Florida’s Jeffery & Ginger Pittman
Jeffery Pittman is a fifth-generation farmer; the fourth generation on the land he currently farms in Bascom, Florida. Due to his father’s illness, Jeffery began farming full-time just out of high school and bought out his Dad’s interest seven years later in 1996. Since then, he’s grown from 350 acres to about 3,000 acres.
Irrigation is the name of the game this year with the drought and high heat index in the southeast this year. “The drought is tough, but we can irrigate. Dry-land peanuts are in question, but they’ll be OK if the weather changes and we get sufficient rain,” said Jeffery. “Of course the irrigated peanuts look good, but the input costs are higher than normal because of the constant need to irrigate.”
Jeffery, Ginger and their three children grow peanuts, cotton and corn on their 3,000 acres with about 200 acres dedicated to cattle and grass. “About half the peanuts and cotton and all of the corn is irrigated,” said Jeffery. “The biggest challenge this year is budgeting with the drought. The price of energy across the board is high – even the cost of a tire is 100% more now – but it’s worse with the drought and heat index.”
Even with the special challenges this year though, the Pittman family can’t imagine a different way of life. “We’re proud to grow quality food and fiber for this country and to be part of a great industry that cares about people,” said Ginger.
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