Escambia County Farm Family Recognized For Environmental Leadership

October 7, 2018

Two Escambia County  farmers and ranchers were recently honored for their environmental stewardship with a County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) award.

Recipients honored were Jimmy and Jerry McElhaney of McElhaney Farms. They grow cotton, corn and peanuts using recycled water to irrigate more than 1,400 acres. Through best management practices, they have reduced fertilizer use by 50 percent.

The CARES program was established by Florida Farm Bureau and the Suwannee River Partnership in 2001 to recognize superior natural resource conservation by agricultural producers. The program relies on action by farmers and ranchers to implement state-of-the-art natural resource  management systems, or Best Management Practices, on their properties.

McElhaney Farms been in operation in Escambia County for nearly 100 years. Today, Jimmy  and Jerry McElhaney grow cotton, peanuts and corn on 1,400 acres. In 2016, they enrolled in Best Management Practices with the goal of reducing water use, nutrient use and improving water quality on their family farm. Some of the BMPs implemented include installing two soil moisture sensors to better determine irrigation needs as well as a surface water pond to capture and recycle water. In order to  reduce nutrient use, they use GPS and variable rate applications for spraying and fertilizing applications.

These two BMPs alone have helped them reduce their fertilizer use by 50 percent, and reduced their their use of lime. Planting cover crops, using conservation tillage and terracing their fields all work together to prevent soil erosion, increase crop yields and improve soil health.

Pictured top: (L-R) James McElhaney, Judi McElhaney, Gleda McElhaney, Jerry McElhaney and Florida Farm Bureau President Federation President John Hoblick during the Escambia County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting at Molino Park Elementary School. Photo for, click to enlarge.


6 Responses to “Escambia County Farm Family Recognized For Environmental Leadership”

  1. Larry Walker on October 9th, 2018 1:08 pm

    These two McElhaney families have been agricultural leaders for decades. It is encouraging to see their continued leadership in these new ways. Congratulations to them and Bravo!

  2. david lamb on October 8th, 2018 7:23 pm

    END….. Non GMO farming is a thing of the past. Non GMO seed is almost non existant. Seed dealers/companies don’t seem to have it and if you find non GMO it gets cross pollinated by the farmer nex dor. It is scarry what might occur using GMO food products.

  3. EMD on October 7th, 2018 5:15 pm

    Bravo. Thanks for all you do for us. We need good farmers. Hope you will consider organic, non GMO farming too.

  4. Sharon Bryan on October 7th, 2018 10:11 am

    So proud of my brothers and their lifelong commitment to farming and it’s impact on our lives.

  5. Stuart on October 7th, 2018 9:30 am

    So thankful for this family and its impact on our community.

    Well deserved. God bless.

  6. Jackie Johnson on October 7th, 2018 8:14 am

    We were proud to watch as The McElhaney Family received this award. They are and asset to the Bratt Community!

    Congratulations! David and Jackie Johnson

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