida area from Jacksonville to Lake City to Ocala areas. Visit the Events Calendar section of this site for a listing of programs available.
Follow the network on Facebook.
Click here to download the Florida Agriculture Network brochure.
Visit the UF/IFAS Extension Small Farms Program You Tube Channel.
Click here to view the calendar for the Northeast Florida Region.
Contact the following UF/IFAS Extension agents in the North Central Florida region:
- Tatiana Sanchez, Alachua County. 352-955-2402 firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Nistler, Union County. 386-496-4264 email@example.com
- Dan Fenneman, Madison County. 850-973-4138 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kevin Athearn, NFREC-Suwannee Valley. 386-362-1725 email@example.com
- Bonnie Wells, St. Johns County. 904-209-0430 firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Florida Farmers Networks (Not hosted by UF/IFAS)
Organizations to Widen Your Network:
- Red Hills Small Farm Alliance
- Farmers’ Legal Action Group
- Inhabit Earth (Formerly Earth Learning)
- Florida Food Policy Council
- Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization (ECHO)
- Florida Farm Bureau
- Urban Oasis Project
- Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN)
- Farmers Market Coalition
- Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association
- Southern SAWG (Sustainable Agriculture Working Group)
- Florida Blueberry Growers Association
- Florida Permaculture Convergence
- Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
- Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative
- Florida Strawberry Growers Association
- Florida State Beekeepers Association
- Florida Grape Growers Association
- Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida
- Florida Dairy Goat Association
- Florida Watermelon Association
- Florida Cattlemen’s Association
- Florida Agritourism Association
- Florida Peanut Federation
- Florida Organic Growers
- Florida Peanut Producers Association
- Florida Alpaca & Llama Association
Group Specific Networks:
- Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association - Florida Chapter
- Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network
- Farmworker Association of Florida
- ATTRA-NCAT Publications in Spanish
- National Immigrant Farming Initiative
- SARE en Español (Publications on sustainable agriculture in Spanish)
- UF/IFAS EDIS publications in Spanish
- Annie’s Project
- Women's Food and Ag Network
- Farmer Jane
- National Young Farmers Coalition
- Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers