Steve Crump, a diversified crop producer in DeLeon Springs, was recognized for his innovative farming practices.
Steve Crump, a diversified crop producer in DeLeon Springs, was recognized for his innovative farming practices.

The University of Florida and Florida A&M University's Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Focus Team recognized three producers for their innovative practices.

They will be honored formally at 9 a.m., Aug. 2, as part of the Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference in Kissimmee, according to a news release.

The winners are:

• Steve Crump, who runs Vo-LaSalle Farms in DeLeon Springs. The diversified farm produces citrus, vegetables, beef cattle pasture, bermuda hay and livestock. Although it started as a commercial citrus operation, the farm has transitioned into a retail business. The operation uses natural vegetation buffers to protect lakes and no-till cultivation to prevent soil erosion.

• Ken Ryan, owner of Herban Gardens in North Fort Myers. His operation produces micro-greens, herbs and edible flowers on onlly 1/2 acre of space. Ryan also is active in the Southwest Florida Small Farmers Network.

• Hugh Fred Dietrich III and his family, who operate Dietrich's Flying D Ranch in Orlando. The operation maintains one of the leading Santa Gertrudis cattle herds. In addition, the ranch promotes wildlife habitat conservation.