Florida berry grower recognized for environmental innovation

07/08/2013 05:03:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

A Floral City strawberry grower was among three operations honored with the state's Agriculture-Environmental Leadership Award.

Dudley Calfee of Ferris Farms Inc. has harvested the first commercial flats of strawberries in the state for the past six years.

Altogether, he produces 200,000 flats of strawberries and more than 250,000 pounds of blueberries annually, according to a news release.

At the same time, he has reduced the use of pesticides, plastic mulch and plastic drip tape.

Calfee has perfected techniques to reuse 35 percent of the plastic materials annually and has cut fungicide applications by 50 percent.

Also receiving awards were Barbra Goering of The Farmton Tree Farm in Volusia and Brevard counties, and Shane Platte of Kissimmee Park Properties LLC in St. Cloud.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and industry and environmental groups reviewed nominees from different sector's of the state's ag industry.

The award, which spotlights environmentally innovative farming practices, has been presented annually since 1994.

The winners will be recognized at the Florida Farm Bureau's convention, Oct. 25, in Ponte Vedra.



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