Friday, August 5, 2016

SAVE THE DATE: Monday, August 22, 2016 for SWFSFN Meeting at UF/IFAS GCREC in Hillsoborough County

Hello members & supporters of the SW FL Small Farmer Network (SWFSFN)!   We are very pleased to send you this announcement and invitation to the next meeting of the SW FL Small Farmers Network (SWFSFN) on Monday, August 22, 2015.  We are providing you this event  for the 2016-17 growing season to support your sustainable, small farming and local foods enterprises in SW Florida. 


We are very fortunate this time to being hosted by Agehara Shinsuke, Ph.D., of the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC)- see Dr Shinsuke conducts  research and extension programs that focus on the development of vegetable and fruit production practices to improve productivity, product quality, and resource conservation. His program covers Florida’s major crops including tomato, strawberry, blueberry, bell pepper, and cucurbits, as well as new specialty crops such as blackberry and pomegranate. His research emphasizes understanding crop adaptation mechanisms to environmental stimuli and stresses and incorporating the knowledge to develop integrated production practices.  For more background information of his specific research projects that he will share with attendees see


Here are the details of this SWFSFN event:


Date:                                     Monday, August 22, 2016

Time:                                     9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Location:                             UF/IFAS GCREC, 4625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598

Cost:                                      free      

Note:                                    bring eating utensils, and home-made/home-grown food to share at the pot luck lunch

RSVP:                                   Yes, register at  (go to link for Education Calendar to register)


We are sure that you will not want to miss this opportunity to learn about the resources at the UF/IFAS GCREC that can support your small farming operations, as well as for social and business networking with your fellow small farmers in SW FL.  Come meet your fellow producers and purveyors who are making our local food systems a reality!   Remember to bring seeds to share for our Seed Swap activity and help promote such collective actions of SWFSFN members.  Finally, we are planning to have another spectacular pot lunch so bring your locally-grown foods prepared with you special recipes of your seasonal crops!



9:30 – 10:00                        Registration

10:00 – 12:00                      Welcome to UF/IFAS GCREC;  Tour of Dr. Sagehara’s Research Program

12:00 – 1:00                        Pot Luck Lunch; Seed Swap

1:00 – 2:00                           Farmers Networking Meeting (introductions; discussion of challenges & opportunities in production & marketing, as well as Ag regulatory issues in SW FL)

2:00 – 3:00                           UF/IFAS Extension Session (updates on pest alerts for 2016-17 growing season; county Extension Ag education announcements; and UF/IFAS/FAMU Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises (SFAE) Program conference reports & announcements)


Please, feel free to pass along this announcement to your fellow small farmers and local foods entrepreneurs & promoters who would be interested in the activities of SWFSFN and meeting our regional farmers.  If they are not familiar with SWFSFN, please, refer them to both our webpage (see and Yahoo Group (see  The SWFSFN is a farmer-driven initiative of the of the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Program (see


Thanks and we really look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks at the UF/IFAS GCREC in Wimauma, Hillsborough County . . .




Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Extension Agent III

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Community Services Business Center

6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL  34241

(941-232-3090 (c)


"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" - Robert Kennedy





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