Economic Impact and Sustainability of Agribusiness in SWFL
If you live in Southwest Florida, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a variety of stories related to the economic impact and sustainability of agribusiness in the area.
Agribusiness has taken off over the past couple of years, with no slowdown in sight.
For example, Florida Gulf Coast Univeristy’s Lutgert College of Business is in the process of creating a new Center for Agribusiness. Furthermore, and every bit as exciting, the school is looking into offering an agribusiness minor, which will help develop more talent for the industry.
The primary goal of the new Center for Agribusiness is to act as a resource for the agriculture industry in Southwest Florida.
Florida Gulf Coast University President Mike Martin is excited about the growth in this area, noting the following in a school press release from 2018:
“As a great regional university, FGCU is committed to connecting with and serving the leading sectors of Southwest Florida’s economy. Agribusiness certainly fits this criteria. We want every FGCU student who sees a career in agribusiness to have the opportunity to do so. And we want all FGCU students to appreciate the significance of agriculture and agribusiness to the region’s future.”
It’s clear that the Florida Gulf Coast University community is committed to the economic impact and well being of agribusiness in the region.
Collier County is also doing its part, thanks to its popular Florida Culinary Accelerator @Immokalee.
Operated under a partnership with Economic Incubators Inc. and the county Office of Business & Economic Development, the program provides commercial kitchen space to its members. Also, there are a variety of mentors associated with the program, all of which help with things such as business plans, industry planning, food safety, and nutrition among other areas.
Also in Collier County, Oakes Farms is one of the largest independently owned agribusiness operations in South Florida. It maintains a diversified portfolio of services that reach a global market. Services include: farming, packing, shipping, retail markets, food service, and seafood distribution.
Just the same as Collier County, Glades County is devoted to the economic development of agribusiness. It’s website states the following:
“We have been working to diversify our economic base beyond agriculture, striving to develop a three-legged stool for economic development, continuing with ag as long as ag is sustainable, while encouraging related agribusiness development, including fertilizer production, mulch and lawn care product manufacturing and warehousing and production of building materials and supplies ranging from golf course sands to redimix, mulch to mortar.”
Even though Glades County is diversifying its economic base, agribusiness is still a big part of development in the area.
The Hendry County agricultural community is one of the most robust in the state, with it utilizing more than 72 percent of its land to support the production of fresh vegetables, sugar and citrus.
Agribusiness is growing in many parts of the country, with Southwest Florida leading the way. It’ll be fun to see how the industry grows in 2019 and beyond!