Etiquette at the Fair? Yes Please!

In the Florida Panhandle, fall is fair time, and many 4-H families are preparing exhibits for the fair.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for your first fair, or show.  For information about how to prepare non-animal exhibits for the fair, read this blogpost.  If you are exhibiting an animal, read on!

  1. Make sure you are enrolled in 4-H for the current year. Some fairs even require youth to be enrolled 30 days prior to the event, or to be able to prove ownership of the animal for X number of days before the show.
  2. Make sure that you have the appropriate health documentation for your animal. If you are not sure, work with your local 4-H or Agriculture Extension Agent to find out what is required.  You can also visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services  Don’t wait until the last minute to get animal vaccinations and documentation ready in time for the show.
  3. All animals must have an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (OCVI) for travel.
    1. Florida-origin cattle or bison moved for exhibition must be accompanied by an OCVI dated not more than 90 days prior to exhibition. Additional requirements vary by species.
    2. Sheep and goats will need a Scrapie Tag in addition to the OCVI.
    3. Poultry and domestic birds are required to have an OCVI for movement into Florida, but not specifically for exhibition. Birds presented for exhibition without an OCVI, will usually be inspected by a representative from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Poultry. Ensure that your poultry have no external parasites, i.e., mites, fleas.
    4. Rabbits should be disease free and have no external parasites. All rabbits will be inspected.
    5. Swine entered into shows that are “non-terminal”, will be required to have proof of negative blood tests for brucellosis and pseudorabies in addition to an
  4. Photo Credit: Julie Dillard

    Work with your animal well in advance of the show. If you cannot control your animal, you may be asked to leave the ring. Practice, practice, practice!  It will be worth it!

  5. Learn about your animal. You should have general knowledge such as:  breed, age, weight, what kind of feed you use, protein and fat content, how long have you owned it, how much feed do you use and why, would you change anything about your animal?
  6. Some shows allow you to lease your animal (especially if it is a large animal like a steer or horse). Be sure to submit your lease agreement with your registration and bring a copy of it with you to check in.

Pack a Show Kit- In addition to packing your show clothes (nice blue jeans, collared shirt, closed toed shoes and belt), fill a tote or box with supplies you will need for the show.  Click on the titles below for a printable packing list, or read this blogpost for more details.

General Show Etiquette:

  • Always move in a clockwise circle (unless the judge instructs you otherwise).
  • Keep a sensible distance behind the animal in front of you.
  • When the judge asks you to line your animal up head to tail, leave ample space between your animal and the one in front of you.
  • It is acceptable to assist the exhibitor ahead of you with encouraging their animal to move, but never hit the animal.
  • Do not talk to the exhibitor next to you. The only person you speak to is the judge when answering a question.




Author: amgranger –

4-H in the Panhandle

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Fall is an Excellent Time to Plant Daylilies

Fall is an Excellent Time to Plant Daylilies

Daylilies in full bloom. Image credit UF / IFAS Solutions Website

“A penny saved is a penny earned” is the famously frugal advice from Poor Richard’s Almanac. The author Benjamin Franklin, elder statesman and founding father of the United States, offered this simple pearl of wisdom to 18th century American colonist to remind them to cautiously manage their assets.

This concept has met the test of time and had been resurrected in a variety of guises. Individuals, families, companies and governments have all applied a variation of this resource management concept, especially when their economic outlooks are challenged.

As basic as the idea is it can be applied to almost any situation, even the home landscape. Daylilies, the commonly encountered flowering ornamental in many 21st century Wakulla County gardens, is an excellent example of getting the most return for the least output.

The daylily is a popular flowering perennial with East Asian origins which has adapted well to Florida landscapes. Plants are available in a wide variety of growth habits, flower shapes and colors, including yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, near-white and shades and combinations of all of these.

Flowering starts in March for early-season bloomers with late-season cultivars starting in mid-May. The typical bloom period is about four to seven weeks, although some varieties bloom even longer.

Daylilies are colorful and easy to grow. Propagation is easy this time of year, just dig, separate, and replant.

As their name accurately indicates, daylilies are members of the lily family, in the genus Hemerocallis. “Hemero” is Greek for “day” and “callis” for “beauty,” so the scientific name translates to beauty for a day.

For the adventurous eater, the flower buds and petals of daylilies are edible raw, boiled, stir-fried, steamed, stuffed, or battered and fried. Dried daylily petals, called “golden needles,” are used in numerous Chinese dishes.

Many of the modern varieties of daylilies available today have been developed from native Chinese species. Early settlers from Europe and Asia brought many of the original species with them to America.

Daylilies grow best in full sun or filtered shade. The darker colored red and purple varieties flourish better in partial shade, while light colored yellows, pinks and pastels varieties need full sun to bring out their best colors.

The filtered light level under pine trees is ideal for growing daylilies. Heavy shade should be avoided because it will cause thin, spindly growth and poor flowering.

The soil pH should be between 6.2 and 6.8, with 6.5 being optimal.

The soil of daylily beds should be topped with three to four inches of organic matter, such as peat, compost, or well-rotted manure. The amended soil should be mixed or tilled, leveled and then moistened.

Daylilies survive dry conditions well because of their extensive root systems. However, the number and size of blooms, plant growth, and overall vigor can be adversely affected by prolonged drought.

Daylilies multiply fairly rapidly and plant division is an easy way to propagate them for new locations in the home landscape or to share with friends. Division is best done immediately after the flowering season.

Dig the entire clump and shake or wash off the soil without damaging the roots. It is easy to see where the divisions can be made with smaller clumps being easily pulled free to establish a new planting.

The home gardener can expand and share the beauty of these perennials and only spend a little time to accomplish this. No doubt Ben Franklin and Poor Richard would approve.

For more information, check out this excellent publication titled “Daylilies for Florida”.


Author: Les Harrison –

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He works with small and medium sized producers in the Big Bend region of north Florida on a wide range of topics. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Gardening in the Panhandle

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Ghoulishly Good Practices for Halloween

Ghoulishly Good Practices for Halloween

Make Halloween a fun and safe night for children and adults alike.

From candy to pumpkins to the costumes, Halloween is a fun-filled time for kids and adults alike. However, it can pose dangers. To help make this year’s trick-or-treat a safe and fun time, follow these simple safety tips compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flames.

Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. The makeup should be tested on a small patch of skin ahead of time to ensure there are no unpleasant allergies on the big night.

When shopping for costumes, wigs, and accessories, look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are “flame resistant.”

If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by the accessories if he/she stumbles or trips.

Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

Review with children how to call 911 if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then adults can do the cutting.

Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.

Adults should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

Wet leaves and debris should be swept from sidewalks and steps.

Restrain pets so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

A responsible adult should always accompany young children during their neighborhood trick-or-treating.

Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and adults.

If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.

Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters to:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.
  • Do not assume the right of way. Motorists may have a hard time seeing Trick-or-Treaters.
  • Just because one car stops does not mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


A good, healthy dinner prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage children from filling up on Halloween treats.

Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books, stickers, or pens and pencils.

Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween to prevent overindulging, which will lead to a stomachache and ruin the night’s fun.

Make sure the Halloween night is fun and safe with the suggested tips above.  These tips will help guarantee you all a ghoulishly good time.

Source:  American Academy of Pediatrics



Author: Melanie Taylor –

Living Well in the Panhandle

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Florida Agricultural Damages due to Hurricane Irma Estimated $2.5 Billion

Florida Agricultural Damages due to Hurricane Irma Estimated $  2.5 Billion

Citrus trees in Hendry County destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Credit: Gene McAvoy

Source:  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced on October 4, 2017 that the preliminary agricultural damages caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida total more than $ 2.5 billion.

In an initial report released today, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimated losses for each segment of agriculture. The preliminary economic assessments account for: current crop losses and ancillary losses, such as debris cleanup, damaged infrastructure, and animals’ long-term welfare affected by Hurricane Irma. This preliminary assessment will change as new information becomes available, and it is not representative of any specific funding request.

Florida agriculture took it on the chin as Hurricane Irma pummeled the state, and the $ 2.5 billion in agricultural damages is only an initial assessment. We’re likely to see even greater economic losses as we account for loss of future production and the cost to rebuild infrastructure. We’re going to do everything within our power to support Florida agriculture as it recovers from Hurricane Irma’s devastation,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

The estimated economic agricultural damages according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ preliminary report are as follows:

Total Florida agriculture: $ 2,558,598,303

  • Citrus: $ 760,816,600

  • Beef Cattle: $ 237,476,562

  • Dairy: $ 11,811,695

  • Aquaculture: $ 36,850,000

  • Fruits and Vegetables (excluding citrus): $ 180,193,096

  • Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture: $ 624,819,895

  • Sugar: $ 382,603,397

  • Field crops: $ 62,747,058

  • Forestry: $ 261,280,000

The estimates included in the preliminary report are based on data obtained from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, the UF-IFAS “Impacts of Hurricane Irma on Florida Agriculture: Update #4 Report,” UF-IFAS crops budgets, Timber Damage Estimates prepared by the Florida Forest Service, and early surveys the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted with industry leaders and individual producers.

Use the following link to access the full preliminary eight-page summary for more details:

Hurricane Irma’s Damage to Florida Agriculture Report


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Friday Funny: The Chicken Cannon

Friday Funny:  The Chicken Cannon

It has been 10 months since we shared a Friday Funny, due to a lack of good material.  Special thanks to Ed Jowers, Emeritus Jackson County Extension Director for sending this funny story to share:

Photo Credit: Scott Sommerdorf

The Chicken Cannon

Scientists at NASA built a special cannon to launch standard 6-pound, whole dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity.  The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

Engineers working on the Bullet Train project heard about the cannon and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a cannon was sent to the Bullet Train engineers.

The engineers were excited to see the results of years of hard work and planning.  They set up the experiment and even invited several government officials to attend that had championed the funding of this project.  They had a grand ceremony with a countdown.  The speedy bullet train roared down the test track at over 200 mph and the engineers fired the chicken cannon.

After the canon was fired, the engineers stood in shock as they viewed in horror at the damage.  The shatterproof glass was smashed to smithereens, there was a huge hole in the control console, the driver’s seat had the head rest blown off, and the chicken embedded into the back wall of the train engine’s cabin.

Luckily this was an unmanned test, so no one was hurt except for the pride of the engineers.  It was as if they were little boys who broke their prize Christmas present.  That chicken trashed their modern marvel.

Immediately the engineers began assessing the damages, took numerous photos and measurements and sent a full report, along with their pages of scientific designs to engineers at NASA.  The desperate engineers were totally dumbfounded and asked for an explanation of what could have possibly gone wrong?  Their email to the head engineer at NASA said, “Please help us understand how to resolve this issue.  We followed all standard protocols and double checked every safety precaution prior to the test with the chicken cannon!

In just a few minutes, the Bullet Train engineers were shocked by the rapid response.  The head engineer at NASA responded with just one short line in bold, all capital letters:




If you enjoyed this week’s joke, you might also enjoy others from the past: Friday Funnies

Farm folks always enjoy sharing good jokes, photos and stories.  If you have a good, clean joke, particularly one that pertains to agriculture, or a funny photo that you took on the farm, send it in and we will share it with our readers.





Author: Doug Mayo –

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.

Panhandle Agriculture

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Friday Feature: Farmers for America Trailer

Friday Feature:  Farmers for America Trailer

This week’s featured video is actually the movie trailer for a new documentary called Farmers for America.  This video provides brief highlights of the issues that will be addressed in the documentary film that will be making its way across America over the coming months.  The film will debut at the Indianapolis City Market on October 26 & 27, 2017. There is also an opportunity to host a film screening of this documentary in your area.

The film’s website shares the following information about the documentary:

The documentary traces the extraordinary changes coming to America’s food system as more and more consumers flock to farmers’ markets, embrace farm-to-table lifestyles and insist on knowing where their food is coming from. At the center of the film are the farmers, young and old, who provide the spirit and energy to bring urban and rural America together over what both share in common: our food.  With the average age of today’s farmer at 60, and rural America losing population as the cost of land and equipment soars, this film reveals the people waiting to take their place, the practices they’re championing and the obstacles they must overcome.  Farmers for America

Farmers for America – Movie Trailer


If you enjoyed these videos, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across a humorous video or interesting story related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo


Author: Doug Mayo –

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.

Panhandle Agriculture

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Cotton Marketing News: Changes in the Loan Program and Rate for 2017

Cotton Marketing News:  Changes in the Loan Program and Rate for 2017

Don Shurley, UGA Emeritus Cotton Economist

The marketing assistance loan (MAL) is an important tool used by many producers and marketing associations in cotton pricing and risk management.  In addition to research and farmer education, I teach courses in commodity marketing and agricultural policy and I tell my students that the key to basic understanding of the “Loan Program” is to remember that it’s just another way to store the crop and price it later.  The crop is stored in an approved facility, the producer receives the Loan Rate, and the crop is pledged as collateral for the loan.  The crop is eventually sold on the cash/spot market and the loan and any storage and interest charges paid.  So, the Marketing Loan is storage but receiving some money/cash flow (the Loan Rate) up front.

Prior to the 2014 farm bill for as long as I can remember, the Loan Rate has been 52 cents per pound.  Under the 2014 farm bill the Loan Rate is now allowed to “float” between 45 and 52 cents.  The Loan Rate is now the average Adjusted World Price (AWP) for the most recently completed 2 marketing years but not to exceed 52 cents and not less than 45 cents.

For each year of the 2014 farm bill thus far, the average AWP has been above 52 cents so the 52 cent maximum for the Loan Rate has held.  For the 2017 crop, however, the Loan Rate will be 49.49 cents—2.51 cents less than 2016.  This was the average AWP for the 2014-2015 crop years—the Loan Rate has to be announced by October 1 of the year prior to planting and the 2016 marketing year not completed at that time so there is a 1-year lag in the calculation.

What are the implications of this?  First of all, realize that cotton stored in the Loan will eventually be sold on the cash/spot market.  The MAL acts only as a cash flow tool.  The lower Loan Rate means less cash flow up front.  The 49.49 cents is the “Base” rate for Color 41, 4 Leaf, and Staple 34.  There are also adjustments from this amount (differences) for better or less fiber quality.

Loan differences, also referred to as loan premiums and discounts, are determined based on actual cash/spot market prices paid for various cotton quality factors for the prior three years.  Although the Base loan rate may change depending on what the AWP does, that has no direct impact on loan differences.  The following are a few comparisons of loan premiums (+) and discounts (-) for the 2017 crop compared to last year’s crop.

With the lower Loan Rate for the 2017 crop, the question might also be asked how this would impact any LDP (Loan Deficiency Payment) or MLG (Marketing Loan Gain).  An LDP or MLG is available when the AWP is less than the Loan Rate.  Since the Loan Rate is reduced 2.51 cents for the 2017 crop, the AWP will have to be 2.51 cents lower to trigger an LDP/MLG—but this assumes the AWP calculation hasn’t also changed.  In fact though, it has.

The AWP (Adjusted World Price) is derived from the A-Index—a proxy for the “World Price”.  The A-Index is based on prices for cotton delivered to Far Eastern ports or the “FE Price”.  This price is then “adjusted” for transportation costs and fiber quality to arrive at the AWP.  For the 2016 crop year, this adjustment was 17.43 cents.  For the 2017 crop, this adjustment is less at 17.05 cents.

Taking into account both the drop in the Loan Rate and the reduction in the cost and quality adjustment, the FE Price must now be almost 3 cents lower (2.89 cent lower) to trigger and LDP/MLG.  Nearby cotton futures prices are currently about 8 cents below the FE Price.  This means an LDP or MLG is not triggered until futures get to approximately 59 cents or less—almost 3 cents lower than what prices would have to have been previously.

The difference between nearby futures and the FE Price can and will vary during the marketing year.  At 8 to 9 cents currently, this is on the higher side of what this difference can typically be.  If the difference were only 6 cents, for example, there will be an LDP/MLG on the 2017 crop unless futures were below 60 to 61 cents.  Regardless, an FE Price below 66.54 is needed to give an AWP less than the Loan Rate of 49.49 cents.

When cotton is stored under the Loan, the producer will have 2 choices—redemption (repay the loan plus charges or the AWP, whichever is less and sell the cotton on the spot/cash market) or accept a merchant equity offer.  Assuming a 70-cent cash market and the Base loan rate, here’s how a merchant equity pencils out:

A reduction in the Loan Rate for 2017 provides less to the farmer up front.  This is made up by higher equity value and payment.  All other things being equal, a reduction in the Loan Rate does not impact the total received by the grower.





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Cost-share Program to Grow Sales through an Export Market

Cost-share Program to Grow Sales through an Export Market

A new program, hosted by the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is helping local farmers and producers maximize their growth potential through export sales!

This program provides a scholarship to qualified recipients, which facilitates the development of a uniquely customized Agribusiness Export Marketing Plan. These plans assist “new-to-export” and “currently exporting” growers and value added producers in the identification of overseas growth strategies, as well as address target markets with sales potential.  Other items discussed in the plan include market entry strategy, a competitive analysis, and an action plan for implementing items in the plan.

The Florida SBDC  has worked with David Dinkins, UF/IFAS extension agent to help develop marketing plans. Dinkins describes this program as a tool that can help Floridian farmers diversify markets, a major objective for many Floridian farmers. “We have lots of support via the Extension Agents at IFAS, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Florida SBDC”, Dinkins said. “These export plans have been a great experience for everyone involved.  The farmers and value-added producers have been very happy with the final product. We are very excited about the potential that this pilot program has for our Florida agricultural producers, and you can’t beat the quality of the service that the Florida SBDC provides, or the $ 250 price tag.”

The application process is relatively simple. The link to apply is Once qualified, farmers meet with a Florida SBDC Certified Global Business Professional to conduct a confidential, in-depth business assessment. The Specialist will prepare and provide your company with a customized Agribusiness Export Marketing Plan.

The qualifications for this program are:

  • Florida farmers and value-added food producers only – food producers must source 51% of the food product from Florida

  • The products must be produced in the state of Florida and must be provided from a Florida location

  • New to export farmers/producers or current exporters looking to expand into new international markets

  • A minimum of three years in business

  • $ 500,000 minimum in annual sales

The cost for preparation of an Agribusiness Export Marketing Plan is $ 5,000. Qualifying companies are eligible for a $ 4,750 scholarship, making the cost to your company $ 250. This pilot program is only being offered for a very limited time. To qualify, please have your applications submitted by November 15th, 2017.

For more information, please call 1.800.450.4624

David Dinkins, UF/IFAS Multi County Community Resource Development/Food Systems Extension Agent, can be reached for further commentary or questions at




Author: Libbie Johnson –

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.

Panhandle Agriculture

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Antique Tractor and Souped-Up Lawnmower Enthusiasts Invited to Participate in Farm City Festival – November 3 & 4

Antique Tractor and Souped-Up Lawnmower Enthusiasts Invited to Participate in Farm City Festival – November 3 & 4

For the fourth straight year, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a two-day Farm City Festival, on November 3 & 4, 2017, in Marianna, FL.  If you love antiques tractors or souped-up lawnmowers, this is a unique opportunity.  Antique tractor enthusiasts have two opportunities to take part in this special celebration with a tractor drive through town on Friday, and a tractor pull on Saturday.  You don’t have to participate in the tractor pull to take part in the tractor drive, or vice versa.  The lawn mowers will pull the sled on Friday night.

Jackson County Farm City Festival – 2016 Antique Tractor Drive through downtown Marianna. Photo: Doug Mayo

Antique Tractor Drive – Friday 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM

Antique tractors will be offloaded at the Jackson County Agriculture Center, 3631 Highway 90 West, Marianna, Florida.  Registration will begin at 9:00 AM Central time, tractor lineup at 9:30, with the actual Tractor Drive leaving at 10:00 AM.  The first leg of the drive will follow Highway 90 east 6.1 miles to the Marianna Farmer’s Market.  Drivers will create a static display at the Marianna Farmer’s Market from 11:00 – 1:30. At 2:00 PM the antique tractors will begin the return leg of drive back west to the Agriculture Center along Highway 90.

Farms, antique tractor collectors, 4-H clubs, FFA Chapters, and civic organizations are encouraged to participate in the drive.  Tractors must be 1987 or older models.  Wagons with club members can be pulled behind the tractors, but must have an adult chaperone in the wagon with youth, and an adult tractor driver.  Tractor drive participants are not required to participate in the tractor pull competition.

Jackson County Farm City Festival – Lawn Mower Pull.  Photo:  Doug Mayo

Lawn Mower Pull – Friday 6:00 PM

There will be a souped-up lawn mower pull on Friday night starting at 6:00 PM at the Jackson County Agriculture Center, 3631 Highway 90 West, Marianna, Florida.  Food vendors will be on-hand, so gather up the family after work and come watch these souped-up lawn mowers pull the sled down the track.  If you have never seen these powerful little machines roar down the track, you need to bring the family and check it out.

Jackson County Farm City Festival – Antique Tractor Pull. Photo: Doug Mayo

Antique Tractor Pull & Agricultural Festival – Saturday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Antique tractors will compete by pulling a sled, based on tractor weight classes at the Jackson County Agriculture Center, 3631 Highway 90 West, Marianna, Florida.  Tractor pull participants must be registered by 8:30 AM central time; a driver’s meeting will be held at 8:45, with Opening Ceremonies taking place at 9:00.  The hooking fee is $ 10 per pull.  Trophies will be presented to the top three finishers in each class. Camp sites are available for Tractor Pull participants at the Ag Center for $ 20 per night.

Numerous food and craft vendors will be on hand selling their creations.  There will be a variety of activities for kids:  an inflatable bounce house, slide, and bucking bull, along with pony rides, and a barrel train.  There will also be agricultural demonstrations:  Chipola Beekeepers, Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association, Florida Forest Service, and Florida Dairy Farmers.  All activities will be on the Ag Center grounds in the vicinity of the tractor pull, so this will be a fun event for the whole family.  This is a sponsored event, so admission is free to the public.

Highlight Video from the 2016 Jackson County Farm City Festival

For more information, contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce:



Facebook Page:

For specific questions about the tractor drive, lawn mower pull, or antique tractor pull, contact Steve Hurst  850-573-1543.



Author: Doug Mayo –

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.

Panhandle Agriculture

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Weed of the Week: Blackberry

Weed of the Week: Blackberry

Fall is the best time to apply herbicides for blackberry briar control. Credit: Brent Sellers

Across the southeastern United States, there are several different species of Rubus (Blackberry and Dewberry). Blackberry is a common issue for pasture owners, with it also commonly growing in fence rows, and ditch banks. Lack of management will result in well established thick stands that grow rapidly. These large stands not only reduce pasture production, but also can result in some injury to animals from the thorns.  

If you need help identifying weeds or developing a control plan for your operation, please contact your county extension agent. 

For more information on this topic please see the following UF/IFAS Publications:

Blackberry Biology and Control

Fall Herbicide Applications are Best for Blackberry Control in Pastures


Author: Kalyn Waters –

Holmes County Extension Director working in the areas of Agricultural Management in row crop, natural resources, livestock and forage production. Specialized in Beef Cattle Production in the area of reproductive, nutritional and finical management.

Panhandle Agriculture

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