Driving through the country, you often see many different signs, but do you know what all these different signs mean? In this edition of Farming 101, we will shed a little light on what all of these different signs are, and why farmers display them.
Many of you have probably seen the signs at the end of a field, but how many of you have ever wondered what they represent? These signs tell the farmer which variety of seed they have planted in that row, or field. It is a way for the farmer to remember months later what is planted where. This is the same concept many people use in their home gardens of putting the seed package on a stick in front of its respective section. These signs are important for farmers because some seeds may do better than others throughout the year, and it’s important to know which varieties performed better throughout the year.
Forestry is the second- largest agricultural industry in Mississippi, with a production value of $1.04 billion in 2011. This sign signifies that the landowner is part of the voluntary Tree Farm Program, and has met all the requirements to become certified. This program requires farmers to manage their tree farms for sustainability. They must meet and keep records proving they meet the following eight requirements:
- Commitment to Practicing Sustainable Forestry: Forest owner demonstrates commitment to forest vitality by developing and implementing a sustainable forest management plan.
- Compliance with Laws: Forest management activities comply with all relevant federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.
- Reforestation and Afforestation: Forest owner completes timely restocking of desired species of trees on harvested sites and non-stocked areas where tree growing is consistent with land use practices and the forest owner’s management objectives.
- Air, Water, and Soil Protection: Forest management practices maintain or enhance the environment and ecosystems, including air, water, soil, and site quality.
- Fish, Wildlife, and Biodiversity Forest Management: Activities contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
- Forest Aesthetics: Forest management plans and management activities recognize the value of forest aesthetics.
- Protect Special Sites: Special sites are managed in ways that recognize their unique historical, archeological, cultural, geological, biological, or ecological characteristics.
- Forest Product Harvests and Other Activities: Forest product harvests and other management activities are conducted in accordance with the management plan and consider other forest values.
These signs send a very clear message. They are in place to stop the spread of disease but to whom? These signs indicate that this farm practices strict biosecurity procedures to protect their ANIMALS! All farmers are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their animals, and farms that have biosecurity procedures in place do so to protect their animals and animals on other farms. They are actively trying to decrease or stop the transmission of disease transmitting germs that may be brought in on other people, animals, or farm equipment. As the sign states, you must check with the farm owners or management before proceeding to ensure you are not in violation of their procedures.