Florida Extension Service helping Timber Farmers
On the Farm Traveler podcast, I sit down with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, and others in the agriculture industry. One past guest is helping members of the Florida timber industry by improving available resources provided by the Univerity of Florida's Institute of Food and Agriculture Science extension service.
Daniel Leonard is the Calhoun County IFAS Extension director and has been reworking the county's extension service since he took over in 2019. Calhoun, and many of the surrounding counties, are home to countless timber farms in North Florida. In Florida, the timber industry brings in about $25 billion annually and covers around 17 million acres. Daniel explains his role in improving the outreach and helping local timber farmers.
"Extension in our county just did not have much to offer in the way of forestry resources. I've come to know that extension is just such a great resource to bring really great research to the public."
Not only do educational opportunities help, but the extension services also help connect farmers with experts on various topics.
"The second thing extension is that's a really good benefit is just being a great diagnostic tool for all types of clientele. Somebody can text me a picture of a leaf and without driving anywhere, or without even really talking to them, I can tell them what that plant is, what's going on with it, and that's just really powerful. "
To hear more of my interview with Daniel and his work with the University of Florida's IFAS, and other interviews, just look for Farm Traveler on your favorite podcast app.