Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam recently announced the recipients of the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, which recognizes the environmentally innovative farming techniques of Florida’s farmers and ranchers. One of the big winners was Greg Davis of Ruskin, FL-based Speedling, Incorporated, which is number 13 on Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Top 100 Growers list with more than 3.8 million square feet of environmentally controlled production.
Speedling was established in 1968 in Sun City, home of the Speedling corporate office, original nursery, and EPS manufacturing facility. The company has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations. The Sun City location of the nursery has more than 800,000 square feet of greenhouse space equipped with overhead water trolleys that use the one-to-five moisture scale to reduce water usage and prevent run-off by only irrigating the exact moisture level needed.
At its second location, Speedling circulates 4 million gallons of water throughout the 700,000-square foot growing space with a sub-irrigation circulation system, which uses 80% less than overhead and waters the plant without wetting the foliage. Speedling uses its overhead irrigation system and sub-irrigation system to recycle water into tanks for future use.
The two other recipients of the award were Brad and Meghan Austin and Dale and Cindy Eade of Cindale Farms (a dairy farm/ice cream business); and Brittany Lee of Florida Blue Farms, Inc., a highbush blueberry farm.
“These award recipients use innovative technology and methods to protect Florida’s environment and natural resources while contributing to Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry,” says Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture has presented this award annually since 1994 to Florida’s growers and ranchers committed to preserving Florida’s resources while providing agriculture products. The winners were recognized during the Commissioner’s Ag-Environmental Leadership Breakfast at the Florida Farm Bureau’s Convention. Read about the award and past winners here.
For more information on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.