Seeking Environmental Stewards

Josh McGill Awards, Environment

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (FFBF CARES) is seeking nominations of farmers and ranchers who are implementing best management practices (BMPs) to enhance and conserve the state’s natural resources. Nominations will be accepted through June 16.

Putnam Groves is among the list of past citrus recipients of CARES recognition.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate their own operation or that of a colleague. Learn more about the program and make nominations here. Selected recipients will be notified no later than July 1.

The CARES program recognizes progressive farmers and ranchers for exemplary conservation efforts. Since 2001, it has publicly recognized more than 900 agricultural producers and highlighted their positive contributions to environmental stewardship. The recognition thanks farm families for their commitment to caring for the land, conserving water, improving soil health and providing wildlife habitat. 

The nominee’s BMP/conservation program must be in the maintenance phase, where evidence of exemplary environmental protection is observed and then verified by the coordinating agency. This is required in order for eligibility. Environmental practices to be considered are:

  • Water Quality: Preserve or improve water quality within or adjacent to an agricultural operation
  • Soil and Water Conservation: Reduce soil erosion, nutrient depletion and water consumption, and enhance water recharge
  • Natural Resource Conservation: Implement proven practices to positively impact natural resources, such as wildlife, wildlife habitats and native plant and animal species located on the property
  • Pesticide/Nutrient Management: Use pesticides/nutrients responsibly, maximizing benefits and minimizing potential adverse environmental effects
  • Waste Management/Recycling: Reduce waste by recycling agricultural byproducts and waste products on site

More information about the nomination process may be obtained by emailing or by calling 352-204-7609.

Citrus growers who received CARES recognition in recent years include Travis Miller of DeSoto Grove in DeSoto County and Marlon Pendergrass of the Groves of Peace River in Hardee County.


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