Florida Market Bulletin brings ag buyers and sellers together

"Peanut harvester, old but in working condition needs a new tire $2000," "Bahia hay, 4x5 rolls, string wrapped, well fertilized, barn stored, cut Fall 2013 $50/roll, "Pair Blue Eared Pheasant breeders $275."

These are just a few examples of some of the listings recently appearing on the Florida Market Bulletin, an online site that provides the state's agricultural community with regular access to a statewide advertising forum.

There are 18 categories in all for buying and selling items in the Florida Market Bulletin, including Agricultural Machinery, Aquaculture Cattle, Farmland, Poultry, Fowl and Eggs and Swine. "The Cattle and Agricultural Machinery categories typically have the most ads," said Walt Land, Bureau Chief of Education & Communication, Division of Marketing and Development, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Unlike other classified ads, The Florida Market Bulletin was specifically designed for the agricultural community in hopes of bringing agricultural buyers and sellers together. "If a farmer no longer needs a particular piece of farming equipment, he can often find a buyer through the Bulletin. If he needs to supplement his cattle breeding stock, he can find bulls for sale. If he's looking to sell chickens, bees, goats, plants or farm harvest products, he might find buyers through the Bulletin," added Land, who explained that since ads are submitted by people in agriculture using terms understood by others in agriculture, a connection is more easily made.

The Florida Market Bulletin publication has been around for quite some time, starting off in 1917 as a small, tabloid-sized newspaper that allowed small farmers to advertise their products statewide at no cost. In addition to the classified ads, the Florida Market Bulletin also contained articles about Department of Agriculture programs, news about developments in the agriculture industry, recipes featuring Florida products, production statistics and other information.

In 1990, an online version was added in addition to the printed version that was mailed to subscribers. However, in 2008, as the Internet became a major means of communication, the printed version was discontinued.

Although the printed version has been put to rest, the publishing date remains the same, as does the chance to place a free ad (subject to guidelines). "The Florida Market Bulletin classified ads continue to be published online on the first day of every month," said Land, who explained that the ads can be submitted using the online system, or by fax or mail.

There are some guidelines and regulations in place for placing an ad on the Florida Market Bulletin, many of which are intended to ensure that sales transactions do not spread animal or plant diseases or other pests.

"Examples of regulations include requiring certain livestock to be identified with USDA tags, requiring sellers of plant stock and bees to be registered with the state, and requiring certain livestock to show evidence of vaccination," said Land, who also mentioned that farm harvest products offered for sale must be grown or produced on the advertiser's farm.

In addition to regulations, some items cannot be sold through the Florida Market Bulletin. "For example, agricultural machinery must be of the type used on a farming operation and not general-type trucks, ATVs, or even push lawnmowers," said Land. What else that cannot be sold on the Bulletin are plants that have been deemed noxious or invasive by the state of Florida. Also, stock dogs offered for sale must be bred, trained farm stock dogs or their puppies; ads for companion pets or hunting dogs are not accepted.

So if you are looking to buy or sell your Southdown sheep, your Indigo peacocks, your horse, your hay, or your 20-acre farm, the Florida Market Bulletin is a great place to make that connection.

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Florida Market Bulletin