Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Learn Chef Vivian Howard’s Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd’s Pie Recipe. And, find out more about the IMPAC Farmer and what they do to lessen their environmental footprint.

Danny Kushmer

Posted in Agriculture, IMPAC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Inconvenient Truth

Dr. LaPointe on septic system pollution in the Indian River Lagoon

Get the facts.

Posted in Agriculture, Water | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Irrigation Salesperson Wanted

Ag-Tronix is a water management specialist company that is seeking a salesperson to join our team. Our rapid expansion has created an opening on our sales team to build on our success, win new accounts and expand our business with existing customers. This position requires some previous Ag background, mechanical knowledge and ability to interact with a variety of personalities in the Florida farm economy.  Working knowledge of irrigation is required and turf is a plus.  Your daily tasks will need to be well organized and still maintain the flexibility to respond to challenges as they come up.

The ideal candidate should have:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong negotiating, persuading, problem solving and follow-through skills.
  • The ability to work in a team-based environment
  • The ability to create and maintain strong customer relationships
  • Detail oriented
  • Understanding of irrigation systems

Duties include:

  • Personally contacts and secures new business accounts/customers
  • Develop and deliver sales quotes
  • Must Must Must be Customer focused – if our growers are successful then we are as well
  • Willingness to educate the customer, spend time with them to allow them to grasp concepts
  • Promotes products and services to existing/potential customers and assists them in selecting those best suited to their needs
  • Be focused on providing value for the grower, become a resource

Drivers License record is also required. Please email resumes to or fax to 239-658-2474.

Posted in Agriculture, Water | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Farmer by Amelia E. Barr

The Farmer

The king may rule o’er land and sea,
The lord may live right royally,
The soldier ride in pomp and pride,
The sailor roam o’er ocean wide;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The writer thinks, the poet sings,
The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,
The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,
The miner follows the precious leads;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The merchant he may buy and sell,
The teacher do his duty well;
But men may toil through busy days,
Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;
From king to beggar, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The farmer’s trade is one of worth;
He’s partner with the sky and earth,
He’s partner with the sun and rain,
And no man loses for his gain;
And men may rise, or men may fall,
But the farmer he must feed them all.

God bless the man who sows the wheat,
Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;
May his purse be heavy, his heart be light,
His cattle and corn and all go right;
God bless the seeds his hands let fall,
For the farmer he must feed us all.


Posted in Agriculture, Writings | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Check out IMPAC’s latest video showcasing the sweet potato.


Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Water Quality Improves in Everglades

Water Quality Improves in Everglades
South Florida Water Management District
December 14, 2017

The recently completed L-8 Flow Equalization Basin is a key component of Gov. Rick Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan that is maximizing the restoration of Everglades water quality. Click on the image to see a larger version.

West Palm Beach, FL – Thanks to more than two decades of collaborative efforts by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, water quality in the Everglades is another year older and another year better. In Water Year 2017, the District’s network of constructed treatment wetlands, known as Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), treated water to an average of 15 parts per billion (ppb) of phosphorus, the best performance on record.

According to water quality data presented last week by the District at the Water Resources Analysis Coalition public forum, one of the few remaining “impacted” monitoring stations with levels of phosphorus greater than 10 ppb successfully transitioned over into the classification of being “unimpacted.” Monitoring station data verifies the area receiving treated water from STA-1 East located in the northern portion of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge now meets state water quality standards.

“The water quality targets needed for America’s Everglades to thrive are being met, and our performance keeps improving each year thanks in large part to the guidance laid out in Gov. Scott’s Restoration Strategies Plan,” said SFWMD Governing Board Vice Chairman Jim Moran. “With most of the plan’s works already completed and the rest underway, we are within sight of the water quality finish line.”

Before the Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act in 1994, water flowing south out of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) contained an average of 173 ppb of phosphorus. Thanks to the District’s STAs, phosphorus levels in this Everglades-bound water have been reduced on average over the last five years to 19 ppb. This has resulted in a dramatic drop in phosphorus levels within the Water Conservation Areas.

Through April 2017, the STA network and improved farming techniques known as Best Management Practices (BMPs) have combined to remove or prevent approximately 5,500 metric tons of phosphorus from entering the Everglades. Tests show at least 90 percent of the Everglades now meets ultra-clean water quality standards for levels of phosphorus at 10 ppb or less required by state law. The average total phosphorus concentration of water in Everglades National Park is reported to be approximately 4 ppb.

Best Management Practices

BMPs are improved farming techniques in the 470,000-acre EAA and are the first step to clean water flowing south. Over the history of the BMP program, phosphorus levels in water leaving the EAA dropped by an annual average of 55 percent compared to initial conditions. This is more than twice the improvement required under the Everglades Forever Act. The BMP program has prevented more than 3,000 metric tons of phosphorus from entering the Everglades ecosystem.

Examples of BMPs include refined stormwater management practices, on-farm erosion controls and more precise fertilizer application methods. These and other management practices reduce the amount of phosphorus discharged from agricultural areas.

Stormwater Treatment Areas

Before water reaches the Everglades, it receives additional treatment using “green technology” in the STAs. Currently, with 57,000 acres of effective treatment area, the STAs are filled with a mixture of emergent aquatic vegetation, such as cattail, bulrush and spike rush, and submerged aquatic vegetation, such as hydrilla and southern naiad. These wetland plants absorb phosphorus for their own growth and store it in their roots, stems and leaves. Even after they die, sediments in the STAs retain phosphorus from the decaying plant matter. Part of Restoration Strategies will expand the total amount of STAs treating Everglades water by 6,500 acres.

Since 1994, the network of five STAs south of Lake Okeechobee has treated approximately 18 million acre-feet of water. From that water, the STAs retained approximately 2,329 metric tons of phosphorus that would have otherwise entered the Everglades. To date, the STAs have retained more than 80 percent of the phosphorus from water flowing through the treatment cells.

For More Information

Thank you Gene McAvoy for sharing this post. Gene is the Vice President National Association of County Agricultural Agents County Extension Director Regional Vegetable Agent IV UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension
PO Box 68
LaBelle, Florida 33935
863-674-4092 office


Danny Kushmer

Posted in Agriculture, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving

While Christmas is very special to me and my family, our favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Thinking back to America’s first settlers and the struggles they endured as they began to understand how to work the “new” land while creating our Nation brings me Thanksgiving.

If not for the farmer, America would not have achieved it’s greatness. Tomorrow and every day, when we give thanks to our Creator, Family and Friends, let us remember the bounty on our table and thank a farmer.

And, for those reading this message, I thank you, Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Writings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Latest Your Food, Your Farmer Podcast

Hear the latest podcast featuring agriculture economic development and veteran recruitment.

Danny Kushmer


Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best practices incentive program for Florida farm labor contractors

From the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association “The FFVA Voice

Really good news for labor contractors working with H2A Visa’s in Florida.


Florida licensed farm labor contractors may now request to be recognized as a designated “best practices farm labor contractor” under a new program by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Those who receive the designation as a best practices farm labor contractor will be listed and maintained on the farm labor contractor license and the department’s website to help publicly identify those who demonstrate a firm commitment to responsible and safe labor practices.

To be eligible for the distinction, the farm labor contractor licensee must meet the qualifications of the new rule for Best Practices for Farm Labor Contractors (specifications outlined here) upon findings by the department. The licensee must also have maintained a valid license for three years before requesting the designation.


Danny Kushmer


Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Environmental Agriculture Leadership

The 2017 Agricultural Environmental Leadership Awards were presented by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to the following recipients during the 2017 Florida Farm Bureau Annual Conference.

Speedling Inc.

Florida Blue Farms

Cindale Farms

Congratulations to all three recipients, this is what farming is all about.

Danny Kushmer

Posted in Agriculture, Outdoors, Precision Agriculture, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment