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JAN 2014


The Future of the Industry

In the soil . . .

on the leaf

Knows Citrus When dormancy ends, and the focus soon turns to

maximizing top flush, Pathway

microbes will optimize micronutrient and potassium availability for the tree.



is formulated to enhance dry or liquid primary & secondary nutrient inputs. Easy to apply ‌ Microbes ride with your fertilizer.

Contact your local Pathway distributor or representative for MERGE

TM 813 . 719 . 7284


January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


Redefining Redefining Mineral Mineral Nutrition Nutrition SE 6% Breeder SE 6% Breeder ® with RainBLOC® with RainBLOC Foundation Foundation Nature holds the key to optimizing trace

Benefits Benefits • Immune function: importance of Nature holds the key to optimizing trace mineral nutrition. Plants convert inorganic • Immune function: importance of mineral nutrition. Plants mineral convert forms inorganic metal salts into organic that mineral reserves metal salts organic mineral forms that animals caninto digest. mineral reserves animals can digest. • Optimizes animal performance • Optimizes animal performance Performance • Aids in hoof health Performance Providing organic trace minerals in Sel-Plex • Aids in hoof health Providing organic minerals in Sel-Plex and Bioplex formstrace establishes adequate tissue • Supports rumen digestion and Bioplex forms establishes adequate reserves to support disease defense andtissue • Supports rumen digestion • Contributes to reproductive reserves to support defense and reproductive functiondisease in today’s optimal beef • Contributes to reproductive reproductive function in today’s optimal beef cattle operations. performance cattle operations. performance Achieve the best from your cattle and • Lowers stress due to weaning stress due to weaning Achieve the with… best from your cattle and •• Lowers bottom line Enhanced fertility rate bottom line with… • Enhanced fertility rate Trace minerals superior in sources of zinc, copper and manganese which support development, bone formation, hoofcopper health and immune system. Trace minerals superior in sources of zinc, manganese which support development, bone formation, hoof health and immune system. Selenium is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in metabolism, normal growth, stress management, health immunity. Selenium is an essential nutrient thatreproductive plays a critical role and in metabolism, Typically, most feed components provide inadequate levels selenium, so normal growth, stress management, reproductive health andofimmunity. proper supplementation becomesprovide important for getting the best performance. Typically, most feed components inadequate levels of selenium, so proper supplementation becomes important for getting the best performance.

Contact Todd Harvey, Central State Enterprises Contact Harvey, Central Statenear Enterprises to locateTodd a Sweetlix mineral dealer you. to locate a Sweetlix mineral dealer near you.

800-275-4429 or 800-275-4429 or


Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Bioplex® and Sel-Plex® are registered trademarks of Alltech. Bioplex® and Sel-Plex® are registered trademarks of Alltech.

January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


JAN 2014



Our cover models are brothers Ben, Eli and Pate Collins of Sebring. The boys have agriculture in their blood as the sons of Joe and Lisa Collins. Thanks for the smiles, boys!

January Features 14 20



28 31








16 SW Florida Gulf Coast Fishing Report By Capt. Chris O’Neill 18



Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers

Holiday Youth Archery Shoot By Robbi Sumner

HCCGA Annual Fun Shoot By Levi Lambert Florida Ag Year In Review Industry Updates Ag Careers Outlook and Message from Ag Colleges Outstanding Youth in Ag Across the Heartland Brought to you by Mosaic Cover Photo by Lauren Taylor Tracing the Roots of 4-H: A Brief History By Dixie Thomas Heartland Regional Science Fair By Robbi Sumner

58 60


January Hunting Spotlight Finn Taylor Citrus Update: Citrus for the Next Generation By Justin Smith FFA Journal By Wally Martin Dining in the Heartland: Lightsey’s By Robbi Sumner Florida CattleWomen’s Association Recipe: Bistro Beef Stew

Health Corner: Healthy Kids By Dr. D Keatley Waldron Contributions by Beckie Halaska


Ag Calendar


Happenings in the Heartland

Look out next month for

Agriculture Row Crops

OHS Ag Communications I Class By Robbi Sumner Meet Deta Waller: FCA Sweetheart 1st Runner-Up By Robbi Sumner Are You Tough Enough to Wear Pink? By Kathy Gregg Reality Ranch Rodeo By Kathy Gregg

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


Publisher Rhonda Glisson Karen Berry Executive Editor Morgan Taylor Norris Business Manager Nadine Glisson Lizette Sarria Art Directors Carrie Evans Olivia Fryer Staff Writers Cindy Cutright Ron Lambert Levi Lambert Brian Norris Justin Smith Robbi Sumner Contributing Writers Capt. Mark King Rusty Hartline Brady Vogt Matt Warren Lindsey Wiggins Kathy Gregg Dr. D. Keatley Waldron, D.C. Casey Wohl Capt. Chris O’Neill Tina Yoder Lauren Taylor Social Media Director Brian Norris Photography Sharon Glisson Kathy Gregg Russell Hancock Nell McAuley Brian Norris Lauren Taylor Holly Taylor Regina Blackman Sydney Yoder


Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Editor’s Note Happy New Year, y’all! I am so excited to bring you our first issue of 2014, Youth in Agriculture: The Future of the Industry.

As I was working on questions for our Outstanding Youth in Ag, I was trying to imagine how I would answer each and one question stuck out to me, ‘Who has made an influence on your ag career?’ I did not grow up on a farm, ranch or in an orange grove like most agriculturalists and it was not part of my family tradition. In fact, when I wanted to join the FFA in middle school, I distinctly remember my mom’s reply: “I am not a pig mom. You are not raising an animal.” I/we quickly came to realize that ag is so much more than sows, cows and plows! There were several people along my journey that influenced my career in this industry I now love. One person in particular was my high school ag teacher and FFA advisor, Denise Hines. She encouraged me to get involved, coached me through many a CDE and I owe it to her and the FFA for where I am today. It is encouraging to me to see the youth of the Heartland getting involved in agriculture and making this great industry their career choice. We are honored to spotlight one student from each county in our area as Outstanding Youth in Ag. Read about each of these accomplished agriculturalists starting on page 31.

The outlook for careers in agriculture is bright and we are bringing you what the industry trends are for employment from followed by what colleges are saying for incoming students including Warner University Ag Studies Program, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Fair season is starting so be sure to visit your county fair and support the youth in their projects and at their livestock shows. In the spirit of all these great fairs coming up, we have an exciting contest and give away coming to our Facebook page starting this month. We will be giving away TWO Strawberry Prize Packs, one with 2 Admission Tickets to the Florida Strawberry Festival and 2 Concert Tickets to see John Anderson and one with 2 Admission Tickets to the Florida Strawberry Festival and 2 Concert Tickets to see Crystal Gayle! Visit us at to read more and enter today! As always, I’d love to hear from you. If you have a story idea or an event you think we should be covering, please let us know! E-mail me at or give me a call 863-381-8014. We’ll see y’all in the field,

Heartland in the Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and other local venues within Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Lee, Manatee and St. Lucie Counties. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to Heartland In the Field Magazine, P.O. Box 3183 Plant City, FL. 33563 or you are welcome to e-mail them to or call 813-708-3661. Advertisers warrant & represent the description of their products advertised are true in all respects. Heartland In the Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of G Five Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in Heartland In the Field Magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications and G Five. All contents Copyright 2014. No part of this work may be copied, transmitted, reproduced or reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher. Annual subscriptions to receive Heartland A Way of Life at your home or business is $25 annually. For advertising, subscriptions or editorial questions please call 813-708-3661 or email Heartland® A Way Of Life In The Field publication has been in print since 2008.

January 2014

The “Fresh From Florida” brand is a symbol of quality and the logo is recognized around the globe. Behind the logo is our dedicated team of marketing professionals with a proven track record of increasing sales of Florida agricultural products. Direct benefits* of membership in the program include: • Use of the widely recognized “Fresh From Florida” logo on products, packaging, advertising and promotional materials • Point of purchase materials to display with Florida grown products • Choice of customized FFF business signage 2x3 metal farm gate sign, 3x6 vinyl weatherproof banner or 2x6 vinyl weatherproof banner • Participation in the logo incentive program • Company listing and website link on the “Fresh From Florida” website • Subscription to the “Fresh From Florida” magazine and e-newsletter *Benefits of the program are subject to change.

Join Today! Visit or call us at (850) 617-7399.

JAN 2014

Index of Advertisers 44 Agro Culture

57 Griffin’s Carpet Mart

56 River Pasture Metal Art


51 Helena Chemical

39 Seedway

33 Arcadia Stockyard

50 Hicks Oil

77 Spring Lake Hardware


15 Highlands County Fair

18 Spurlows Outdoor

74 Big T Tire

13 Highlands County Farm Bureau

43 St. Lucie County Fair

78 Brighton Field Days

25 Howard Fertilizer

77 Superior Muffler

47 Cattlemen’s Livestock Market

39 Joshua Citrus

72 Taylor Oil Company

44 Center State Bank

11 KeyPlex

39 The Andersons


Central States Enterprises

77 Labelle Feed



Creel Tractor

45 Lee and Associates

77 Triangle Hardware

77 Cross Ties


Log Cabin BBQ & Seafood

69 Trinkle Redman Coton

33 Desoto County Fair


Marmer Construction

59 Tutto Fresco Italian Grill

69 Desoto Machine Shop


Michael G. Kirsch

63 Wallenstein of Florida

45 Duke Citrus


Mike Knox, CPA

67 Walpole Feed

23 Farm Credit

30,72 Mosaic

41 Warner University

61 Florida CattleWomen Association

17 Newton Crouch

80 Watering Hole



17 Wauchula State Bank

Amsoil Banker’s South

Florida Department of Ag

Pathway Agriculture

tree t pee

25 Florida Fence Post

22 Peace River Citrus

49 Wicks, Brown, Williams, CPA

53 Glades Electric

41 Quality Liquid Feed

77 Winfield Solutions

51 Glade and Grove Supply

63 Quality Liquid Feed

19 Women in the Outdoors

79 Glisson’s Animal Supply

19 Quail Creek Plantation

21 Yetti Outfitters

Sales Team Highlands

Morgan Norris


Tina Yoder

Hardee & Desoto


Robbi Sumner

Levi Lambert

10 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Morgan Norris

Ron Brown

Lee and Hendry

Cindy Cutright

Okeechobee, Glades & St. Lucie

Robbi Sumner

January 2014

Corporate, Polk & Hillsborough

Danny Crampton

Morgan Norris

Rhonda Glisson

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 11



1278 SE US Highway 31 • Arcadia, FL 34266

1017 US Highway 17 N • Wauchula, FL. 33873

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863.494.3636 Charlotte Line: 941.624.3981 • Fax: 863.494.4332

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863. 773. 3117 Fax: 863. 773. 2369




President…………....Jim Selph Vice President……….Jeffrey Adams Sec./Treasurer...... Matt Harrison

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Jim Brewer John Burtscher Mike Carter Steve Fussell

Lindsay Harrington Richard E. Harvin Ann H. Ryals Mac Turner

Bryan K. Beswick Ken Harrison


President……David B. Royal Vice President…Greg L. Shackelford Sec./Treasurer……..Bo Rich

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Joseph B. Cherry Corey Lambert Daniel H. Smith

Steve A. Johnson Bill Hodge David B. Royal

Greg L. Shackelford Bo Rich Scott Henderson

Federation Secretary Mary Jo Spicer

Federation Secretary Rhonda Willis

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents



6419 US Highway 27 S. • Sebring, FL 33876

5620 Tara Blvd, Ste 101 • Bradenton, FL 34203

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863. 385. 5141 • Fax: 863. 385. 5356 Website:

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 941-746-6161 • Fax: 941-739-7846 Website:



Agency Manager: Cameron N. Jolly Agents: Dawn A. Hines, Clint Brown


President………Scott Kirouac Vice President…Doug Miller Secretary………..Carey Howerton Treasurer……..Frank Youngman

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Sam Bronson Steve Farr Charles Guerndt

Charles Lanfier Mike Milicevic Emma Reynolds

Trey Whitehurst Jeff Williams Marty Wohl

Agency Manager: N. Jay Bryan Agents: George L. Wadsworth, Jr.


President……Gary Reeder Vice President…Jim Parks Secretary……..Ben King Treasurer……..Robert Zeliff

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Carlos Blanco Gary Bradshaw Jerry Dakin Ralph Garrison

Ken Hawkins Alan Jones Vick Keen Bruce Shackelford

Jim Strickland Hugh Taylor Dan West

Federation Secretary Janet Menges

Federation Secretary Christie Hinson

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Agency Manager: Chad D. McWaters Agents: Joseph W. Bullington

12 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Agency Manager: Branden Bunch Agents: Doug Dierdorf, Mike Shannon

January 2014


District 6 Update From the Desk of Andy Neuhofer

Thank You... To Highlands County Farm Bureu’s Heritage Sponsors

Forty-five county Farm Bureau presidents or their representative attended the 2013 Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Council of Presidents on December 4th and 5th. Eleven newly elected county presidents attended the session designed specifically for them to learn more about Farm Bureau and to ask questions about their new leadership positions. During the two day meeting, participants interacted with each other as they learned about tax law compliance, legal use of the Farm Bureau logo, educational certification efforts led by Farm Bureau for high school students, committee structures, state and national issues. That was just on the first day. On the second day, an update from the Public Relations Division was presented, successful projects were reported on by representatives from each of the eight field districts and Steve Murray, the new CEO of the Florida Farm Bureau insurance company introduced himself and gave a report updating members about the issues of today.

Several months ago, teachers from across the state applied for mini-grants from Florida Farm Bureau Federation. The requests totaled $40,000 which far exceeds the budget of FFBF. However, a number of significant projects were funded across the state. The checks were delivered to the teachers by Farm Bureau members in December.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting will take place in San Antonio, TX January 12 -15, 2014. Thousands of farmers and ranchers from across the nation will be in attendance to discuss the issues and Farm Bureau policy to address those issues. FFBF will be recognized at the AFBF Annual Meeting by receiving 6 out of 6 Excellence in Ag Awards. The six categories are Education/Outreach, Leadership Development, Membership Services, Membership Initiatives, Policy Development/Implementation, and Public Relations/Communications.

The FFBF Women’s Leadership Conference is February 27 – March 1 at the Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach. Make plans to attend by contacting Michael Rogalsky at or 352.384.2668.

The Florida Cattlemen’s Institute and Allied Trade Show will be held on January 16, 2014 at the Turner Center in Arcadia. Contact Anna Beswick at abeswick@

January 2014

Please support these businesses! Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 13

leadership success and continuing their professional development and personal growth.



Service by

providing workable solutions for issues affecting agriculture, influencing public policies that affect agriculture now and in the future, stepping up and telling the story of agriculture and serving their communities by volunteering and making a difference.

State Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference Each year, the Florida Farm Bureau hosts a leadership conference for young farmers and ranchers from throughout the state. This conference is an opportunity for attendees to network, share ideas, learn important skills to help make their local programs successful and tour historic sites and agricultural operations. The conference is typically held in July and the location changes each year.

Young Farmer & Ranchers Leadership Group The Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers program includes both men and women between the ages of 18-35. The objective of the Young Farmers & Ranchers program is to provide leadership in building a more effective Farm Bureau to preserve our individual freedoms and expand our opportunities in agriculture through educational, professional, and leadership development.

Young Farmers and Ranchers are agricultural producers and enthusiasts who are.... Growing

Through Action by acquiring cutting edge information through participation in educational conferences, building a network with fellow farmers, ranchers and agricultural enthusiasts, earning recognition for their achievements in business excellence and

14 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

The Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Group is composed of appointed individuals and couples who are active Florida Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 representing each of the eight Farm Bureau field districts. Appointments are made for a two­year term, during which members participate in a leadership development program of approximately 45 days, conducted in separate seminars. The intent of the program is to develop and refine participants’ leadership abilities so, in turn, they will be better prepared to become increasingly involved in Farm Bureau at the local, county, state and national level. The program strives to surface and develop young leaders by focusing on personal growth and leadership development in the areas of public speaking, media training, legislative aware- ness, issue advocacy, business development, networking and service leadership.

Competitive Events Competitive events offer unique opportunities for members to learn about Farm Bureau while earning recognition and prizes. These activities are a great way to learn, net- work and have fun!

The Achievement in Ag Award

highlights young Farm Bureau members’ efforts in production agriculture and leadership achievement. Participants are involved in production agriculture with a majority of their income subject to normal production risks. Com- petitors are judged on their farm operation and growth, the financial progress of their operation and their Farm Bureau and community leadership.

The Excellence in Ag Award

spotlights young Farm Bureau members who are agricultural enthusiasts but have not earned a majority of their in- come from an owned production agriculture enterprise in the past three years. Competitors are evaluated on their understanding of agricultural issues, leadership experiences and achievements.

The Discussion Meet is an activity

designed to build crucial skills in young, active farmers and ranchers. By participating, members build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. The winner of each of these competitions represents Florida at the national competition. In addition, there is an impressive list of 
prizes including cash, GM trucks and ATV’s.

For more information or to get involved with your local Young Farmers & Ranchers program, contact Michael Rogalsky, Young Farmers & Ranchers/ Women’s Coordinator for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation at 352-3842668 or January 2014

Like us on

and Exciting Giveaways! Facebook for Contests

Starting January 15 you can Enter to Win! Get tickets to the Florida Strawberry Festival, Crystal Gayle and John Anderson concerts! *For contest details and rules visit us on Facebook

Highlands County Fair February 7th – 15th 77 Years of Food, Fun & Thrills

Entertainment Including: Master Hypnotist, Mark Yuzik The Bengal Encounter Master of The Chainsaw, Rodney Green Caricature Drawings Old Time Photo Booth Highlands County Beauty Pageants Miss, Jr. Miss, & Little Miss Contests Livestock Show & Sales With Tons of Mouth Watering Food In The Midways!!

January 2014

Music from: The Florida Bluegrass Band JJ McCoy Band California Toe Jam Band Disney Idol Winner, Cammie Lester Avon Park Choir Lloyd Mabre MC & Roving Entertainer

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 15

SW Florida Gulf Coast


By Captain Chris O’Neill


inter is here and it’s time to change your tactics both inshore and offshore. Seasonal cold fronts bring us a friendly reminder of how lucky we are to live and enjoy the outdoors here in the Sunshine State. If you have the luxury of going any day of the week, I always try to get a day ahead of an approaching cold front. Mother nature has programmed wildlife to be much better at predicting the weather than our local meteorologists and they will be on the hunt for food just before the arrival of unstable conditions. In areas considered sub-tropical like mid-state and below, fish such as snook get very weary as the water temps drop to near catastrophic temperatures. A prime example was the winter of 2010, when local nightly temps dropped to freezing levels for two consecutive weeks, consequently killing tens of thousands of vulnerable sub-tropical snook which led to a three-year harvest closure. My best advice for inshore anglers is to “SLOW DOWN”. Baitfish sources become limited and predator fish slow down to conserve energy and chase food at a much slower pace. During each daily charter onboard the Tail Chaser, it’s not uncommon to spend most of the day using my favorite wintertime lure the Bomber Saltwater Grade Paradise Popper Popping Cork. This lure enables my anglers to present a live shrimp at desired depths and cover plenty of real estate by utilizing the current and winds to move the cork along. The cork also emits a very unique sound when popped on the surface, mimicking a feeding sound that really gets the attention of species like spotted seatrout, redfish, ladyfish, spanish mackerel and others. Artificial lures like soft plastics on a jig head will also do the job during the winter. It’s hard to beat a new penny colored Berkley gulp shrimp slowly presented on a 1/8 ounce jighead across sand holes surrounded by deeper grass flats. Many fish like redfish will camouflage themselves around the slightly deeper perimeter of sand holes, lying in wait for an easy ambush of approaching baitfish. Nearshore anglers will enjoy the best sheepshead fishing of the year for the next two months as the larger females begin to spawn along the nearshore and inshore structure. Most

16 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

people consider this species unglamorous but I can honestly say that it’s hard to beat anchoring up on your favorite nearshore reef and catching limitless big sheepshead. Quality table fare can sometimes be tough during January because of closures, so this hearty toothy creature could be the answer to your neighborhood fish fry. My favorite technique is dropping a knocker style rig with a smaller 2/0 circle hook tied to PENN’s new Spinfisher V 4500 rod/reel combo. Using a half piece of shrimp versus the entire bait will save you plenty of cleaned hooks and wasted bait. I describe them as striped bait thieves because of their unique ability to steal you’re offering so plan on bringing plenty of bait and terminal tackle when fishing for “sheepies” around structure. Having an electric fillet knife will also help speed up your harvest at the end of your day of catching these armored plated bandits. Offshore fishing has been excellent this winter. Plenty of species such as grouper move much closer to shore as the water cools and they begin to spawn. Check the latest harvest regulations at because many of our local species are closed.

Booking a charter this time of year is a great opportunity to spend the day “catching”. My company offers inshore and offshore charters with a team of world-class guides to satisfy your private or corporate fishing needs. All of my guests receive complementary Tail Chaser t-shirts as well as the best service in the business.

Captain Chris O’Neill

is a full time fishing guide and host of The Reel Saltwater Outdoors radio show. Captain Chris is regularly seen on TV shows like Big Water Adventures, Florida Sportsman, Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal and others. As a retired U.S. Army hovercraft pilot, he has accrued over 25 years of saltwater experience and has targeted gamefish around the globe. His Reel Saltwater Outdoors Seminar Series has become the largest in the state and he speaks to thousands of anglers annually. His passion for fishing is contagious and you can always expect to have a great adventure when fishing onboard the Tail Chaser. To book a charter visit www.tailchasercharters. com or for more information. You can listen to his FISH ON FRIDAY radio show via www.wengradio. com or the WENG app from 4-6pm weekly. Capt. Chris operates out of the world-class Gasparilla Marina in Placida, FL, just minutes from Boca Grande Pass (the tarpon capital of the world) and Charlotte Harbor.

January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 17

January’s Hunting Spotlight brought to you by Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters 1 East Wall Street Frostproof, FL 33843 863-635-0240

Finn Taylor Finn is the son of Ian and Leigh Anne Taylor of Lake Placid. He is 8 years old and in the second grade at Lakeview Christian School where he is on the Honor Roll. Finn likes to ride his skateboard, read and go hunting and fishing.

He started hunting when he was 7 years old and in his first year killed a turkey, two deer and a hog all on his family’s property. Finn goes fishing with his dad in Pine Island and in the Tampa Bay area.

Submit your children’s hunting pictures for the Monthly Hunting Spotlight to

18 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

January 2014


setting at its finest!

Whether it’s just for fun or mixing a little business with pleasure, Quail Creek Plantation awards the prize when it comes to an outdoor paradise for hunting and fishing. Shoot some sporting clays to warm up before finding the covey on a guided hunt for upland birds. Finish the day with a pole and go angling for that big fish to talk about later. Kick back and enjoy the Quail Creek Lodge and dine on fried quail for lunch, or have our gourmet chefs help you plan a special dinner for a fundraiser or private event at Quail Creek Plantation. WEDDINGS || CONFERENCES || FUNDRAISERS/BANQUETS || SPORTING CLAYS 12399 Northeast 224th Street • Okeechobee, Florida 34972 • 863-763-2529 •

Women in the Outdoors Quail Creek 2014


omen in the Outdoors defines their mission as dedicated to providing interactive educational outdoor opportunities for women, the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Does this sound like something you want to be a part of? Then mark your calendars now for the 2014 Women in the Outdoors, Quail Creek event! 
Scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 25th and 26th, this year’s event is sure to be the best yet.

January 2014

Plans underway include new classes and topics including a Concealed Weapons Permit class and a Friday night pre-event party you won’t want to miss, featuring the Tom Jackson Band. 

New this year is online registration allowing you to see class availability in real-time as well as pay online via a credit or debit card.

 Class options and a full event schedule will be emailed in mid-January, so watch your inbox for the details.

For more information call 772-475-1158 and sign up today!

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 19

Holiday Youth Archery Shoot BY ROBBI SUMNER

On Saturday, December 14th, the Seminole Tribe of Florida hosted its Inaugural Holiday Youth Archery Shoot at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena grounds at Brighton. The competition was open to all youth from 8 to 18 years old, with divisions determined by age and the type of bow used. A variety of targets were used, including 3-D, Field and FITA styles.

After the initial go-rounds, the top five in each division qualified for a six-target, twelve-shot shoot-off round. Results were as follows: Junior Instinctive Traditional: 1st Hazel McCarty,

Marion Co.; Shoot-off winner: Hazel McCarty

Junior Instinctive Compound: 1st Hunter Roberts,

Polk County; 2nd Cassidy Sharp, Polk Co.; 3rd Diego Mares, Glades Co.; 4th Savannah Palmer, Glades Co.; 5th Ariana Karels, Orange Co.; Shoot-off winner: Cassidy Sharp

Junior Sighted Compound: 1st Wyatt Hines, Glades

Co.; 2nd Shelby Sumner, Okeechobee Co.; 3rd Matt Lawrence, Okeechobee Co.; 4th Ashley Parham, Orange Co.; 5th Tracen Phillips, Highlands Co.; Shoot-off winner: Ashley Parham

20 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

January 2014

Intermediate Instinctive Traditional: 1st Abigail

Aguilar, Indian River Co.; 2nd Billie Santiago, Glades Co.; Shoot-off winner: Abigail Aguilar

Intermediate Instinctive Compound: 1st Cody

Sharp, Polk Co.; 2nd Dawson Westbrook, Okeechobee Co.; 3rd Devin Westbrook, Okeechobee Co.; 4th Abby Saunder, Levy Co.; 5th Madison Palmer, Glades Co.; Shoot-off winner: Dawson Westbrook

Intermediate Sighted Compound: 1st John Pearce,

Glades Co.; 2nd Steven Sample, Levy Co.; 3rd Adam Reinbatt, Hendry Co.; 4th Conner Thomas, Glades Co.; 5th Drake Lawrence, Okeechobee Co.; Shoot-off winner: John Pearce

Senior Instinctive Traditional: 1st Rebekah Lopez, Glades Co.; 2nd Kyler Bell, Broward Co.; 3rd Pernell Bert, Glades Co.; 4th Ben Blendheim, Indian River Co.; 5th Jeremy Grech, Hendry Co.; Shoot-off winner: Rebekah Lopez Senior Sighted Traditional: 1st Isaac Swineheart,

Marion Co.; 2nd Lane Prevatt, Glades Co.; 3rd Hannah Wood, Marion Co.; Shoot-off winner: Isaac Swineheart

Senior Instinctive Compound: 1st Cheyenne Sharp,

Polk Co.; Shoot-off winner: Cheyenne Sharp

Senior Sighted Compound: 1st Allen Abe, Highlands Co.; 2nd Blake Haniman, St. Lucie Co.; 3rd Garrette Thomas, Glades Co.; 4th Jon Price, Martin Co.; 5th Shelbie Dray, Martin Co.; Shoot-off winner: Blake Haniman

All entries were placed in a drawing for a new bow, with Jon Price drawn as the lucky winner. The names of Shoot-off winners were placed in a hat for a separate bow drawing, with Blake Haniman drawn as that winner.

Special thanks go out to all of the volunteers who worked diligently to keep everyone safe throughout the event, as well as to the sponsors who donated prizes like bows, bow cases, Case knives, quivers, releases and Thermo Cell mosquito repellants: Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters, W & W Supply, Bailey’s Hydrographics, High Impact Designs, Heartland Periodontics Dr. Kirsch, K & M Drugs, U.S. Sugar, Dr. Charles Mitzenfield, Bill Parcel, Swamp Buggies of Florida, David Champman, Yeti Outfitters, Glades County Sheriff’s Department, Eli’s Western Wear, Wells Insurance, Larry Howard, Skull Hill Steel Archery, Glisson’s Animal Hospital, US Cowboys and Everglades Seasoning.

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 21


Citrus for the Next Generation Citrus has long been a “family tradition”. Many growers have simply followed in the footsteps of their parents’ and grandparents’ way of life. However, with the increased difficulty of growing oranges, the expansion of technology and a more globalized world, the generational following has been ever shrinking. So, what’s it like to grow up in citrus? Is there still a future for young people who would like to continue the family business? Or, has the sun begun to set on the sunshine fruit?

Many families have not only survived, but also thrived in the Florida citrus industry. A couple of generations ago, a young person could grow up learning how to take care of an orange grove and they could rest assured the orange grove would take care of them. Those same families were able to raise children all the way through college, relying on citrus income. It was a lot of work, including sweat in the summer days and freezing nights in the winter, but it was a good livelihood. Today many things have changed from what the “good-ole days” were. Now, someone cannot simply grow up learning how to take care of a citrus grove. That is basically because it is changing yearly. What worked last year may not work at all this year. The prospects of simply raising citrus and making a living are no longer the greatest of odds, at least not the kind of odds to bet a family’s survival on. So, is it as simple as to say there is no future in the industry?

To answer the question, absolutely not, there is still plenty of future left for the younger generation. The big difference is by embracing the changes that have come about. The simplistic lifestyle of learning a trade, in this case growing citrus, from your parents and having that trade take care of your family isn’t exactly viable. To stay competitive and have the understanding of the global economy, a young person needs to make some decisions as to how they want to be connected to the industry. This can primarily be found in the form of education, particularly higher education.

22 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

One direction is through business. All agricultural operations have a strong business tie. After all, to get paid you must sell. With the current way of doing business, even growers need to have the ability to understand contracts and do their own research. Employees, taxes, chemicals, strategies, profit and loss are now in the minds of a citrus producer. Growers must take care of all these things right along with the trees. January 2014

Loans to fit your lifestyle.

Research is yet another field that is vitally important and in no way going to be needed less in the future. A young group of researchers are currently needed to carry-on the dedicated work of keeping citrus viable for the future.

One more idea of a field many do not always think about is technology. One of the largest growing fields, offering numerous degrees and college courses, is with technology management. Today, practically anything can be automated and the need to further that process in the agricultural industry is very strong. Even just database programing and managing is such an important part of today’s farming operations. Things that were not needed 10 years ago are now used daily. In the field of technology, there is no telling what the next step may be, and how to get it to the field will be very valuable. It may just take someone with a citrus background to figure it out. The way citrus is grown has changed and is also becoming increasingly difficult; there is no disputing that fact. This does not mean it cannot be a sustainable option for the next generation. However, this process, too, must change. Young people need to find their niche in the new structure of growing citrus. With a little thought and a lot of preparation, passing on citrus to the next generation is still an option and one that will continue to see many more families through.

January 2014

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 23

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association

Annual Fun Shoot By Levi Lambert

Saturday, December 14th turned out to be a beautiful day to spend outdoors anywhere in Flor-ida, which just happens to be what I did that day. Three friends and I traveled to Quail Creek in Okeechobee for the Highlands County Citrus Growers Annual Fun Shoot. Earlier in the month, I assembled a team on behalf of Heartland In the Field Magazine. Team members were myself, Julie Platt Cook, Jake Crews and Gilbert Vasquez. We all had a fantastic time on the course and enjoyed a terrific lunch. As always, Ray Royce and Ms. Jan Menges put forth a great effort to insure everything was in place for the event. When you combine the talents and abilities of these two and the staff of Quail Creek and a total of 97 sponsors, you can count on a memora-ble experience for all participants. This year, a total of 315 shooters took to the pathways to challenge the clay birds. There were 72 teams represented. A truly amazing team this year representing Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice claimed the top spot with a score of 387 out of 400. Team members were John Martinelli, Bill Martinelli, Jack Martinelli and Zach Metz. Zach was also the high scoring youth with 98 of 100. The runner-up team from Cowpokes Watering Hole Restaurant with a respectable 367 of 400 included Vernon Hinote, Steve Smith, Joel Bass and Kyle Reno. High scoring individual man was Chappy Young with 100 out of 100, followed by Joel Bass at 96 of 100. The high scoring lady was BeBe Rodriquez with a score of 87 out of

24 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

100. Congratula-tions to all of these folks. Whether you are a challenge to any of the top shooters or not, thank you for your support. Be sure to mark December 13, 2014 on your calendar and plan to be back next year and bring a friend or young person to introduce them to an enjoyable and challenging outdoor sport. As I had mentioned, there were a total of 97 sponsors on various levels of support. All are ap-preciated and deserve a big thank you for their part. Major sponsors were Alan Jay Fleet Sales, The Anderson’s, Inc., Bayer Crop Science, Carden and Associates Crop Insurance, Cowpokes Watering Hole, Farm Credit of Florida, Florida Grove Hedgers and Foggers, Magna Bon II, LLC, Peace River Citrus Products and Southeast AgNet/Citrus Industry Magazine.

There was a total of over $6,000 in prizes raffled off, including 5 guns as well as 8 green bird station prizes valued at $2,000. As most of you know, this is a fundraiser to help fund the programs of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association. Citrus remains a huge part of the state of Florida’s economy and needs our support more than ever. This industry is facing pres-sure never seen before, but citrus growers are a resilient bunch. The next time you pour a glass of Florida fresh orange juice, consider the importance and benefits to our region of this industry. See y’all next year at Quail Creek! January 2014

Our average customer is anything but average.

Howard customers demand 110% from themselves—and expect the same from us. That includes the highest quality fertilizers and chemicals. Outstanding service from the industry’s most knowledgeable sales professionals. Advances such as our new, state-of-the-art dry fertilizer plant in Lake Placid, FL. All backed by the Howard family’s 81 years of helping growers grow. If these are your kind of expectations, we’re your kind of fertilizer/chemical provider.

Contact your local representative. Jared Revell - 863.214.3027 Mark Frisbie - 239.633.2732 Kevin Updike - 863.528.1968 John Bozeman - 863.449.0453 Ryan Hayes - 863.781.6099

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January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 25

2013 Florida Ag Year In Review Florida agriculture ranks only second to tourism in supporting the state’s economy, generating more than $100 billion annually while producing 280 different commodities. These numbers are astounding and prove that agriculture is the backbone to our state and country. Over the next few months, we will be highlighting several industries’ 2013 year in review as well as an outlook for the future.

Florida Citrus: 2013 and Beyond Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Citrus Extension Agent 2013 has proven to be another challenging year for Florida Citrus. Greening remains the main focus for the industry. Research continues and growers wait for the “silver bullet” that will eradicate this disease. With a cure forthcoming, growers at least hope for some type of relief in acquiring funding to pay for all the research. Canker became more prevalent again in some areas due to the wettest summer in many years and some areas of the state continued to find Black Spot. Labor in most areas of the citrus industry remains a problem. The current H2A program has frustrated regular users of the program and discouraged those trying to enter the program from even trying. Although the future of the Florida Citrus Industry seems doom and gloom to some, there are some exciting things on the horizon. In early 2014 we hope to hear that the Citrus Trust Fund has been

26 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

funded in the new Farm Bill. Congress is behind in adopting the Farm Bill and at this time the Citrus Trust Fund is still included in the pending legislation. This Trust Fund will relieve some of the pressure on the growers in footing the bill for the current and future research needed to solve the state’s existing citrus issues and those yet to come. Growers are improving at using the Citrus Health Management Area (CHMA) concept in combatting the Psyllid, increasing the effectiveness of their sprays. As we move forward, there are new planting strategies on the horizon, potentially new root stock varieties and improved production practices that will be considered. The Florida Citrus Grower is a diligent, committed, hard working individual that will pull through this as a person and work together as a team to push the Florida Citrus Industry into the next millennium.

The Future Looks Bright for Florida Blueberries Bill Braswell, President, Florida Blueberry Growers Association The Florida blueberry industry continues to grow. Membership in the Florida Blueberry Growers Association currently exceeds 300 farmers and continues to add members annually. Acreage has grown from 1200 acres in 2000 to over 5000 acres in 2013. Production has fluctuated the last few years due to weather conditions but is expected to exceed 25 million pounds for the 2014 season. January 2014

Competition continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. Chile, a country that did not grow blueberries 10 years ago is expected to produce over 200 million pounds this season with a good portion of that production occurring in the Florida window. Mexico and Peru are emerging as the next major competitors for the state. It is estimated Mexico already has over 5000 acres planted and acreage will double in the next few years. Peru currently has approximately 1000 acres in production but is expecting to triple that over the next 24 months. With all of the increases in production, the good news is consumption is keeping pace. Due to the efforts of the US Highbush Blueberry Council, medical research continues to identify the many health benefits of blueberries. Value added products such as blueberry wine, dried blueberries, etc. are showing up everywhere. The current “buy local, buy fresh” trend has also helped move blueberries off grocer’s shelves and into new consumers kitchens. Florida blueberries have also been featured in the “Fresh From Florida” promotion from the Florida Department of Agriculture. Overall, the future looks bright for Florida blueberries. Everyday new consumers discover the great taste, easy to eat characteristics, and many health benefits of Florida blueberries.

Fruit and Vegetable Association, Dan Botts has been a tireless advocate for Florida agriculture. He is an expert on pesticide use and regulation and lobbies on behalf of growers for reasonable pesticide rules that balance environmental concerns with the needs of production.” In addition to Botts’ accomplishments, other FFVA team members worked in areas such as meeting with lawmakers at the state and federal level to ensure they understood the importance of issues such as securing a legal, stable work force, maintaining specialty crop research funding in a new farm bill and more.

Of special concern was the FDA’s proposed Food Safety Modernization Act, for which FFVA offered its input into necessary clarifications and other changes that would create a fair final product that would offer consumers a high level of protection from pathogens without forcing unnecessary and expensive measures to be required of producers. The FDA subsequently revised two important rules and will take further comments. FFVA was also engaged in helping to market Florida crops such as sweet corn, by managing the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange. The new Sunshine Sweet brand of Florida sweet corn proved a huge success despite early March freezes. With an eye on the future, FFVA graduated its second Emerging Leader Development Program class and named a new class. The program educates young leaders who are members of FFVA about the association and gives them a wide range of experiences at the state and national level.

Year in Review from the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association One of the events of 2013 that FFVA is most proud of is the induction of Dan Botts, vice president of industry resources, into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame describes Botts as such: “During his nearly 30 years with the Florida

January 2014

In October, the government shutdown caused a delay in the processing of worker visas, known as H-2A visas that allow legal foreign workers to be employed on Florida’s farms. FFVA was instrumental in the Department of Labor’s decision to fast track the applications once government functions were restored.

Also in the fall, FFVA presented workshops explaining the Affordable Care Act in various locations throughout the state. FFVA looks forward to another year – its 71st – of service to Florida’s fruit and vegetable producers.

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 27

Ag Careers Outlook Ashley Collins Education & Marketing Specialist is the leading online job board for

the agricultural industry. We provide and maintain a website for companies in the ag industry to advertise intern and fulltime job opportunities to the public.

Unemployment rates in the United States hovered around eight percent in 2012, down from nine percent in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of jobs posted on in 2012 surpassed 2011’s record-high level. The agriculture, food, biotechnology and natural resources sectors seem to have plenty of available positions. experienced an increase of 477 more positions posted in 2012, approaching almost 44,000. The 2013 report will be published in late January. If job seekers are willing to relocate, the positions are available. 72% of US jobs posted on are located in the mid-west region of the US with the top 5 job posting states include Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Kansas. Texas is the only non mid-western state in the top ten. In the south, the leading industry for job postings is Biotechnology, followed by Agronomy. In career type across the board, 19% of jobs posted are opportunities in agriculture sales and marketing.

Companies are continuing to increase offerings for internships and on average hire one out of every three interns into a full time role.

28 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

As far as educational requirements, 66% of jobs posted on required a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and 60% of ag companies plan to increase recruitment of college grads in the next 5 years. As far as enrollment trends, there is an increase in agricultural related enrollment in postsecondary education of 79% from 2008 to 2012 and they are expecting that number to continue to rise. At two-year institutions, the top agricultural major is Applied Horticulture and Horticulture Business. The top agricultural major at four-year institutions is Animal Sciences. For students interested in starting to apply for a job, it is important to know what employers are looking for. found that the top two skill sets that were most valuable for a new employee to possess were work ethic and communication skills. They also found that two ways an applicant will stand out from a crowd is by asking engaging questions during your interaction or interview and also to have researched the organization prior to the interview. To get more information about the Ag Careers outlook, to post your resume or to even post a job, visit

January 2014

Students looking to apply to colleges should seek out institutions offering degrees in areas they are passionate about. A college degree is great, but if you don’t enjoy it, you will have a job, not a career. To prepare for college, I encourage students to focus on their grades and extracurricular activities. The opportunities for scholarships are vast, as long as students are willing to work hard and apply themselves!

Warner University Dr. Tim Marshall, Dean School of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

In the next 10 years, agriculturalists will be focused on feeding more people with fewer resources. To prepare for the inevitable changes, students should take advantage of the opportunity to learn about global agriculture production, sustainable agriculture (economically and environmentally sustainable), and new technologies.

The opportunities for youth entering careers in agriculture and natural resources are increasing in number and diversity, and should continue to do so over the next decade. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources just completed our two day Career Connections and the level of excitement among students and employers was unmatched by previous years. Our graduates have no problem with placement as long as they do not limit themselves geographically. Graduates must be willing to follow their career path, going where the employer has needs. Just this week, we had a major ag chemical company spend two days interviewing students for internships. We have over 100 interns out each summer and a smaller number out in fall and spring. Experiential learning is the cornerstone of our program, beginning with student activity on our 200 acre teaching farm, 9-hole teaching golf course and nature study area. I encourage youth to prepare for the use of agribusiness, technology and communication skills as they enter their career path. All applications in agriculture require profitability and sustainability. Employers expect any graduate to understand the basic subject matter, be willing to read and learn on a daily basis, embrace change and “ride for the brand.” The most important traits they ask me about include honesty, commitment, passion, and communication skills. With 21 undergraduate majors, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida can provide a unique educational experience for students with an interest in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. Cathy Herren Carr Director, Alumni and Career Services


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Our students are recruited by major nationwide employers, many of whom will be present at the annual CALS Career Expo on Feb. 5.

Through programs such as the Challenge 2050 project, the CALS Leadership Institute, CALS Ambassadors, and the CALS Upper-division Honors Program, our students are developing not only the technical knowledge employers desire, but also communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills that will make them the next generation of leaders in our affiliated industries. There are vast opportunities for students transferring into CALS, be sure to read the transfer guide on the CALS website.

What do the colleges have to say?

Lauren J. Lewis Director of Agricultural Studies

As I speak with prospective students, the main characteristics I inventory are the desire to learn and work ethic. A student must be motivated to learn to succeed in college. Additionally, displaying and valuing hard work will pay off in the long run as students are presented with internship opportunities. Contrary to what some may think, I am seeing the number of students interested in agriculture increasing, especially in production agriculture! Students are intrigued by the practical application of agricultural science, and providing a food source for an ever-growing population. The future of agriculture appears bright and optimistic!

Dannie Glassburn Florida 4-H, District IX

Connecting our mission to our communities At the heart of every local fair are young people learning about responsible farming, ranching and food production. As a global leader in the production of essential crop nutrients, Mosaic takes pride in fulfilling our mission of helping the world grow the food it needs. However, most people don’t know we also produce high-quality feed ingredients that provide the critical building blocks of animal nutrition – for farmers and ranchers here in Florida and around the world. Quality food on our tables begins with quality feed on farms. That’s why we’re proud to support our local FFA and 4H programs – where commitment to teaching responsible agricultural practices is about growing a safe and healthy future, for all of us. Let’s keep our communities growing, together.

30 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine



January 2014

Charlotte COUNTY


Haley Webb Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC)




Currently, I serve as the VP2 of Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority, Beta Nu Chapter at ABAC. I was the Florida FFA State Secretary and was in the FFA all through high school. I also was involved with 4-H and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association for 10 years where I served as the Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association State Secretary. Ag organizations:

In 2012, I received the American FFA Degree.

Honors/ Awards:

My family has made an immense impact on my love for agriculture because they have instilled in me the passion and drive to go after what I want most in life. They’ve taught me the importance of faith, family and agriculture, and how nothing can be achieved without love and determination.

Influence in Ag career:

I’m majoring Diversified Agriculture at ABAC




As of now, my dream career would be a job as a Sales Rep., where I could be face to face, communicating with agriculturalists on a daily basis.

Plans after college:

I’m most looking forward to working in the agriculture industry Most looking forward to:

January 2014

because of the people who are involved in it. I’ve never met more passionate, driven and kind-hearted people than those who work and are involved in this industry. We all share the common goal and dream of advancing the industry into the future, while preserving the past and foundation on which it was built.

will be different: I believe that technological advancement is a huge factor in the difference between now and twenty years ago. I also believe that it can be used in an effective and efficient manner to help to further the industry.

Brought to you by:


Future of Ag: I see the future of agriculture being very bright. Throughout my years in FFA, 4-H and the Cattlemen’s Association, I had the chance to meet and get to know many young men and women who have a sincere passion and drive for the industry. As the Florida FFA State Secretary for 2011-2012, I got to see that passion on an even closer level. The industry’s future is bright because of these young individuals, and because of all of the agriculturalists who have come before them. As E.M. Tiffany stated in the first line of the FFA Creed, “I believe in the Future of Agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds.” This statement rings true to this day. Agriculturalists past, present, and future, have and will ensure that this industry continues to grow and prosper.

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 31



Olivia Shelfer School:

Brought to you by:



University of Florida

Ag organizations: I was in 4-H from 2nd grade to 12th grade. I am currently a member of UF’s Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow and the Chairman of the Donation Committee for the Gator Citrus Club.

I have been on the Vice President’s list the past 2 years of college, was on the honor roll in high school and was the Desoto County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart.

Honors/ Awards:

Influence in Ag career: My parents have had the most impact on my ag career. They both have so much passion for what they do. I have been raised in my family business. Everyday after school I would go to work for my parents and I have learned so much from them throughout the years. The hard work and passion that they have for the citrus industry has passed on to me. I know for a fact that I will be in ag for the rest of my life because the ag industry is my life. PLANS/Major: Agricultural Education and Communication with a specialization in Communication and Leadership Development


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Plans after college: My plans after college are to get a job in some type of ag communications. I would like to get a few years of experience with another company

before I take over my family’s citrus business. I would like to take over Joshua Citrus Inc. and carry on the family business that has been in my family for generations. Florida citrus is my passion so really any job in the citrus industry would be ideal for me!

Most looking forward to: I am most looking forward to telling the public the farmer’s story. I am really excited about letting the public know about how the industry operates and getting people informed in a positive way.

A lot has changed over 20 years in the ag industry. More and more of the general public is becoming far removed from farm life so this means more people do not know where their food comes from and how it got on their plate. The playing field has also gotten a lot tougher in the past 20 years. We have organizations like PETA attacking us and government regulations that can slow us down. I believe that it has become harder for the ag industry over the years, but we are needed more than ever with the population rising everyday.

What will be different:

I believe that the future of ag is bright because there are many up and coming innovative leaders in the industry that have a passion for seeing ag succeed. I know this because of the people in my department at the University of Florida. Each one of my classmates are learning to communicate the industry in a positive, professional and informative light.

Future of Ag:

January 2014

Desoto County Fair Association invites you to the

Desoto County Fair Sew It, Grow It & Show It January 17-26 100 Heard Street (Right Off US Hwy 17)

“Come Often and Bring a Friend!”

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 33



Amy Kristin Perry Senior at Moore Haven Jr.-Sr. High School


Brought to you by:



I have belonged to the 4-H for 13 years and have been a member of the dairy club, hog club and steer club. I have won both Jr. showmanship in dairy and showmanship in the steer show. I am also a member of the 4-H Livestock Judging where I took 12th in the state on individual scores.

Ag organizations:

I am planning to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton Georgia. I plan on getting a degree in Diverisfied Ag, with a focus on animal and plant science.


I am a member of the FFA where I have served as Student Advisor, Chaplain and Secretary for two years. I am also a member of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and had the opportunity to participate in a cattle research program to study how many calves were being killed by the Florida Panther. The research was done by IFAS.

Plans after college:

Chalo Nitka Queen.

What will be different:

Honors/ Awards:

I was crowned the 2013

Influence in Ag career: My family has been in agriculture for four generations. My great-grandaddy was a dairyman in Miami, my grandaddy was a dairyman and farmer in Moore Haven and my daddy is currently in sugarcane, ag service, vegetables and cows. My dad and his brothers also have citrus in Highlands County.

34 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

It is in our blood or I guess you could say a family tradition. Our family lives and works on the farm. My mom and I work in the office for my dad. My brother and I both run tractors from disking to planting and we love to work cows.

I want to come back and run my daddy’s farm and to create a superior cow-calf operation.

I am looking forward to promoting agriculture as a sustainable future. We need to sell our industry so that our food is grown here in our country, not sent over seas.

Most looking forward to:

More technology. Better varieties of plants, more hybrids and better breeds of animals.

I see fewer small farms and larger more specialized farming. I also see more women in the agriculture industry and ag related jobs such as working towards the science and supporting jobs in the industry. I am excited about the future. I have had a good time attending sugar related, Farm Bureau, and FFA conferences where you get a sense of what the future is for someone like me.

Future of Ag:

January 2014



Danielle Smith School: Age:


Hardee Senior High

I am the Vice President of the Heart of Hardee 4-H Club and had an internship for the summer at Ona Research Station through S.T.E.M Ag organizations:

My daddy, Dan Smith, and Papa ‘Duck’, Duck Smith have both made an influence on my dreams of a career in agriculture.

Influence in Ag career:

I have grown up around agriculture my entire life and have always loved it.

I am looking forward to being able to work with my family 24/7.

Most looking forward to:

Brought to you by:

What will be different: More technology is involved in running a ranch than there was 20 years ago and I know there are also more effective medicines for cattle

Future of Ag: I see agriculture currently declining, but once people realize how important it is, I believe more science will be dedicated to it.

COLLEGE PLANS/Major: I would like to attend the University of Florida, but I am keeping my options open.

I would like to major in Agribusiness

Plans after college: After college, I want to raise a family in Hardee County and help expand my family’s ranch to become more efficient.

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 35



Harry Plamondon School:

Brought to you by:




This is my 12th year in 4-H. I’ve been president of 3 different clubs and am currently Vice President of our 4-H district, District 12.

Ag organizations:

In 2011, my 4-H Horticulture ID and Judging team placed 1st in the state of Florida. I personally placed 1st individually. We went to the national competition in San Diego, California, but sadly we didn’t place. It was still an amazing experience and a great trip! Honors/


For the 2011-2012 4-H year, I received Senior of the Year Award. In 2012, at the state level, I did a demonstration/ illustrated talk on Bees and I placed 2nd in my category.

I’d have to say my parents have made the biggest influence on my career choice. They both were raised in the bee business and I’ve decided to carry it on. Influence in Ag career:

36 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

I’d say nothing other than being raised as a child of a

beekeeper. My dad took me out for the first time when I was 8 years old and it’s been like 11 years of free college since then. It’s what I know, it’s what I’m good at and I love doing something that is outdoors.

COLLEGE PLANS/Major: College has never been a “need” for me growing up. I’ve never felt pressured into going to a big university like most kids. However, I did recently apply to “Grace Bible College” to further my spiritual life.

Worship leader at my church and a beekeeper.

Plans after college:

Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’d have to say just being outdoors more than being indoors. I’m also looking forward to all the friends I’ll make as a Florida beekeeper.

Most looking forward to:

What will be different: Well, the bees themselves are much different then they were 20 years ago, so that will make a big difference. Other than that I’m not sure.

I see the future of ag (through organizations like 4-H and FFA) becoming more “youth involved.” At least that’s what me and many others hope for. I can’t predict the future, but through kids getting involved with ag careers such as myself, I see a bright future ahead of us.

Future of Ag:

January 2014

Highlands COUNTY


Sarah Orrell School: Age:


Sebring High School

I have been involved in FFA for 4 years starting with my freshman year. I have been the Sentinel and Chaplain of the Sebring Senior FFA chapter. I also have raised animals since my sophomore year. This year I have a pig in the Highlands County Fair and I was also selected to show the Sebring Senior FFA chapter heifer.

Ag organizations:

I have received numerous awards such as the FFA Greenhand and Chapter degrees. I have also received awards for competing in Career Development Events including Horse Judging, Veterinary Assisting and Ornamental Horticulture. Honors/ Awards:

The people that have had the most influence on my ag career would definitely be my parents. Although they may not be the most “country” or ag-oriented, they have stood by my side in all the craziness of raising animals and wanting to become a veterinarian.

Influence in Ag career:

I have always loved animals. I was never the girl that played with Barbies and wanted to be a princess when she grew up. I was always outside playing with the lizards and the cows that bordered my house. I’ve always wanted to help animals in need and there has never been a doubt in my mind that the veterinary field was my career choice.

January 2014

I am planning to stay local at South Florida State College to get my Associates Degree and then I plan to transfer to the University of Florida to get my Bachelors in Animal Science. After that, I plan to go to postgraduate school to earn my Veterinary Degree for small animals.


Plans after college: My dream career would be having my own veterinary practice with a refuge for unwanted animals. I would love to have an adoption program along with my practice.

I look forward to saving lives of animals and helping others understand not only the nutritional and health needs of pets, but also the emotional needs. A pet becomes part of the family, they need attention and love just as a child does.

Most looking forward to:

Brought to you by:

One major difference in the veterinary industry that it is predominantly women now, when 20 years ago there were more men. It is a highly competitive industry and I am looking forward to becoming a part of it.

What will be different:

The future of ag will depend on today’s youth and their passion for the agriculture industry. A lot of people do not understand that agriculture has everything to do with their everyday lives from what food they eat to what clothes they wear. If people don’t understand this concept and the importance of farms and the farmer, ag will be pushed lower and lower on the totem pole. We ag students must advocate the importance of agriculture so that people understand and respect the industry. Future of Ag:

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 37



Storm Slaybaugh Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College


Brought to you by:



I was in 4-H for 11 years and served as the Secretary, Reporter and Sgt. of Arms. I have been a member of ABAC’s Collegiate FFA for the past year and a half and am part of the Cattlemen’s Associations in both Florida and Georgia.

Ag organizations:

I raised the Reserve Grand Champion heifer in 2012.

Honors/ Awards:

Influence in Ag career: My grandpa was a major influence and really helped me see agriculture in a whole different way. It all started when he gave me my first calf named

Peanut Butter. I had to bottle feed him and from that day forward, agriculture has always been a part of my life from working cows, building fence and more.

My interest really began to grow as I got older and could experience many different things in the agriculture industry. Although there are an endless amount of things, mainly it’s the fact that in order for our country to survive, it’s going to take more farmers in the upcoming years. COLLEGE


Diversified Ag

I’m majoring in

Plans after college: After college I plan on doing something in the animal industry most likely with beef cattle. I’d like to sell animal pharmaceuticals, work on a cow/calf operation, or even be feed nutritionist.

I’m looking forward to helping our country grow as a whole and help people understand just how much farmers actually do for our nation. I am currently going to school full-time and work on a major farming operation where we grow peanuts, corn, cotton, wheat and pigeon peas. So, as you can tell, my involvement in agriculture has never stopped and it will only continue to become more diverse. Most looking forward to:

38 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

What will be different: I think the changes between the agriculture industry 20 years ago and the present day can be attributed to science and technology. Science as it is related to the industry has helped farmers and ranchers

January 2014

increase production levels while keeping the operating costs at a manageable level. Scientists have helped to create many drought and pest resistant crops. They have used genetics to create plants that germinate and produce sooner with increased yields. Ranchers have seen these benefits in the grains they use. Higher yielding farms produce grain at a cheaper cost, which is passed along to the rancher. Science has also improved the palatability and nutritional allowing the rancher to feed less and produce more beef with a stable operating cost.

Technology has been a huge factor over the last twenty years. The improvement of irrigation systems alone has improved the time and manpower that are needed to run and monitor these systems. The advancement in real time monitoring and remote start and stop on irrigation allows farmers to minimize water use without yield loses.

Future of Ag: In the coming years, I believe that the agriculture

industry will continue growing and changing as more and more land use changes from agriculture use to homes and development. Producers will be looking to increase their yields with the same or even less land to fulfill the increased demand. I believe that the changes ahead of us will come with the improvement and use of unmanned equipment. The technology already exists for vehicles and aircraft. It will be just a matter of time that you may be riding through a field of unmanned tractors relying solely on GPS and the farmer’s ability to program the course of action.

Tractors and implements are becoming smarter and more autonomous with the incorporation of GPS systems. GPS systems allow farmers to maximize the usage per acre by laying out crop rows based on field shape and topography to decrease water loss and maintain higher yields. I believe that the future of agriculture is headed in the direction of what was once looked at as “space age technology”.

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 39



Courtney Wingate School:

Brought to you by:



Clarendon College

Ag organizations: I’ve been in 4-H for 11 years, the Manatee County Jr. Cattlemen’s Club President for 4 years. I’ve shown cattle for 8 years and showed hogs for 3 years at the state fair. I was in FFA 3 years, serving as the Braden River High School FFA Secretary. I was also a State Officer for the Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association and President from 2012-2013.

1st place National Cattlemen’s Quiz Bowl (2 years), 1st place Florida Cattlemen’s Quiz Bowl (2013), Champion of Champions for the FSF Swine Show (2012), Champion Steer, Manatee Co. (7 years), Champion Beef Breeding, Manatee Co. (7 years. I was named Outstanding 4-Her (5 years), 1st place Collegiate Judging Tri-State Fair (2013) and 6th Overall Collegiate Judging Kansas State Fair (2013).



My family is the most influential people I know. They’ve always told me I can do anything, so when I chose to start raising and showing livestock, they were behind me. If I need help hauling calves to shows or help writing a speech, they would stop what they were doing and help.

Influence in Ag career:

40 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

With one side of my family in ranching and the other into farming, it easy to see my love for animals and the outdoors. I would always ride around with my grandpa checking and feeding cows when I was with him.

I attend Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas to receive my degree in Agriculture Sciences.


After college, I’d like to go into Meat research, researching new ways to produce a better product for our consumers or I’d like to work with the USDA’s Meat Science end making sure consumers have a safe and delicious product. However, it’s in the good Lord’s hands on what my future holds.

Plans after college:

I look forward to seeing more young people get involved with agriculture. We hear farmers and ranchers say “the Youth or Young People are our future.” They are most certainly right. Young people are making a huge impact on agriculture. But agriculture is making an even bigger impact on those young people’s lives.

Most looking forward to:

I believe that as I enter the ag industry after college, there will be three things that have changed verses where agriculture was 20 years ago. Those things are new technology, natural energy and decreased amount of land for ag production. What will be different:

I see the future of ag meeting the world’s constant food needs. As the human population grows, the need for a larger food production will increase. I feel we can meet these demands as we find different ways to produce faster and healthy food crops.

Future of Ag:

January 2014

Okeechobee COUNTY


Rabon Carrier Name:

Rabon Carrier


I see us growing more efficient crops as well as new ways to cut the cost on finishing and feeding cattle. I feel the demand will keep growing, as well as the supply, which will help the consumers cost at the grocery stores. From a cattle standpoint, I expect genetics in the next ten years to reach new milestones we have yet to see in cow/calf operations.

Future of Ag:

Okeechobee High School

I was in 4-H for 5 years and have been in FFA for 5 years. In middle school I was on the livestock judging team for 3 years; we competed at the state level all three years.

Ag organizations:

My dad has had the biggest impact on my agricultural career.

Influence in Ag career:

My dad runs a cow/calf pair operation. I’ve always enjoyed working around cattle and learning new ways to improve them.

I would like to attend the University of Florida majoring in Animal Science. COLLEGE PLANS/Major:

I would like to manage one of the bigger ranches in south Florida. Plans after college:

Brought to you by:

“Rabon is one of the best students I have seen in my 30 years of teaching. He treats this [ag] class like a job. He comes ready to work, and shows pride in what he does. Rabon could hire on to run a ranch tomorrow, he is that good at what he does. He is a fine young man and an excellent cowboy.”

-Roger McWaters, Okeechobee High School animal science teacher

I am looking forward to the everyday challenges you face as a cowman, also feeling accomplished knowing you did the best job possible.

Most looking forward to:

Cattle prices as well as crop prices fluctuated so much in the last five years and it looks like we have yet to see the peak of the market. We rely on technology in agriculture more today than in the past; I believe technology will play a bigger part in the industry in years to come. What will be different:

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 41



McCoy Murphy School: Brought to you by:



Fort Pierce Central High School

I have been in Beef Builders 4-H Club for 7 years and am currently the club reporter. I have also been a member of Florida Junior Cattlemen Association for 7 years.

Ag organizations:

Honors/ Awards: While showing market steers for the past 6 years, I have won several First in Class and Grooming awards.

Influence in Ag career: My family has influenced me wanting to be involved in agriculture. My Grandfather is a cattle rancher, citrus grower, and hay farmer. Growing up working with him, I have learned that agriculture is a family tradition I would like to continue.

hay production. My dream career is still yet to be determined.

I am looking forward to working with my family.

Most looking forward to:

What will be different: I was not around 20 years ago but based on the pictures I have seen of the past and how things are today, I think there will be a lot of tough challenges in the future. Future of Ag: I see the future of agriculture as being a challenge. The use of technological advances and having a love for the ag industry will determine one’s success.

I love being in the outdoors and growing up around cattle, it just seemed natural.

I would like to attend the University of Florida or any other college with a strong agriculture program. COLLEGE PLANS/Major:

I am not sure what to major in at this moment, but I want to major in the field of agriculture. My plans after college are to carry on my family’s tradition in agriculture, by being involved in the cattle and

Plans after college:

42 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

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Tracing the Roots of 4-H:

A Brief History By Dixie Thomas

Many of us have fond memories of our “4-H days,” possibly showing livestock in the county fair, exhibiting plants or produce, being on a judging team or spending time with friends at a summer camp. The history of 4-H is as vast and varied as the 4-H experience. The official 4-H organization was not founded by one person, but rather it developed over time from common ideas arising in the early 1900’s. Educational leaders purposed to help youth connect more with vocational agriculture as well as encourage the introduction of new technology in agriculture; the most practical way to do this was to build community clubs which would allow “hands on” learning experiences in ag for young people.

In 1902, an Ohio school superintendent named A.B. Graham organized a “corn club” for boys and girls, which is considered the first 4-H club. One acre corn contests were already common, but Graham took the idea a step further by developing an actual club. Other school superintendents across the nation had similar ideas, like T.A. Erickson of Minnesota, who started after school agricultural clubs, as well as a Mississippi superintendent who arranged a corn contest through the sponsorship of the Mississippi State College of Agriculture.

46 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Sometime between 1907 and 1908, O.H. Benson introduced the first 4-H emblem which was originally a three-leaf clover with three H’s. The three H’s stood for Head, Heart and Hands. Later, the three leaf clover became a four leaf clover, with the fourth “H” standing for Health. Otis Hall, a 4-H leader from Kansas, is attributed to writing the original 4-H pledge in 1927. That same year, the first 4-H Camp was held in Washington D.C. as a meeting for the development and recognition of junior leaders. A turning point occurred for the 4-H organization in 1914 when congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, which established the national extension services of Land Grant Colleges. 4-H clubs then became a direct function of the United States Department of Agriculture and club organization was directed through the landgrant universities. 4-H became solidified as an official organization under this act. The early Florida programs had separate programs for boys and girls and for blacks and whites. Other major changes for the 4-H organizational structure occurred in 1963 under the leadership of E.T York. First, boys and girls and blacks and whites clubs were integrated January 2014

into a single program. Next, school clubs were replaced by volunteer led community clubs. In addition, the University of Florida and Florida State University agents merged together to form The Department of 4-H and other Youth programs.

Today, 4-H programs are available in all fifty U.S. states and in more than eighty countries in the world. 4-H clubs serve youth in rural and urban areas and welcome people of all demographics. While agriculture is still a core focus for 4-H, its programs have branched out to explore other topics and fields including rocketry, robotics, environmental protection and computer science. 4-H youth are researching and confronting many of our national challenges, including global food production, sustainable energy and food safety. Over 6 million youth are involved in 4-H here in the U.S. today. Remarkably, studies show that 4-Hers are twice as likely to get better grades and go to college, and twenty-five percent more likely to contribute positively to their families and communities than those not involved in 4-H. These youth are competing and leading on county, state and national levels. Who knows? A local 4-H youth may very well be the next leader that will change our world.

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 47

Heartland Regional

Science and Engineering Fair BY ROBBI SUMNER


he Heartland Regional Science and Engineering Fair (HRSEF) is coming up on its 30th year serving the six county Heartland Region that includes DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Glades, and Okeechobee counties. This regional fair is chartered with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair, allowing students to participate annually at the state and international levels. The fair is for students from 5th to 12th grades that have been selected by their county’s local fair to participate at the next level, and typically hosts almost 300 student researchers, making it one of the larger regional fairs in the state of Florida.

The 2014 HRSEF will be held February 19th at the South Florida State College campus in Avon Park, with an awards ceremony to be held the evening of February 21st. Participants will present their work to a panel of judges who will in turn select place awards, special awards of cash prizes and other recognitions, as well as choosing 24 48 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

students to represent the Heartland region at the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland this April. Two students will even go on to represent the area at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May in Los Angeles, California.

Dan Thomas, a Science teacher at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus, serves as Co-Director of the Heartland Regional Science and Engineering Fair along with Cindy Letcher from Osceola Middle School. According to Thomas, “One of the things we are able to do is provide these opportunities at NO COST to the student. When we take them to the state fair or to ISEF, we provide the transportation, housing, and food allowances. While this is an agreement made as part of our charter with the state and ISEF groups, I am proud of this as it allows us to choose the best student researchers based on merit instead of financial means.” Because the Heartland region encompasses some of Florida’s great agricultural communities, many projects are rooted in the agricultural sciences. Several students this year are January 2014

working on topics ranging from dairy animal health to sugar cane production to biofuels.

“Some of our best projects have been from the agricultural field,” says Thomas. “A few years ago, we had a young lady working on Tropical Soda Apple eradication. From 8th grade to her senior year, she worked on using microbes that cause soft-tissue rot in tomatoes to accelerate the kill of the TSA. She now has her PhD in microbiology, and will credit her time spent on this research as being a tremendous influence over her career.” Another recent participant worked on the digestive processes of her family’s dairy cattle, examining protein and fat levels and comparing it to the ketosis of each cow. She took her project to the International Science and Engineering Fair, and won a scholarship award of $3,000 from the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST).

using sample sources from the lachrymal glands instead of the typical method. If Cady can show that this method is viable, a new and faster way to test for Mycoplasma bovis might emerge.

Jessieca Pittman is working with her father to determine the effects of sod exposure and survival after the mythical ’96 hours’. Jessieca’s experiment could help sod companies provide a better product to their consumers.

Good luck to all of the student researchers! We’re pulling for you to discover new ways to improve agricultural production.

Currently, student Nolan Carpenter is working at a local USDA facility and is attempting to improve sugar cane yields by adjusting the potassium levels in the soil. This research could prove a way for sugar companies to adjust their fertilizer programs to produce a higher yield at harvest. Cady McGehee is working with her veterinarian father to find a better way to diagnose Mycoplasma bovis in cattle

to do; a harmless activity that would be Zac’s last adventure. Days later, after flu-like symptoms and a visit to the hospital, he was diagnosed with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain-eating amoeba. He fought a long and hard battle, but after three weeks, it was God who won and gained a great little man with lots of spunk.

Zac’s Friendship House “Through a Christian environment that welcomes all, we provide opportunities for positive moral growth and sustainable life skills development for youth and families in Labelle and Hendry County.” Zachary Reyna was an adventurous, lovable child who was involved in all kinds of sports and activities. On August 3, 2013, Zac and his friends were knee-boarding and swimming in canals, one of their favorite things

January 2014

After his passing, his family and friends felt the need to carry on his life through the life of others in need. Zac’s Friendship House is going to be a place where children can come to study, be mentored or just talk to God. They will feel comfortable, safe and most of all, feel loved. There has already been an outpouring of support from the community and the family appreciates all the donations and support with fundraising. Some upcoming fundraising events include a BBQ and Yard Sale on January 4 and a Dusk to Dawn Softball Tournament on January 25.

For more information on the events or to become a sponsor, visit or facebook. com/ZacsFriendshipHouse

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 49

The Need for Ag-Vocates By Rusty Hartline

Former Florida FFA member, Graduate Assistant at the University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications

Agriculture is the foundation of our nation, and it is what makes the United States the powerhouse that it is. Within this enduring, yet dynamic industry, having a strong voice representing these commodities is pertinent to telling the story of agriculture by the agriculturists themselves. The industry as a whole has a tough challenge on its hand in the form of involvement within the industry by those who will be the next generation to carryon the tradition of agriculture, the youth of our nation. The USDA states that the average age of a farmer in the United States is roughly 57 years old as of 2007; this age has increased from 54 from the census taken just 10 years prior. With current trends in population growth worldwide, how will we continue to produce more agricultural products with less land, less resources and a farmer demographic that is continuing to age? The solution lies within the next generation of agriculturalists, youth who are interested in the industry, and who will become advocates for agriculture (Ag-vocates). Youth involvement in agriculture is easier said than done. The next generation of youth in our nation have become increasingly more removed from the basic knowledge of agricultural production, let alone how they may become involved and possibly stewards of the land like the generations that have come before them. Youth organizations like the National FFA Organization and 4-H are making strives towards rekindling the concepts of agricultural production as well as helping to develop youth towards successful futures. These organizations allow youth to take a step back from the rigors of standardized testing, state standards in reading

50 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

and mathematics and gives them a glimpse into the idea of experiential learning. By allowing students hands-on experiences in life skills, career development opportunities and leadership development, these individuals are gaining an understanding of how they can be successful in the future while at the same time giving them a sense of appreciation for the agricultural industry. The FFA Organization is over a half million members strong, specifically with youth who are taking courses in agricultural education through their middle and high school coursework. The FFA Creed is an incredibly meaningful and moving part of the National FFA Organization and its message is as strong today as it was when it was written in 1928. While times have change and the agricultural industry is not as big of a topic in our daily lives, the first sentence of the Creed stands for the hope that future generations will continue to be involved in the industry and through their efforts, change the lives of many. “I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.� Without the involvement of youth in agriculture today, the future of the industry is a scary thought. We have the safest, most secure and arguably the most nutritious food system in the world from the struggles of those who have come before us. It is up to the future generations, the youth of our nation today, to continue to become involved in the agricultural industry and continue that passion that so many who have come before them have had. January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 51


Hello Heartland! What a bright future there is for the future of agriculture in Florida and in the United States! It’s amazing to think that the young FFA members and agriculture students who are learning about and working in the agriculture industry today will soon be leading this industry into tomorrow. In Florida, about 64,000 students are enrolled in agriculture classes in middle and high school and about 17,000 of those students are Florida FFA members. These students, and many others across the nation, are preparing themselves for that task of leading agriculture into the future. They are excited to learn and put their knowledge to the test. In mid-December, more than 3,500 Florida FFA members competed in the preliminary contests for many of Florida FFA’s career development events (CDEs). These contests ranged from tractor driving and environmental sciences to prepared and extemporaneous public speaking where students give a speech related to an agriculture topic. These students are excited to learn and spread their knowledge about agriculture.

Apart from our recent contests, Florida FFA recently hosted the Middle School Leadership Conference and the 212 Leadership Conference, both hosting over 120 students at the Leadership Training Center in Haines City. I think it is safe to say that my state officer team and I are most excited for the International Leadership Summit for State Officers (ILSSO). Each year, the National FFA Organization offers an international experience for state officers from across the country. In early January, all seven of the Florida FFA state officers, along with about 70 other state officers from across the country, will be traveling to South Africa for 14 days! While there, we will be meeting with government officials, touring agriculture operations, and learning about different agricultural techniques. Florida FFA is excited to dive into this New Year with endless opportunities for the future of agriculture! Warm Regards, Wally Martin

Florida FFA State Secretary

52 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 53



Sub-District Contests

South Florida State College hosted the Sub-District FFA Contest on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Dr. Lietzel, President welcomed the group from Highlands, Glades and Hendry counties and expressed his admiration for the boys and girls that wear the blue and gold FFA jackets and the high standards they represent. Shelby Ball, Chairman from Avon Park High and Emily Little, Co-Chairman from Sebring High coordinated the events.

Cole Russell from Lake Placid High placed first in Tractor Operations with Tom Barfield from Moore Haven placing second. In Opening & Closing Ceremonies, Hill-Gustat’s seven-officer team placed first, followed by Avon Park Middle in second and Sebring Middle placing third.

In Creed Speaking, Justin Bickman from Sebring High captured first, Jesse Espunosa from Moore Haven took second and Samantha Goodwin from Hill-Gustat placed third. In Extemporaneous Speaking Middle, Carson Angell from Hill-Gustat placed first and Amy Schlosser from Avon Park Middle placed second. In the high school division, Elton Gargano from Sebring High placed first and Mattie Bass from Moore Haven took second.

54 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Courtney Ball-Hill-Gustat placed first and Olivia Guerndt-Avon Park Middle was second for Middle School Prepared Public Speaking. From high school, Emily Little, Sebring High, was first and Taylor Brown from Avon Park high came in second. For Parliamentarian Procedures, Hill Gustat Middle School’s six-member team was first, Avon Park Middle took second and Sebring Middle was third. In the high school level, Avon Park High’s team took first place, followed by Sebring High in second.

All of the first place winners will now prepare for the District Contests in Okeechobee on January 30, 2014. The District winners will then advance to the State Contests next June at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, the site of the State FFA Convention. State President, Megan Stein, assisted with the events and brought greetings from her fellow state officers and more than 16,500 members in the Florida FFA Association.

Several students also competed in preliminary written exams in Food Science and Dairy Science. The top 20 teams across the state will compete in the state finals in January and February. In the business session, Emily Little was elected Chairman for 2014 and Alex Hornick, also from Sebring High was elected co-chairman.

January 2014

OHS Ag Communications I Class By Robbi Sumner


tudents at Okeechobee High School are enjoying a new class offering this year, Ag Communications I, taught by Kati McWaters Lawson. In addition to her University of Florida degree in ag communications, Lawson brings a wealth of practical knowledge to the classroom. Her father Roger is a long-time Agri science teacher and FFA advisor, and she was an active 4-H and FFA member throughout her youth.

“I wanted to teach the class last year, but it wasn’t approved in time. It was added for the 2013-14 year and counts as an Arts elective, as well as a qualifying class for students to participate in FFA,” Mrs. Lawson shared. The students are a mixture of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, many of whom are planning careers in ag-related fields. According to Lawson, “It is really a foundation course that covers a lot of the basics like news media, business writing, photography, video production, web design and social media.” Her lesson plan is based on state standards, and she has incorporated the use of the textbook “Agricultural Communications in Action – A Hands-On Approach” written by one of her former professors, Dr. Ricky Telg.

Several projects have already been completed, allowing students to apply the concepts taught in class. For example, students developed fliers to promote activities like the OHS FFA photography and barbeque fundraisers that were held in the fall. They also produced a video “commercial” that was played over the school’s television channel to promote FFA meetings and increase participation. For a business January 2014

writing exercise, students formulated complaint letters (most of which were fictitious) requesting a wrong-doing to be corrected.

Life skills such as making positive first impressions and proper introductions, including eye contact and a firm handshake, are important to master and are practiced regularly in class. Lawson has also introduced students to personality trait typing and how it can impact productivity. Earlier in the school year, students took a quiz to determine their dominate traits and were “color-coded” to ensure that team-based projects have a variety of personalities included on each team. For example, “orange” is for those who are more outgoing; “gold” is for those who are very organized and punctual; “blue” is for those who are sensitive, more emotional and artistic; and “green” is for those who are more realistic and analytical. The students explain that while everyone has all traits to some degree, knowing what is dominate helps to understand the strengths that each one possesses. For their final project, Ag Communication students will be handling the annual OHS FFA banquet to be held May 2nd. Lawson said, “They will be in charge of every aspect, from determining and adhering to the budget, designing and mailing invitations, decorating and the ceremony itself.”

Regardless of the career path that each student follows in the end, they will no doubt benefit from the knowledge and practical applications being shared in Ag Communications I.

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 55

Hardee County FFA Alumni Hosts

Cake Auction By Levi Lambert

Puddings, cakes and pies, oh my! The Hardee County FFA Alumni hosted their inaugural Cake Auction on November 26 and the junior and senior Hardee County FFA youth received the benefits from the fundraiser. Local residents donated the delectable deserts. During the event, guests mingled along the sidewalks of Highway 17 and Main Street, while most wandered up the stairs inside the restored historic Hardee County Train Depot. Inside, the Hardee County FFA was serving a delicious arrangement of sandwiches, chicken wings, fruits, vegetables and cheese platters.

A great number of local residents joined in support of our students involved in FFA. The purpose was to raise money to provide additional support for our youth who will become the next generation of our country’s farmers. A total of 43 delicious cakes and pies were auctioned to become a part of a Thanksgiving meal. If you are curious about how enjoyable and successful the auction was, you will just have to come out next year to find out for yourself! This year’s auction is just a small part of the history of the Wauchula Train Depot. The photos included only show a small part of this beautiful historic structure. A bit of historical background on Wauchula’s restored train depot starts in 1915 when construction was completed January 28, 1915. Wauchula was a growing town and with new buildings popping up, the old wooden train depot was replaced with a new brick building from which many carloads of local produce and citrus were shipped to Northern markets. The beautifully restored structure we have today had its beginning back on May 12, 1998. J.W. Crews, on behalf of Wauchula State Bank, donated the train depot along with a check for $25,000 to the city of Wauchula so that the initial restoration of the depot could begin. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Wauchula Train Depot to see a piece of Hardee County history or a variety of fossils and such found in our very own Peace River, make a point to drop in to take a look at a piece of our county’s rich heritage.



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January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 57


d n a l t r a e H in the Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant

If it swims, crawls, or hops we probably serve it! By Robbi Sumner

“It began with the fish house that my uncles ran,” shares Ray Arrants, current owner-operator of Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant. “My dad, Buddy Arrants, had worked in banking and was made the offer to buy out those uncles.” As the story goes, “we caught fish, bought fish, skinned fish, sold fish, and smelled like fish…so we thought we’d cook fish!” Established in 1977, Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant has become an Okeechobee landmark and regional favorite of locals and visitors alike. Specialties like their smoked fish dip and catnip appetizers, not to mention the cooter (soft-shelled turtle) and gator tenderloin have kept customers coming back for over 35 years now. They’ve even

58 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

been voted as serving the #1 tasting gator by Florida Magazine.

Ray recently opened a second Lightsey’s location in Moore Haven, in the Glades RV Resort on Highway 80. Situated on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, the restaurant is accessible by boat or car. Constructed in 1966 by Joe B. Hendry, Jr., Ray pointed out that the building still has its original stained glass windows and the beautifully carved bar that was moved down from New York, after originally having been imported from Europe.

On my recent visit to the Moore Haven location, I enjoyed sampling several dishes, including the heavenly homemade Lobster Bisque. Ray shared that the bisque

Stop by and enjoy a delicious meal at one (or both!) of Lightsey’s locations. You’ll be glad you did! 10435 Highway 78 West, Okeechobee 863.763.4276 1679 Indian Hills DriveMoore Haven 863.805.0685

January 2014

is made with spiny-tail lobster chunks, adding that “we cook to high quality standards and don’t cut corners on our ingredients.” I also tasted juicy, perfectly seasoned and cooked grilled shrimp, fried catfish and gator, and learned that Lightsey’s serves the more tender gator loin or back strap, not just the alligator’s tail. Who can pass up a Southern treat like fried-green tomatoes? Especially when they are served up hot and crispy with a yummy honey-mustard sauce?! And you don’t have to wait for a festival to enjoy pumpkin fry bread either. Topped with confectioner’s sugar, it’s like the Heartland’s answer to the beignet! “Our current menu is probably 60% mainstay favorites and 40% new food items, but our cooking techniques haven’t changed – we use high quality ingredients like the freshest fish, peanut oil, and special seasonings. Timing is everything for the quality meats that we carry – we’re careful not to overcook.”

January 2014

The menu offers a variety of items from specialty drinks like the Pink Gator, Purple Mongoose, or Electric Eel to decadent desserts like peach or blueberry cobbler and key lime pie. Entrees vary from “lake food” like gator, catfish and frog legs, to “sea chow” like Alaskan snow crab, oysters, and sea scallops. Just in case you aren’t a seafood lover, Lightsey’s also offers salads, sandwiches, and even a 20 ounce bonein rib-eye steak. You can even take a little bit of Lightsey’s home, or ship it to envious friends and family. The Retail Market includes items like “The Arrants Batter” which has been made in-house for over 35 years, or the “Seasoning 25” for meat that was developed by Buddy over 25 years ago with

no MSG or preservatives. Both Lightsey’s locations are also available to host private parties.

According to Ray, “We specialize in quality, dating back to our fish house roots. I travel the state each week in search of the best, freshest fish. We operate based on Dad’s guiding principle: ‘Never compromise quality and your customers will always come back.’”

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Total Recipe Time: 2 to 2-1/4 hours Makes 6 servings

Bistro Beef Stew Ingredients: 2 pounds beef Bottom Round Roast or Shoulder Roast Boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon pepper 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt 2 medium onions, chopped 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed 1 cup dry red wine 1 can (14 to 14-1/2 ounces) ready-toserve beef broth 12 ounces assorted small whole mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake and button) 2 cups packaged baby carrots 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions: Combine flour and pepper. Lightly coat beef with flour mixture; reserve any remaining flour mixture. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Brown 1/2 of beef; remove from stockpot. Repeat with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining beef. Remove beef from stockpot; season with salt.

Upcoming Dates:

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in stockpot. Add onions, garlic and thyme; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to mediumhigh. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until browned bits attached to stockpot are dissolved. Stir in broth and reserved flour mixture. Return beef and juices to stockpot. Stir in mushrooms; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-1/4 hours. Add carrots to stockpot; continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes or until beef and carrots are fork-tender. Stir in peas; simmer 5 minutes.

January 11

Can You Out Shoot a CattleWoman Fun Shoot, Quail Creek Plantation, Okeechobee For more information, contact Wendy Petteway 863-781-3986

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January 2014

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 61


Florida Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart 1st Runner-up By Robbi Sumner


ineteen-year old Deta Waller of Lake Placid is a junior elementary education major at the University of Florida, where she entered as a second-semester freshman, having completed 18 hours through a high school dual enrollment program with South Florida State College. “I’m in the ProTeach program,” she explains, “and will graduate three years from now with both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.”

The daughter of Jim and Christie Waller, Deta has enjoyed a well-rounded exposure to agriculture through involvement in her family’s businesses. “Growing up, I wasn’t involved in 4-H or FFA. I was more focused on sports, dancing, and leadership activities,” she says. “But I worked for my grandpa, Gillie Russell, at Russell Cattle Management and Lake Placid (citrus) Caretakers, and for my dad, Dr. Waller, who is a large and small animal veterinarian at Citrus Animal Clinic.” Deta also grew up with Highlands County Ag-Venture, as Christie was one of the event founders.

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Deta shares that she had previously been asked to consider representing the Highlands County Cattlemen, but the timing wasn’t right. “As a high school senior, I was too busy, and focused on college applications and things like that. When Donna Howerton, President of the Highlands County Cattlewomen, asked me again, I thought it would be good time to go for it, and I’m so glad I did!”

At the Florida Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting held in Marco Island last June, Deta was chosen as their Sweetheart 1st Runner-up. She serves the beef cattle industry along with Sweetheart Harley Zoeckler of Polk County and 2nd Runner-up Chrissy Grimmer of Hillsborough County. Deta said, “I have learned so much. It was a strong competition; I had to study and work really hard, but loved the whole process including meeting the other girls and all the Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen at Marco.” As 1st runner-up, her duties and responsibilities are centered on promoting and educating the public about the benefits of beef, and she recently appeared at the DeSoto Ag Fest to do just that. Back in Gainesville, Deta is also involved with the Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen, and has enjoyed various activities like a tour of Santa Fe Ranch and helping with the Beef Short Course.

Deta will spend one school year teaching as an intern prior to graduation. She hopes to return to Highlands County so that she can also remain involved with her family’s businesses. “I really want to keep my hands in agriculture, and plan to incorporate Ag in the Classroom materials whenever possible.” January 2014

“I’d like to thank Mrs. Howerton and all the Highlands County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen for all of their encouragement and my parents and grandparents who have also helped so much! I’d also like to thank Mrs. Kim Strickland who does a fantastic job at running the Sweetheart program each year. Any girl who has considered running for Sweetheart should go for it – it’s a great experience,” Deta said enthusiastically. When I asked Deta if she has any advice for her peers or younger people, she responded, “Be confident in who you are and face challenges in life with courage because even if they end up as failures, they are life’s best learning experiences. Be involved in what you love to do and when you get the opportunity to do something that will make you a better person, take it.”

January 2014

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To Wear Pink? Photos and article by Kathy Gregg

That has become a famous question in the rodeo world, and was first asked during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 2006, as rodeo competitors and sponsors were asked to raise money for breast cancer research.

This year December 9th was Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the Thomas and Mack Center, representing the ninth anniversary of this campaign, and included rodeo clowns from Arkansas and Minnesota, and the Cuttin’ Up Radio sponsoring Get Your Pink On! One of the competitors even had his beard died pink.

In the United States, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2.3 minutes – that’s more than 625 women per day. So in 2004, entrepreneur, wife, and mother to professional rodeo competitors – and breast cancer survivor – Terry Wheatley founded the Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink Western Campaign, along with Karl Stressman, then director of special events for Wrangler, and now commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (the PRCA).

And they announced at this year’s National Finals Rodeo that “the grassroots cowboy campaign to fight breast cancer has reached the $17 million fundraising mark through the hard work of regional rodeos and western events across the country.” The Cowboys for Cancer Research group has itself raised more than $1 million of this amount. Most of the money raised stays in the local communities, and they attribute this fact to the great success of this campaign. And each of the local youth rodeo associations sponsors a Tough Enough to Wear Pink event during October of each year. That included Hardee Youth Rodeo Association, Arcadia Youth Rodeo Association, and the fledgling Okeechobee Youth Rodeo Association, where the 3 – 18-year-old cowboys and cowgirls decorate themselves and their horses in PINK. And that includes leggings, saddle blankets, bling and stenciled pink ribbons on the horses, and shirts, belts, and hat accessories for the riders.

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While these youngsters may not really understand what they are part of, their enthusiasm to be part of this rodeo campaign is truly inspiring. The Hardee County Youth Rodeo offered prizes for the best-dressed pink riders, and this year they were Lacey Nail and Jessica Wynn (who happen to be BFFs!) of St. Lucie County. And they even used pink ribbons on the goats (for the

January 2014

goat-undecorating event) and the steers (for the new ribbon roping event), rather than the usual orange ribbons.

And even though not a cowboy, I must mention the Wauchula postmaster, Mike Swearingen. Having had both a cousin and an employee struck by this horrendous disease, for the month of October, Mike shaved his hair off, with the famous ribbon design on the back of his head. He then had it died pink, along with his beard. Now there is a man who is truly Tough Enough to Wear Pink!

While not something I have ever done, I am dedicating this story to Marlyn Carlton Ford, a 34-year-old mother of five, who passed away on September 25th after her fight with breast cancer. Marlyn was the wife of Joel Thad Ford, and daughter of Dennis and Alice Carlton. Her brother, Dennis Carlton, Jr., and brother-in-law Pat Thomas are two regular ranch rodeo competitors featured (and who were Tough Enough to Wear Pink at the State Fair ranch rodeo in February, shown in one of the accompanying photos). With her deep love of children, she would truly have appreciated the young cowboys and cowgirls of our youth rodeo associations wearing PINK for this worthy cause.

January 2014

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This year Reality Ranch Ministries of Zolfo Springs decided to hold a ranch rodeo and bullriding buckle series, running from September through December. And for it’s initial year, I would rate it as a true success. Every month, 6-7 teams of four or five cowboys and cowgirls arrived at the Reality Ranch arena ready to compete in the events of team sorting, team roping and branding, wild cow milking, mugging and tying, and bronc riding. And just after everyone had caught their breath from the heart pounding bronc rides, they were treated with more adrenaline, as about a dozen young men donned their chaps and then climbed onto the backs of 2,000-pound bulls for (hopefully) that 8-second ride.

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Having missed the first event in September (as I was at the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Finals in Kissimmee), I made sure that I attended the remaining three events. The teams competing were Royce Ranch, Holly Angus, First American, T&M, Gethsemane Ranch, No Chance Ranch, and Diamond I. Gethsemane Ranch of eastern Okeechobee County not only hosted a team, but also was the stock contractor, leaving double duties for Jessie Jones, with wife Karen up in the birdhouse at each event.

Shane Perkins of Okeechobee is one cowboy who loves ranch rodeos (and ranch bronc riding). He, too, was at the FCA Finals in September, but rode with Royce Ranch in October, then helped out T&M in November, then back to Royce Ranch to finish out the series. Shane rode a paint horse bronc in October, who kept hitting the ground, getting back up, then hitting the ground again. He had a “reride” in November, when this horse performed beautiful bucks, breaking in half perfectly for a great ride. Then Kyle Murphy of the First American team drew this bronc in December, and finished the series on a great ride too. January 2014

With four months of six events each month, it would be impossible to cover each event each time, but the highlights were Donald “Bear” Murphy being pulled off his horse after dallying the steer in the mugging and tying event, Shane Perkins bearing a cheek when his jeans got ripped in the wild cow milking event, and Seth Gullett suffering a broken nose in his final bullride (and still more interested in looking at the photos of his ride than getting to the hospital!). And I will tease the No Chance team for choosing that name, as it proved to be very true for them!

The leader of the series changed from month to month, but at the end, it was the team of First American who walked off with the buckles and the big smiles. This team is made up of G.W. Crawford (I finally found out your last name!), Josh Simmons, Kyle Murphy, Joe Choban and Katie Thomas. And the bullrider who took home that prized buckle was Amos Shirey. Each of them were presented their buckles by Randy Johnson, who was all smiles as he awarded them their prizes. Congrats to y’all, and hope to see you back at Reality Ranch next year!

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January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 67

Healthy Kids

By Dr. D. Keatley Waldron, D. C. Contribution by Beckie Halaska Dr. D, Keatley Waldron, D.C. of Waldron Chiropractic Health Center-Sebring is board certified and committed to providing his patients with only the highest quality care. He has a heart and passion for this community that has been his home for most of his life. Dr. Waldron has been in practice for over 22 years and applies an educational approach to his natural healing techniques. His philosophy is, an ounce of prevention is worth...everything!

As a Parent, there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing my love of the land with my kids. We enjoy all that this great area offers: hunting, fishing and working the land. My middle son has a love of agriculture that I take much pride in. He loves to work the soil, planting and growing. Learning to grow organically is a passion that combines my holistic teachings and his love to grow things. As society begins to embrace what I have been teaching in my practice for over 22 years, avoid chemicals, avoid bandaid medicines and stick to nature’s own and you can’t go wrong. We should be teaching our kids to think about what they put in their bodies, and that goes to the source. What are we putting into the ground, into the animals grown for food? As a Chiropractor, I have spent a lifetime learning about what chemicals do to our body, what a diet rich in nutrients can do for the body and how to rid the body of toxins.

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If your child is participating in rodeo, farming, or any physically demanding activity, they are just as much at risk of injury and illness as you are. Regular chiropractic check ups, a healthy diet as much as possible are important, but what a treat to grow their own organic foods. Chiropractic Care helps kids have the edge over the competition. Whether you are roping, barrel racing or riding bulls, you want to be in peak shape and excel at what you do.

Encourage your child to: • Wear the proper equipment.

• Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. • Maintain a healthy weight.

• Drink plenty of water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet.

• Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. January 2014

• Stretch before and after. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet. • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete

We want what is best for our kids in how they achieve and the future we envision for them, but we don’t always tune up the system. Why is that we worry so much about our tractors and trucks yet we compromise on what we feed our kids and how we approach their health? Giving our kids good nutrition, as much as possible, daily supplements and regular Chiropractic adjustments fuels their own ability to stay healthy.

Start now to create a disciplined and healthy approach to life and how we take care of ourselves. Eat more fruits and vegetables; we find it is easy to make a smoothie for breakfast, or to pre-cut up fruits and veggies to snack on. It is a great alternative to chips and as long as it’s handy, we enjoy it.

January 2014

K. Michael Knox Accounting, Taxes, Consulting

863-465-1124 45 years professional experience Comprehensive and expert Tax Services Serving All of Highlands County • Okeechobee • Wauchula • Clewiston •

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 69

Florida Agriculture

Youth Coloring Competition Grab your markers, colored pencils and crayons and let the coloring begin! The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Florida Agriculture in the Classroom are hosting the annual Florida Agriculture Youth Coloring Contest. All students in grades kindergarten through fifth are invited to participate.

This year’s coloring page features students showcasing their agricultural projects at the Florida State Fair and emphasizes the importance of agricultural education in our schools and communities. The coloring page comes from the 2014 Agriculture Literacy Day book entitled “Florida Farms at School” and promotes student involvement in the industry. P.O. BOX 3183 PLANT CITY, FL 33563

To compete in the contest, students can download the rules and coloring page by visiting The deadline for entry is January 24, 2014.

PH. (813)708.3661 OR (863)381.8014


The coloring contest is divided into three categories; kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, and fourth and fifth grade. An overall winner will be selected in each category and will receive a family pack of tickets to the Florida State Fair. All three category winners, along with other participants’ coloring pages, will be on display in the Youth Art Center at the Florida State Fair from February 6-17, 2014.

FAX (813) 283-4978

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January 2014

We care for Florida’s unique natural communities.

That’s our promise. At Mosaic, our 3,000-plus Florida employees are devoted to preserving the integrity of our environment while producing essential phosphate crop nutrients. We understand the importance of the unique natural systems that make up our larger watersheds. Our reclaimed bay swamps carefully emulate natural bay swamps; they are characterized by dense, low vegetation, dominated by mixtures of sweet bay, red bay and loblolly bay, and scattered with dahoon holly, red maple and pine trees. With the proper hydrologic modeling and care, reclaimed bay swamps rival the function of their natural counterparts and provide essential wildlife habitat for future generations. Join in Mosaic’s promise at Bay Swamp Former Fort Green Mine, Polk County

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January 2014

AG CALENDAR JANUARY 1st HAPPY NEW YEAR! JANUARY 3rd & 4th New Year’s Bash Ranch Rodeo & Southern State Bull riding- Fred Smith Arena Florida Seminole Cattlewomen Fri. 7pm – Sat. 5pm

JANUARY 16th 31st Annual Florida Cattlemen’s Institute & Allied Trade Show 8am Turner AgriCivic Center, Arcadia *note that the show will be in Arcadia this year and not Kissimmee JANUARY 16th -19th Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo- Sebring Regional Airport JANUARY 17th – FEB. 2nd South Florida Fair West Palm Beach JANUARY 21ST Martin Luther King Day

JANUARY 6th - APPLE TREE DAY JANUARY 11th 2014 Clay Shoot at Quail Creek Plantation, Okeechobee Florida Cattlewomen, 8:30am 863.781.3986 JANUARY 11th MILK DAY

JANUARY 22nd -24th TPIE Uniquely Tropical Plant Ind. Exhibition -FNGLA Broward County Convention Ctr. 800.375.3642 JANUARY 23rd Yee Haw Junction Bluegrass Festival 2887 Hwy 60 music, food and fun 863.634.5815

JANUARY 11th-12th 2014 Florida Winter National Wood Art Expo & Competition- Charlotte Harbor Conference Ctr- Punta Gorda www.

JANUARY 16th Charlotte County Boat Show Charlotte County Fairgrounds

JANUARY 25th 18th Annual Hamfest 2014 Turner Ag Center Exhibit Hall 8-12pm Arcadia JANUARY 27TH National Chocolate Cake Day JANUARY 29th-30th Florida Citrus Show Harvert L Feen Center Ft. Pierce 772.462.1521 JANUARY 29th Thomas Paine Day (also known as Freethinkers Day) JANUARY 31st Big Cypress Shootout 2nd Annual War Reenactment 11am Labelle, JANUARY 31st – FEB. 1st Seminole Wind Bluegrass Festival Okeechobee, Harney Pond Rd. 863-634.5815 JANUARY 31st- FEB. 9th Charlotte County Fair Fairgrounds, Port Charlotte JANUARY 31st BACKWARDS DAY

JANUARY 15th Strawberry Ice Cream Day JANUARY 15th – 18th Florida Flywheeler Show -Antique Engine & Tractor “Swamp Meet” Fort Meade 863.285.9121

JANUARY 25th Festival in the Woods at Picayune Strand, Naples Hikes & bicycle tours, wildlife presentations, children’s activities 239.690.3500, Ext. 121

JANUARY 23rd - NATIONAL PIE DAY JANUARY 25th Big Cypress 118th Anniversary Celebration starts at 11a – Junior Cypress Rodeo Grounds, Labelle Alan Jackson concert at 6:30pm Followed by EIRA Bull riding

FEB. 6th – 17th Florida State Fair Tampa, Florida FEB. 15th – 22nd National FFA Week FEB. 27 – MAR. 9 Florida Strawberry Festival Plant City 813.754.1996 www.

Submit your events for the ag calendar to

In the Field Magazine Your Monthly Agricultural Magazine Since 2004, Serving the Heartland Since 2008

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 73


Florida Cattlewomen with their Christmas gift donations for the Hope Children’s Home

Florida Cattlemen’s Association President Wes Williamson addresses the General Session at the December Quarterly Meeting held in Okeechobee

Waste Management/Florida Cattlemen’s Assoc. member Tony Bishop, Waste Management Community Relations Teresa Chandler, Florida Cattlemen’s Association President, Wes Williamson and wife Darin Williamson, Betty and Sonny Williamson.

Florida Cattlemen’s Association board members Matt Pearce, Ken Griner, Ned Waters and Matt Warren.

Cary Pigman, Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 55th District, which includes Glades County, Highlands County, Okeechobee County, and western St. Lucie County celebrated with the members.

Florida Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting

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he Florida Cattlemen’s Association held their annual meeting in Okeechobee, FL. on December 5th. The Williamson Cattle Company hosted a dinner at the Camp House and members enjoyed networking with friends. January 2014


Desoto Ag Fest

Bankers South hosted 9th Annual Wild Game Feast December 13.


eigh Ann Wynn of Bankers South, Sam Monte of Sam’s Sport Shop and Ken Ely, President of Platinum Bank and co-sponsor of the feast.


rd annual Desoto County Ag Fest hosted over 3,000 guests and over 100 vendors and demonstrators. Some of the highlights for the day included Cowboy Mounted Shooting by the Florida Peacekeepers, Helicopter Firefighting courtesy of the Florida Forest Service, Mosaic and 4H’s free kids area and Free classes about canning and using herbs around your house. Vendors offered a wide range of products, a few of the items found that day were shiny new tractors and ATV’s, beautiful artwork, handmade jewelry and furniture, fishing gear and delicious vittles like smoked mullet, steak tips, ribs and lobster.  Or for those who had a sweet tooth funnel cakes, strawberry shortcake and chocolate dipped cheesecake was hit among many other great food findings. 

Submit your photos and events for Heartland Happenings to

January 2014

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 75




he week was full of events and awards including Ag Venture where over 1,000 third graders participated in hands-on activities in ag.


here were 217 participants on the farm tour with stops around the county including West Coast Tomato/McClure Farms with guide Todd McClure.


he Beef Prospect Show had a great participation of 80 youth for the educational classes in the morning and the show after lunch, sponsored by the Manatee County Cattlemen’s Association.


ill Orben (above left) was named Outstanding Agriculturalist of the Year 2013 and J.T. Reeder (above right) was inducted into the Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Fame for 2013.

Submit your photos and events for Heartland Happenings to

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January 2014

Heartland’s Growing Businesses

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Mark King 863-677-0983

January 2014

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January 2014

Making New Year’s Resolutions for you? Cows need a little nutrition help this time of year too! Stop in today for $2 OFF each bag High Energy Cube 14% All Natural Protein Minimum 5 bags, Maximum 40 bags

January 2014  

Monthly agricultural publication covering ten counties in the Heartland of Florida.

January 2014  

Monthly agricultural publication covering ten counties in the Heartland of Florida.