October 2018

Five New Ways to Grow Social with Farmers.gov

Farmers.gov serves America’s farmers, ranchers, private-land foresters, and producers nationwide.

Our customers – both new and experienced farmers – manage working lands through traditional and innovative approaches. From rooftops to rangelands, they manage crops and livestock, fish, and pollinators.  And they represent the diversity of America’s landscapes, industry, and people.

Cultivating Pumpkins and Fall-Time Traditions

Twenty-nine years ago, Helen Huitink and her late husband, Dave, started Pumpkinland, an annual event on their farm in Orange City, Iowa, where people can purchase autumn produce, take a turn through corn mazes, and visit farm animals. Known affectionately as "Grandma and Grandpa Pumpkin," their farm has become a fall tradition for many in their community.

The 160-acre farm has been in the Huitink family since 1911.

#FridaysOnTheFarm: Coffee Table Dreams Become Reality for Western Iowa Couple

From the kitchen table to the boardroom table, USDA brings people together across the nation for: healthier food, natural resources and people; a stronger agricultural industry; and economic growth, jobs and innovation. Each Friday, meet those farmers, producers and landowners through our #FridaysOnTheFarm stories.

Grow and Tell: Peak Efficiency

Water conservation saves money. That’s one of the reasons Oregon farmer Jeff McNerny installed a high-efficiency irrigation system.

But Jeff is also consciously conserving water for his downstream neighbors and protecting habitat for the fish in those streams. And the irrigation’s flow control feature ensures that every tree in Jeff’s orchard gets just the right amount of water.

For Farmers, By Farmers: USDA Employee Puts the Farmer First in Farmers.gov

“Randy Smith is a forward-thinking cattleman with a small herd in Georgia. He works closely with Natural Resources Conservation Service to put conservation practices on his land and experiment with new and innovative conservation approaches. While he does some of his business in person, Randy needs easy access to information and documents online, including contact information for his local field office.

Keeping Lands in Family Hands

Nestled in the hills of Adams County, Pennsylvania lies a fifth-generation family farm, Boyer Nurseries and Orchards. Since 1900, the nursery has been a family business and an important agricultural landscape in the county.

Thanks to a conservation easement, the Lowers have peace of mind knowing their family land will stay in agriculture forever.

Preserving Old Florida

The Lightsey family has been running cattle in central Florida since the 1850s, but with 1,000 people moving to Florida daily, development encroaches on their legacy and the natural resources that support it.  

Cary Lightsey and his brother Layne have put 90 percent of their land on 10 ranches into conservation easements with the help of USDA and other groups. These easements help the Lightseys protect the land from development and restore wetlands on the property.