Finding Her Way
Central Florida Ag News|March 2020
Young Rancher Credits UF/IFAS Extension for Much of Her Success
BRAD BUCK

Megan Johnston works alone, proudly managing a 140-acre ranch. Though there are no typical days, Johnston gets up about 5:30 every morning to feed the cows and their calves on land near Floral City, Florida.

Johnston attributes much of her early success to education and other help she’s received from UF/IFAS Extension agents. After working at a farm in Pasco County in her late teens and early 20s, Johnston knew she wanted to raise cattle for a living. One hitch: She didn’t have cows or land. So Johnston contacted Ed Jennings, an agent with UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County.

“Mr. Jennings kept an eye and an ear out for leasing property,” she said. “Then dad bought property up here (in Citrus County). The first thing Mr. Jennings told me about was UF/IFAS Extension Forage Management Field Day. That worked out perfectly. That was the No. 1 thing I needed to know if I was going to raise livestock.”

Jennings also connected Johnston with a Pasco County family that sold cattle to her. Even after they secured the land, and the cattle were on their way, Jennings followed up and reviewed the farm with her.

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