On Friday, Aug. 17, 13 innovative farmers and ranchers were recognized by University of Florida IFAS Extension and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida at the Jay Community Center in Santa Rosa County. This is the second year these two organizations have teamed up to honor a selection of the Top Innovative Farmers in the Florida Panhandle.
Mark Godwin was recognized as Gulf County Agriculture Innovator of the Year by Roy Lee Carter, Gulf County Extension Director.
Mark operates Gulf Shrimp Farms located near the Howard Creek Community. Gulf Shrimp Farms is a business that produces the pacific white shrimp in a pond culture. These shrimp are normally grown in the Gulf of Mexico and other saltwater bodies. Mark was able to drill a well 1,200 feet deep and tap into the underground aquifer and amazingly found water with the same salinity as sea water. He has approximately 55 acres in production at present and plans to double acres in the very new future.