As we enter the 2018-2019 harvest season, we wanted to share with you some highlights from this year’s “Everglades Agricultural Area 2018 Pre-Harvest Celebration” publication. As always, we are thankful to do what we love – grow fresh food! Being a farmer certainly has its challenges, but growing fresh food for millions of America families is worth it all! Likewise, investing in our community, workforce, and driving economics throughout our area is an honorable responsibility that we never take for granted. R.C. Hatton Farms is proud to be a part of the EAA and work with our fellow farmers to produce fresh and healthy food that families enjoy at every meal.
What is the EAA?
The EAA represents the farmlands in the Everglades Agriculture Area which are among the most fertile in the United States! Every year, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) is counted on to provide America’s tables with millions of pounds of wholesome, delicious foods. The Everglades Agricultural Area remains the nation’s largest supplier of winter vegetables including sweet corn, radishes, green beans, lettuce, and other leafy greens, Florida’s largest producer of rice, and the nation’s top producer of sugarcane!
Protecting farmland in the EAA – with the nation’s most productive soils – is critical to our food supply. If we don’t want to become reliant on imported food from foreign countries over American products, we must protect the local agriculture, homegrown food, and rural jobs businesses in the EAA.
Economics & the EAA
Agriculture in one of the three pillars that drives Florida’s economy generating more than $100 billion in economic activity. The EAA is one of the nation’s most important farming regions due to its rich muck soils, flat topography, abundant rainfall, and sunshine making it an almost perfect place to grow food. The majority of the EAA lies within Palm Beach County, where agricultural sales generate more than $11 billion, which is nearly 10 percent of all industry output in County. When it comes to jobs, more than 118,000 jobs are provided by agriculture in Palm Beach County, which is 14 percent of the total job supply!
Farm families and our communities are proud to be stewards of our environment as we sustainably farm fresh food for millions of America’s families! We are a community that loves the land and works every day to protect the environment. We are proud of our more than 20-year record as partners with the State of Florida in a collaborative process to restore the Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. Through our science-based Best Management Practices (BMPs) and our use of precision agriculture to ensure data-driven decision-making, we are growing our crops in the most eco-friendly way to ensure the water leaving our farms is cleaner than when it arrived. Our BMPs together with the restoration projects built on more than 100,000 acres of farmland have succeeded, as Everglades National Park is in full compliance and the rest of the southern Everglades system is more than 90 percent restored.
View the full publication below.EAA 2018 Pre Harvest Celebration